Get Research Help

Don’t know how to start your genealogy project? Need help using the catalog, ordering books, or using our online resources? The staff in the Reference Department are happy to help you!

In Person: The Reference Department is on the top floor of the library
By Email:
By Phone: (978) 281-9763, ext.21

Public Computers

  • The Sawyer Free Library has 12 Internet computers in the Adult Reference Department, all with the Office suite.
  • Patrons must agree to our Internet Use Policy
  • A library card or guest pass must be used to access the computers. Computer use is limited to 3 hours per day for a library card and one hour for guest passes. Guest passes are only issued for those with an out of state ID
  • Printing is $.15 a page and must be prepaid at the Reference Desk. Sorry, there is no color printing is available. The first 2 pages a day are FREE for library card holders.
  • Patrons must be in 7th grade or higher to use the adult Internet computers. Children may use the computers in the Children’s Library.

Network Transfers, Commonwealth Catalog, and Interlibrary Loans (Borrowing materials from other libraries)

If our library doesn’t own an item a patron or staff member can search for it outside our library. The item can be sent to the Sawyer Free Library through Interlibrary Loan.

  1. The first place to search for and request an item is in our Library catalog. The Sawyer Free Library is part of the North of Boston Library Exchange (NOBLE) and comprises 28 public and college libraries.
  2. If the item is not in the NOBLE catalog the next place to try is the Commonwealth Catalog

Commonwealth Catalog

The Commonwealth Catalog broadens your search beyond the local NOBLE network. The Commonwealth Catalog is a statewide search. Make a request and it will delivered to Gloucester for you to pickup. Login with your library card number and your last name.

Here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions about how to use the Commonwealth Catalog.

Searching and Requesting in the Commonwealth Catalog here is a guide for using the Commonwealth Catalog courtesy of the NOBLE network.

Interlibrary Loans

If you cannot find the item you are looking for in the NOBLE catalog or the Commonwealth Catalog, please either see a reference staff person, or ask for an interlibrary loan request form from the main desk.