Frequently Asked Questions
WHERE IS THE LIBRARY'S TEMPORARY LOCATION?
The Library will be located at 21 Main Street in the former space of Cape Ann Cinema and Stage in downtown Gloucester.
WHEN WILL THE LIBRARY MOVE?
The doors will close to 2 Dale Avenue on Friday, September 30, at 5:00 pm.
The Library staff will take time to supervise the move and set up the new temporary space.
The Library's new temporary home will open at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, October 24. During the three-week move, library resources will be available online through the Library's website www.sawyerfreelibrary.org.
WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH THE ITEMS I HAVE CHECKED OUT?
Due dates for physical materials that are checked out will be extended and not become overdue during the move.
The Library's outside book drops at the front entrance and in the parking lot of 2 Dale Avenue will remain open for materials to be returned.
WILL HOLD REQUESTS AND BORROWING THROUGH THE NOBLE NETWORK CONTINUE TO BE AVAILABLE DURING THE MOVE?
After September 23, cardholders will not be able to select Gloucester as a preferred pickup location for hold requests until we reopen on October 24th. Cardholders who already have Gloucester set as their preferred pickup location won’t be able to place holds until they change the pickup library. Library patrons are encouraged to visit and utilize other NOBLE network libraries to request and borrow materials while we are transitioning between buildings.
WHAT IS THE CONTACT INFORMATION FOR THE NEW LOCATION?
The Library's contact information remains the same.
Our phone number is 978-325-5500. The email address for borrowing and library card questions is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Up-to-date information on Library offerings is posted at www.sawyerfreelibrary.org
WHAT ARE THE HOURS OF THE NEW LOCATION?
Library hours will remain the same, open six days a week, with the Sawyer Free Library staff's familiar friendly faces available to assist the public.
Monday–Wednesday, 8:00am–6:00 pm
Thursday, 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Friday – Saturday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
WHAT TYPES OF LIBRARY PROGRAMMING WILL BE OFFERED?
The Library will continue to offer programming for all ages at 21 Main Street and many off-site locations; look for specific offerings www.sawyerfreelibrary.org. In addition, the Library will continue to utilize and enhance its remote and online virtual programs.
IS 21 MAIN STREET ACCESSIBLE?
Yes, it is accessible. The new space has a sloped ramp from the street to the front door and a full-sized elevator to the second floor.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE LIBRARY'S LOCAL HISTORY COLLECTIONS?
We are still committed to celebrating Gloucester's 400th! We will have a Local History section at 21 Main Street for the Gloucester collection and the Gloucester Daily Times on microfilm. Local History Librarian Julie Travers will be onsite to assist with research.
WHY IS THE LIBRARY MOVING?
The Library is temporarily moving in preparation for its upcoming historic renovation and expansion project, which involves renovating the Sawyer Free's 1976 main building at 2 Dale Avenue and adding 15,000 square feet. The construction is expected to be completed by early 2025.
WHEN WILL THE SAWYER FREE LIBRARY RETURN TO 2 DALE AVENUE?
The construction is expected to be completed by early 2025.
IS THERE PARKING?
There is on-street and public parking in the St. Peter's Square lot. For metered spaces, payments are made through the Flowbird App. The Library's parking lot on School Street will also be available until construction begins and then will be closed through the project's duration.
WILL YOU HAVE PUBLIC COMPUTERS AVAILABLE?
Yes! 21 Main Street will have a limited number of computers, a printer/copier, and WiFi available to the public. We also will have our entire collection of Digital Devices to Go with Chromebooks, WiFi Hotspots, Select Title E-Readers, and App Sampler Tablets available for check out from the Library Service Desk.
WHAT PORTION OF THE LIBRARY COLLECTION, SERVICES, AND PROGRAMMING WILL BE AVAILABLE?
The Library will offer select in-person services, curbside service, outreach programming, and an enhanced level of online services. There will be library services for all ages, as well as the Library's local history research resources and Wellspring House's client intake center. The space will have public computers, printing and copying services, WiFi access, and study tables.
A large selection of books, audiobooks, DVDs, and music CDs will be available for all ages, including adult new releases, bestsellers, magazines, and newspapers. Cardholders can access thousands of titles from other NOBLE libraries that will be delivered to Gloucester. Museum passes will continue to be available. The digital library collection, including newspapers, ebooks, audiobooks, movies, music, research databases, and more, is available 24/7.
WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT THE 2025 SAWYER FREE LIBRARY?
The public is encouraged to learn more about the project by visiting sawyerfree2025.org.
Library Cards and Library Materials
How do I get a library card?
See our Getting a Library Card page for answers to all your questions about getting a card.
How do I get books, DVDs, and other materials from other libraries?
There are several ways to get materials from other libraries. Check out our Request a Book page for more comprehensive information.
Your card allows you to request material from any NOBLE library. Simply search all NOBLE libraries in the catalog and place a hold using your library card number and PIN. Alternatively, our Information Services staff will be happy to help you place a hold in person or via phone.
You may also request materials from Massachusetts libraries outside of the NOBLE system through Commonwealth Catalog using your library card number and PIN. Alternatively, our Information Services staff will be happy to help you place a hold in person or via phone.
If you can't find what you're looking for in a NOBLE library or Commonwealth Catalog, one of our Information Services librarians will be happy to track in down for you. See our Request a Book page for the appropriate forms.
How do I borrow electronic books and audiobooks?
First off, check out our Online Collections! You can find electronic books, audiobooks, graphic novels, television, and films and access them all from our catalog. If you see something you like, click on the title in our catalog. Underneath the Title and cover image of the listing you've clicked, you'll see a link that says "Access Title from OverDrive" or "Access for Gloucester Residents via Hoopla Digital".
Click the "Access from Overdrive" link, and you will be taken to the OverDrive interface and the book or audiobook you want to borrow. You'll see a button that allows you to borrow the title or place it on hold if it is not immediately available. If you are not logged into your library account, you'll be prompted to enter your card number when you try to borrow or place the title on hold.
You can also access Overdrive on your Windows 10, Android, or iOS device with the Lbby App. Users with a Kindle Fire or Windows 8 operating system will need to use the original OverDrive App. Using either app, you may browse our online collections of books and audiobooks after selecting the NOBLE system as your home library.
Click the "Access for Gloucester Residents via Hoopla Digital" link, and you will be taken to the Hoopla interface with the resource you wish to borrow. Click the blue "Borrow" button. There are no wait times or holds on Hoopla resources, so you will be able to borrow immediately. Sawyer Free Library users may borrow five (5) items per month.
If it is your first time using Hoopla, you will be prompted to create an account using your email address. When you log in, you will be prompted to enter your library card number.
You can also access Hoopla from your iOS, Windows, or Android device, as well as Kindle Fire devices by downloading the Hoopla App.
How do I borrow electronic magazines and newspapers?
Check our E-Magazines+E-Newspapers page for links to our magazine and newspaper databases as well as instructions for use.
How do I renew my books?
If the items you've borrowed have renewals left and are not on hold, there are several ways to renew. You can sign into your account online to view and renew the items you have checked out. Alternatively, give us a call at 978-281-9763 ext. 10, and we'll be happy to help renew your materials.
You can renew electronic materials if they have not been placed on hold by signing into your OverDrive account.
How do I get books delivered?
If you can’t get to the Library, we bring the Library to you! Check out our Home Delivery page to learn more.
How do I make a purchase suggestion?
If you think there's an item we should have, ill out the form on our Request a Book page or pick up one at the main desk.
Using the Library
How do I request a meeting room?
You can reserve a room online or give us a call at 978-281-9763 ext. 21. We have several spaces that the public may reserve. Check out our Reserve a Room page to learn more about our rooms and the types of events they can host.
How do I get to the library?
Check out our Hours and Directions page for comprehensive directions to our building and parking lot.
How do I apply for exhibit space in the Matz Gallery?
Simply fill out the Request for Consideration form online or pick one up at the library. Check out the Matz Gallery page to see what's showing this month! Please note that the exhibition space is very popular, and it's not uncommon for there to be approximately six (6) month wait.
Can I print something from my email or the internet at the library?
Printing is available from our Express computers on the Main floor. You may also request printing by emailing infor@sawyerfreelibrary before 1:00pm. Your pages should be ready for you to pick up at our Curbside Pickup that afternoon.
How much does printing cost?
You may print 10 pages of Black and White pages for free.
At this time, Color printing is unavailable.
Can I scan documents and pictures at the library?
Scanning is not available at this time.
Where can I make regular copies?
A copy machine is also available on the main floor near the circulation desk.
Can I make color copies?
No. We're sorry for the inconvenience but color copying is not available at this time.
How can I pay to print?
We are not accepting payment for printing. You may print 10 Black and White pages for free.
Can I fax a document from the library?
Unfortunately we do not offer faxing services at this time.
Is there a fee for using the computers?
No. Computers are free to use. You may also print 10 free Black + White copies.
Where are the computers?
Two Express computers are located on the Dale Ave side of the Main Floor. Computer sessions are limited to 30 minutes.
How do I log on to the computers?
Simply choose a computer that is free and enter your library card number to log on.
I don't have a card. Can I still log on?
Sure! Just let someone at the Main Services desk know, and we'll print you a guest pass.
Is there a limit to how long I can use the computer?
You can use computers for up to 30 minutes.
Do you have public WiFi?
We do! Choose Sawyer Free Library on your devices to log on. There is no password or limit to use our WiFi.
Are there quiet places I can work?
At this time, we are unable to allow extended library visits. You may browse the collections and use the Express Computers but we're requesting you limit your library visit to 30 minutes in order to allow others to enter restricted areas.
Can I work in the Teen Corner?
The Teen Corner is currently open only for browsing the collection. Between the hours of 1:00pm and 5:00pm, the Mezzanine Floor will be available to students for quiet study.
Where are the restrooms?
Men's and Women's restrooms are located on the ground floor. Please see the Security Guard located at the Parking Lot door for the key.
Children's restrooms are located on the ground floor; you may ask for the keys at the Parking Lot Security Desk.
Are there water fountains int he library?
There are public water fountains on each floor where you can fill your water bottle. For safety reasons, we can not allow drinking straight from the fountains.
Can I have food and drinks in the library?
Not at this time.
Where can I park?
Please see our Hours+Directions page for directions to the parking lot. There are also metered spaces on Dale Avenue in front of our building.
How do I find a book or DVD or other library materials?
First, search our catalog. If you don't know the exact title or author, or if you simply want to search for a subject, you can enter a keyword or partial title. Once you've found something interesting, click on the title. You'll be taken a to a page full of information about that item, and if you scroll down, you'll find a location, such as FICTION. Our Library Map gives an overview of where materials are located. If you have any trouble finding something in one of the locations, let a staff member know. We'll be happy to assist you!
How do I find an old obituary in the Gloucester Daily Times?
Our microfilm printers and collections are on the upper floor by the Local History section. If you know the exact or approximate date of the obituary you are looking for and are comfortable using microfilm, you may come in at any time. If you need assistance, one of our Information Services librarians or our Archivist will be happy to get you started.
You can also email email@example.com with a request, and we will scan a copy for you.