Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library Executive Director Deborah Kelsey Announces Upcoming Retirement

Library Board and City of Gloucester to launch a national search for a replacement

Deborah Kelsey SFL Library Director.jpgAt the January 8th meeting of the Library Board of Trustees Executive Committee, Deborah Kelsey, Library Director of the Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free LibrarY, announced her upcoming retirement. Ms. Kelsey expects to retire in late June to spend more time with family and explore personal pursuits.
On making her announcement, Ms. Kelsey said, “It has been a privilege and honor to serve the city of Gloucester. I have completed most of what I set out to do when I became the Sawyer Free Library Director almost six years ago. Together with the dedicated library staff and volunteers, we have worked effectively to reposition the library to be a place of learning, innovation, and creativity, to nurture and strengthen the community. I am grateful to each of them for their valuable and essential contribution to our shared mission.” Then added, “Now it is time for a new leader to bring their energy, passion, and commitment to realize the vision for the library: to foster the values of place, belonging, and connection in the Gloucester community.”
“We are grateful to Deborah for her service to the library and the community. She has been a real catalyst for change,” said John T. Brennan, President of the Library Board of Trustees. “Deborah  is very much a forward-thinking leader and has helped to bring the library to a new place in its history. It was her vision, dedication, knowledge, and hard work that led us to pursue and secure the $9 million MBLC grant, which has put us on the path towards an improved and renovated Sawyer Free Library.  We will be forever in her debt for her outstanding efforts to give Gloucester the 21st Century library our community deserves, and we wish her only the best.”  
Ms. Kelsey said “I also genuinely appreciate the Mayor, City Council, Library Board, Friends of the Library, and community members for their endless support throughout my tenure. I intend to do all that I can to make the transition as smooth as possible. I am confident and proud to leave the library in the hands of talented and dedicated library staff and look forward to seeing the Sawyer Free Library continue to flourish.” 
The Sawyer Free Library Board, in conjunction with the city of Gloucester, will begin planning the executive search for a new Library Director to begin mid-summer.
Ms. Kelsey’s extensive library career spans more than 25 years. She is currently on the Executive Board of the North of Boston Library Exchange network, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners Ecosystem Committee as well as the past president of the New England Library Association.
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About the SFL:   Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library Inc. serves the informational and cultural needs of Gloucester’s residents of all ages as it has for over 175 years. Today, the Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Library continues as a public charitable corporation as designated under a charter granted by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts June 10, 1872. Its purpose remains to provide equal access to quality resources that serve the lifelong cultural, educational, and informational needs and interests of all people. Its guiding mission is to be a place of learning, innovation, and creativity to nurture and strengthen the community. Each year, SFL hosts hundreds of programs and serves thousands of people. All of its programs and exhibitions are free and open to the public. To learn more, visit

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