Gloucester, MA—The Sawyer Free Library is proud to welcome Carnegie Medal-winning and New York Times bestselling author Eric Klinenberg this week. NYU’s Director of the Institute for Public Knowledge and a professor of sociology, Klinenberg will discuss how social infrastructure like the modern public library creates lasting and powerful connections where shared values and experiences build community consensus. Presented jointly by the library and the Sawyer Library Foundation (sawyerfree2025.org), the author will deliver remarks and conduct a dialogue with the audience from 6 to 7pm on Thursday July 14. 

“Professor Klinenberg’s research raises concerns about historic inattention to preserving and updating free and equitable public spaces, and his recommendations for counteracting this align perfectly with Sawyer Free Library’s 2025 plan to modernize and expand,” said Library Director Jenny Benedict, noting that the event is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a dessert reception at the library’s outdoor amphitheater. “Our library has a broader reach than any other single organization in the community. The new space will foster personal connections, mutual support and collaboration among friends and neighbors across Cape Ann. It creates a dynamic, welcoming and modernized environment that will inspire generations of life-long learners in our community.”

Klinenberg’s most recent book, “Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization and the Decline of Civic Life” (Crown, 2018), will inform his remarks Thursday evening. Drawing on extensive original research, he suggests that ‘social infrastructure,’ which he defines as the physical spaces that shape our interactions, plays an essential but unappreciated role in modern societies by helping to redress inequalities in health, education, crime, climate vulnerability and social networks. 

Klinenberg suggests that just as urban green space, schools, community centers, civic spaces and nonsecular organizations are places where lasting and powerful connections are formed, so too do modern public libraries represent a crucial swatch of this social fabric. In this public remarks, he will offer a blueprint for rebuilding in this moment of societal polarization and explore how, while America appears fractured at the national level, it can be mended locally. 

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden called Klinenberg’s work, “One of my favorite books of 2018… (the author) is echoing what librarians and library patrons have been saying for years: that libraries are equalizers and absolutely universal.” 

The author of three other books and co-author, with Aziz Ansari, of the New York Times No. 1 bestseller “Modern Romance” (The Penguin Press, 2015), Klinenberg’s scholarly work has been published in journals including the “American Sociological Review,” “Theory and Society” and “Ethnography.” He has contributed to “The New Yorker,” “The New York Times Magazine,” “Rolling Stone” and National Public Radio’s “This American Life.” Klinenberg is currently working on a new book entitled “2020: A Social Autopsy.” 

To register for this event, please visit: bit.ly/3nRWVn0.

SFL_ProgrammingMultigenerational: During his visit to Sawyer Free Library this Thursday evening (July 14) from 6 to 7pm, best-selling author and professor Eric Klinenberg will make the case for why, in a highly impersonal and socially distanced age, social infrastructure like the modern public library creates lasting and powerful connections—like the gathering pictured above—where shared values and experiences build community consensus.

KLINENBERG PORTRAIT: Author Eric Klinenberg’s remarks at Sawyer Free Library this week will be followed by a dessert reception at the library’s outdoor amphitheater.

✓ How do I learn more or contact Sawyer Free 2025?

Visit sawyerfree2025.org


Call 978.225.0363 or 978.225.0915

Facebook: Sawyer Free 2025

Instagram: Sawyer Free 2025

YouTube: Sawyer Library Foundation 2025

✓ How Do I Give to Sawyer Free 2025?

  • Visit sawyerfree2025.org
  • Text to donate: Text “325182” to 1-855-575-7888 and select an amount
  • Checks: SF2025, 2 Dale Ave., Gloucester, 01930 (Checks payable to: “Sawyer Library Foundation”)
  • Volunteer!

Leaving a comment rewards the author of this post- add to the discussion here-

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s