Library News
December, 2020


The Library is offering curbside service at this time.
Please call 508-764-5426 to reach a staff member.

 Curbside Pickup
Monday-Friday, 9 am-5 pm

"Felix Gatineau on sleigh delivering goods for P. H. Carpenter & Co." [ca. 1885]
Photographic Collection of the Jacob Edwards Library

Curbside pickup service continues this November. This contactless-service will be available Monday through Friday, from 9 am until 5 pm, and will remain in effect for the near future.  Patrons may request items by calling the Library at 508-764-5426, or by placing holds in their personal library account.  Patrons may request up to ten (10) items per transaction when calling. Items from the CW/MARS catalog may be requested; however, only items in the JEL collection are subject to immediate availability. 

Please click here
 for additional information on curbside pickup.

Items may be returned only through the book drop 
at the rear of the building, due to challenges posed 
for safe materials handling.

  • Late fees accrued during our closure will be waived
  • Normal lending periods have resumed:
What are the loan periods for library materials?
Most books, books-on-CD, and music CDs are loaned for three weeks. New books are loaned for two weeks. DVDs and videogames are loaned for one week. Magazines are loaned for one week.
  • No donations can be accepted during the pandemic, due to the challenges posed for safe materials handling
  • Materials being returned will be quarantined and will not be checked in for 72 hours.  There will be a 3 day delay in seeing recently returned items no longer appear on your account. Dates and times may be subject to change
  • If returning compact discs, please place a rubber band around the case

For Remote Learners & All Students:

Any questions, please call the reference librarian at 508-764-5426

The Jacob Edwards Library is excited to announce the launch of Brainfuse - on demand, anytime, anywhere eLearning for all ages and levels. Brainfuse HelpNow offers a personalized homework help in core subjects (math, reading, writing, science and social studies) including SAT preparation. The Adult Learning Center is included in the HelpNow suite. Brainfuse will be made available to all library patrons from the public computers at their local library or from any computer with internet connection starting October 14, 2020.

What can you do with HelpNow?

  • Students communicate with live, online tutors using an interactive, virtual whiteboard to chat, write, draw, copy/paste text or images and graph homework problems. 
  • HelpNow also offers skills building and test preparation where after taking a quiz, the user can then connect directly to a live tutor to review the topics and questions covered in the quiz. Both the student and the tutor can view the quiz questions and the corresponding student answers for an intensive test prep which may include loading lessons onto the whiteboard. 
  • All live tutoring sessions are saved and can be replayed as well as shared with friends and teachers.
  • The Writing Lab and the Send Question Center options give users the freedom to receive assistance at any time of the day without connecting with a live tutor. Users can submit papers through the Writing Lab for detailed feedback. 
  • The Send Question Center is for non-writing assignments such as math or science. 
  • All reviews and comments from our tutors are found and stored in the Message Center, which is found on the student homepage. 
  • For students who prefer to work independently and form their own online study group, HelpNow offers a set of collaborative tools - Meet and Brainwave. Meet allows students to schedule their own online sessions using the Brainfuse Meet whiteboard, which is specifically designed for a group setting. Brainwave is a recordable whiteboard where students can draw, write and chat and send it to others for feedback.  
Adult Learning Center

  • Adult Learning Center is the adult learners' version of HelpNow where patrons access GED prep, U.S citizenship test prep, resume assistance, Microsoft Office support, and Career Resources which lists popular job search links. 
  • Microsoft Office support allows patrons to ask questions about Excel, Word and PowerPoint.
  • The Writing Lab, Send Question Center and the Skills Building are also included in the Adult Learning Center suite.

The Jacob Edwards Library has many resources available for K-12 students learning remotely and in-person this fall. From encyclopedias and scholarly articles for research papers, to biographies and foreign language practice - you can find it all in our online resources.  Whether in-person, hybrid, or home-schooling this fall, the Jacob Edwards Library is here to help with your educational resources. 

The Jacob Edwards Library Launches Live Online Job Assistance!
Includes job hunting assistance, professional resume review, and interview preparation.
The Jacob Edwards Library is pleased to announce the launch of Brainfuse JobNow™  - a versatile online service designed to support every step of the job search process. JobNow features live online coaches who, among other things, assist in resume/cover letter preparation, and help patrons prepare for job interviews.
JobNow™ will be available to all library patrons from any home or library computer starting October 14, 2020. 
To access JobNow™, please visit the library's website at this link.
What can you do with JobNow?

  • JobNow™ provides live online assistance, powerful tools, and other resources for job-seekers
  • Live Interview Coaching: Patrons can brush up on interview techniques or get live online interview practice from trained job coaches. Job coaches and patrons communicate via live chat in our online classroom. 
  • In addition to live interview coaching, patrons enjoy 24/7 access to interview tips and career resources.
  • Resume Lab: Patrons can submit their resumes any time through the JobNow Resume Lab and a job coach will send it back within 24 hours with detailed feedback and suggestions for improvement. Users are also able to download resume templates, or browse resources for producing better resumes.
  • Career Resources: Patrons enjoy 24/7 access to a carefully-selected library of job resources. In addition, Brainfuse job coaches help users strategically target jobs best suited to their interests and qualifications.
  • Adult Learning Center: The Adult Learning Center provides foundational, career-enhancing skills to job seekers. In addition, the Adult Learning Center offers test preparation (including the GED and the USCIS citizenship test) and a unique academic skills center featuring live, online tutors.
About Brainfuse™
Brainfuse is one of the nation's leading online tutoring providers, serving a diversified client base of libraries, school districts and colleges/universities for over 18 years. With Brainfuse, users receive real-time tutoring from instructors via our proprietary online classroom. We serve hundreds of library systems throughout the country, including the New Mexico State Library, the Suffolk Cooperative Library System, the San Francisco Public Library, the Sacramento Public Library, The Free Library of Philadelphia, and North America's largest homework help program through the Chicago Public Library. For more information about Brainfuse services, please contact us at

Art Exhibition 

This December, the Jacob Edwards Library will be celebrating all things winter.  By looking closely at objects, landscapes and natural wonders that surround us every day, we will dive into the beauty of the season, and learn more about what makes winter so special. Join us on the Library's Facebook page and follow along on this journey!


Did You Know?

Did you know that historical maps are great tools for genealogical research? Did you know that you can access dozens of 19th and early-20th century maps on the Jacob Edwards Library website? Yes you can!

Want to learn where your ancestors lived? Search a Sanborn Fire Insurance map. These maps were made for insurance purposes, and detail what each building was constructed from (yellow=wood; red/pink=brick; blue=stone), what the square footage was, who owned the property, what businesses occupied the space and what the street number was at the time. Just look at the example below:

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Southbridge, Worcester County, Massachusetts. Sanborn Map Company, Jan, 1899. Map.

Between Hamilton and Foster Streets, this section of Main Street in 1899 had 2 apothecaries, 3 grocers, 3 bake shops, 3 barbers, 2 hardware stores, a bicycle shop, a court house, and a library.

Learn about the exciting details of Southbridge by browsing a map today! See a selection of cartographic materials here:

Town of Southbridge Resources: 

Library Resources:

Community Resources:

The Literacy office at the Jacob Edwards Library is closed until further notice. Please use the following contact information to get in touch:

Holly Christo, Executive Director: for tutor support and information.

Andrea Cignarella, Program Assistant: for new students and online classes. - Get Help
a good starting point for social assistance programs

March Rec
We look forward to seeing you all again soon! Happy fall!

Please read on for all of this month's news.

Art Reception - CANCELLED
Library Box Office - CANCELLED

Ongoing Events: Book Club & Knitting:
POSTPONED until further notice

 Teen Events

Children's Corner:

Library Hours & Holiday Closings:

Curbside Service Available:
Monday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thursday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Please call 508-764-5426 or email 
for staff assistance.

The Library will close at 1 pm on Thursday, December 24, 2020.
The Library will be closed on
Friday, December 25, 2020
in observance of Christmas. 
December's JEL Staff Picks

Looking for a good book? Here are some that JEL staff have recently enjoyed! Clicking on the title will take you right to the library's catalog, where you can check to see if it's available, and put a hold on popular titles.

Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days by Jeanette Winterson

Ongoing Events

Stack of Books
Book Club 

The monthly book club is currently on hold, and will resume when it is safe to so so. 

Knitting with Sonya
Every Tuesday, 
10:30 am - 12:30 pm

Stop by and join our knitting circle in the Reading Room every Tuesday! 
All handcrafters (not just knitters!) are welcome to join, whatever your level experience. Stuck on your current project or wanting to learn a new technique? Chances are one of the group will be able to lend a hand! Drop by for a few minutes or stay for the full two hours. 
We hope to see you there!

Teen Corner

New manga is on the way! Look for your favorite series:
Ascendance of a Bookworm
Blank Canvas: My So-Called Artist's Journey
Dr. Stone
Kakuriyo: Bed and Breakfast for Spirits
Magus of the Library
My Hero Academia: Vigilantes
Silver Spoon
and more!
New Games!
Image by Gustavo Godoi Gustavo from Pixabay

New Switch games have arrived at the Library! Reserve a new game today!
  • Crash Team Racing Nitro Fueled
  • Hollow Knight
  • Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
  • Immortals Fenyx Rising
  • Kirby: Star Allies
  • Sonic Forces
  • Spyro Reunited Trilogy
  • Super Mario 3D All-stars
  • Super Mario's 3D World & Bowser's Fury
Winter Break Fun
Join us on Monday, December 28, 2020 at 1:00pm for a "virtual" show with Pumpernickel Puppets. Two short stories will be presented by puppeteer John McDonough: "The Three Billy Goats Gruff" and "The Lion and the Mouse". Sure to be fun!
Three Billy Goats Gruff and The Lion and the Mouse
Pumpernickel Puppets

Sponsored by the Southbridge Cultural Council, a local agency that is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.

Winter Break Fun
Join us on Tuesday December 29, 2020 at 1:00pm for a "virtual" Magic show presented by "Magic by George". 

Sponsored by the Southbridge Cultural Council, a local agency that is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.

Winter Break Fun with Julie Stepanek
Join us on Wednesday December 30, 2020 at 1:00pm for a "virtual" program "Music with Julie". Learn the basics of playing the ukulele and enjoy a fun concert.

Sponsored by the Southbridge Cultural Council, a local agency that is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.

Winter Break Fun: Hands On Magic Fun with Maggie The Clown
Join us on Thursday December 31, 2020 at 1:00pm for a "virtual" program with "Maggie the Clown". Watch some amazing magic and learn how to do some of these tricks too, using some items you may have at home! Enjoy some fun and laughter with our favorite clown.

Sponsored by the Southbridge Cultural Council, a local agency that is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.

Ms. Liz Storytime Live on Facebook
Wednesdays at 10:30am

Connect with Ms. Liz, Children's Librarian by listening to her read from some of the amazing books we have in the Children's collection at the Jacob Edwards Library! Live on Facebook every Wednesday at 10:30am!

Crafty Wednesday
Every Wednesday
Curbside - pick up a craft to complete at home.

Call us 508-764-5427 and pick up a craft to make at home!  Every week will be different!

Construction Club
Tuesdays, 3:00pm - 4:30pm
Saturdays, 10:30am-12:00pm

We'll bring the LEGO bricks, you bring the ideas! This is a drop-in program, so there is no need to register. Best for children over 5.

Completed Lego projects go on display in the Children's Room for a whole week. If you are in the library, stop by the Children's Room to see different Lego projects on display. 

"Monday Night STEAM"
Mondays, 6:30pm-7:30pm
Botley the Coding Robot, try our "Hack" Computer, Kinetic Sand, Snap Circuits, Picasso Tiles, Play Dough and much more!!  Each Monday will feature one fun activity, every week will be different.  

Tinkering Thursdays
Thursdays, 4:00-5:00pm
STEM-related hands on activity using everyday and recycled items to design your own creations.

Toddler Story Time
Wednesdays at 10:30 am
Stories & Songs  for preschoolers, stay for story and create a craft.

Story Time
Fridays 10:30 am
Songs, story and playtime for the
 little ones 3 and under.

librarynewsLibrary News

Discounted and Free Admission to Museums & Attractions

Did you know? The library offers passes to a variety of area museums and attractions! 
Locations include:
Old Sturbridge Village
Eric Carle Museum
Magic Wings
Mystic Aquarium
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Roger Williams Park Zoo
Tower Hill Botanic Gardens
Worcester Art Museum
Salem Witch Museum 
USS Constitution Museum
Massachusetts Parks Pass
See our website for details.
Thank you to the Friends of the Jacob Edwards Library for sponsoring this program!
Stargaze with our Telescope!

The Library of Things is currently unavailable for checkout at the moment. 

The library has a telescope which can be checked out and taken home - just like a book. Use it to spend a night stargazing in your own backyard! Who knows what you will see?

Instructions and tips on what to look for are included. Must be checked out by an adult 18 or older. 
Please ask at the desk for more details!

Library eBooks

Looking for free eBooks? Look no further than the library! You can download FREE ebooks to your computer or device, as well as digital audiobooks.

To browse our collection, click here. Or on your mobile device or eReader, download the Overdrive or Libby app to get started. All you need is your library card number! 

 Patrons  currently have access to all 9 library systems across the state.

If you have questions or are having trouble, please ask us! Drop by, call, or email!

New bags available!

The Friends of the Library now have these fantastic new book bags available for sale! 

All proceeds support FOJEL, who provide funding for library events and programs (including, but not limited to, Summer Reading & Museum Passes).

Only $5 each, available in black, navy and maroon, 
they are perfect for carrying your library materials home!


bookBook a Librarian!

You can now 
"Book a Librarian!" 

Contact us to schedule a personalized 
20-30 minute phone session.

Possible topics include:
-Help downloading eBooks
-Using your new mobile device or tablet
-Book recommendations
-Using the library catalog
-Placing holds & using your online account
-Setting up an email account
-Getting started on your research paper
-Formatting a Word document
-Getting onto Zoom or Google Meeting

Call 508-764-5426  
to schedule an appointment.

Jacob Edwards Library

Upcoming Meetings

The Friends of the Library will hold their 
monthly meeting
Monday, December 21, 2020
at 6:00 pm.

Due to COVID-19 related restrictions, no donations can be accepted at this time.
The Friends extend an invitation to all library patrons to join their group. To learn more, please visit FOJEL's page on our website.

The Board of Trustees of the Jacob Edwards Library will meet on 
December 22, 2020 
at Noon 
via GoToMeeting. Details will be available on the Town of Southbridge website, under Public Meetings Calendar, for all public meetings.
All meetings are open to the public.

The Library is working to safely increase services and access. Strict adherence to State protocols are in place for the safety of all. 
We wish all of our patrons a healthy and happy New Year!



The Jacob Edwards Library Staff

Programs at Jacob Edwards Library may be recorded for Southbridge Public Access TV 
and/or photographed for promotional purposes.
Copyright © 2020. All Rights Reserved.