Library News
October, 2020


  Welcome to the Library!
Hours are Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm.
Please call 508-764-5426 for more information.

 Curbside Pickup
Monday-Friday, 9 am-5 pm


Curbside pickup service continues this October. This contactless-service will be available Monday through Friday, from 9 am until 5 pm, and will remain in effect when the Library reopens to the public on a limited basis.  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, Playaways 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


School is back in session for students throughout the area.  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. 

OverDrive & Libby App
OverDrive will be performing a technical change on October 30, 2020 that may affect some early devices, such as Android devices that cannot upgrade to at least Android version 5, including early Kindle Fires, early Samsung Galaxy tablets, and Kobo Arc devices (all of which were released in 2014 or earlier).  Affected users will be notified by a message on their devices beginning September 1, 2020 and will be directed to an article that explains the change.

Art Exhibition 

Joe Smith. "Old Maple." 2019. Scratchboard. 
8 x 10 in. $325.00
Another tree from the Popple Camp area, probably a remnant from an old sugar bush.

The Jacob Edwards Library is pleased to host the work of Phillipston, MA-based artist Joe Smith this October.  His exhibit, (Not) Out of the Woods (Yet), features 22 of his unique and lively scratchboard works.  The Library will present Joe's work on Facebook each weekday throughout the month.  

Learn more about Joe and his work below!

October 31, 2020 is the deadline to fill out the 2020 Census.  Learn how to submit your Census form 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:  [email protected] for tutor support and information.

Andrea Cignarella, Program Assistant: [email protected] 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

Loren Ghiglione Author Talk: Genus Americanus

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

 Teen Events
Children's Corner:
All events POSTPONED until further notice

Library Hours & Holiday Closings:

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 [email protected] 
for staff assistance.

The Library will be closed on
Monday, October 12, 2020.
October'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.

Lots more to discover!

Author Talk: Loren Ghiglione - Genus Americanus: Hitting the Road in Search of America's Identity
Thursday, October 22 at 6:30 pm

The Jacob Edwards Library is pleased to welcome award-winning author, publisher and professor Loren Ghiglione on Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 6:30 pm.  Loren will be presenting his new book titled "Genus Americanus: Hitting the Road in Search of America's Identity." 

Limited seating is available for this program; first-come, first-served.

Written with co-authors Alyssa Karas and Dan Tham, this book chronicles the three's journey across the United States in 2011, and their interviews with people from many backgrounds.  Themes explored include race, sexual identity, immigration status and other timely issues. 

Loren Ghiglione is a veteran of a half century in journalism and journalism education and professor emeritus of journalism at Northwestern University. He owned and edited the Southbridge Evening News and ran its parent company, Worcester County Newspapers, for twenty-six years. He also served as a four-time Pulitzer Prize juror, guest curator of a 1990 Library of Congress exhibit and president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors. The author or editor of nine books, he is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
~Text by University of Georgia Press
October's Exhibition

(Not) Out of the Woods (Yet)
Art by Joe Smith

Joe Smith. "Old Maple Tree." 2019. 
Scratchboard, 8 x 10 in.
"Another tree from the Popple Camp area, 
probably a remnant from an old sugar bush."

The Jacob Edwards Library is pleased to host the work of 
Phillipston, MA-based artist Joe Smith this October.  
His exhibit, (Not) Out of the Woods (Yet), features 22 of his 
unique and lively scratchboard works.  The Library will present Joe's work on Facebook each weekday throughout the month. See daily works of art here.

Artist Statement:
I have lived and worked in the woods for many years. In the woods I find peace of mind and experience the joy of being alive and part of it all. In the presence of trees I feel awe, wonder and humility before the beauty of the world. I have seen many things that have touched me deeply in a way that I can only express through art. By drawing these things I am trying to capture and remember those feelings and to better understand myself and my place in it all.
Drawing is my passion. It is something I have done since I was very little. It is how I process the world. It is something that I am always trying to be better at. I have always drawn, but it was not until I was older that I understood its place in my life, that it was my passion, my bliss. I spent many years chasing after other things before I found this out. Now I'm trying to make up for lost time.
I enjoy drawing with many different tools and media on many different surfaces. Each has its own unique qualities and advantages, and each requires a lot of work to truly master. I confess that I am far from mastering most, but that doesn't stop me from trying. I am most comfortable using pen and ink and I have a strong affinity for black and white images. Ten years ago I discovered scratchboard and I fell in love with it immediately. The results have been most gratifying.
I create mostly to please myself, but it is especially nice when others enjoy my creations too. I've selected for this show a collection of tree portraits and woody landscapes that celebrate the beauty that is all around us. I hope you enjoy this little walk in the woods.
Biography -
Joe Smith was born in Brockton MA, and other than a tour in the Peace Corps in Micronesia, and brief stays in California and Maine, he has lived and worked in Massachusetts all his life. For the past 25 years he has lived in the small central Mass town of Phillipston. He has a degree in Forestry and has worked in that profession for 43 years. He has had no formal art training but has taken a few classes over the years.

He started drawing in earnest when he was far from home in a foreign country of unique beauty and began sending hand drawn cards to his family and friends.  This tradition carries on today with the Christmas cards he draws and sends each year.  After returning home he began using and preserving sketchbooks that chronicled the things, places and people that caught his eye or tickled his fancy along the way. 
It was after he started using scratchboard that drawing and painting changed from a pastime to a vocation.  His unique style merging detail and texture to provide an unconventional vision of the natural and man-made landscape has earned him many awards and entry into prestigious art organizations.  He is a member of the Gardner Area League of Artists, the Rockport Art Association, the International Society of Scratchboard Artists, and is a Copley Artist at the Copley Society of Art.  

His website is at and you can follow him on Instagram at @woodsman_joe54.

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
September's Activity: 
Enjoy Nature!

Walktober, a two-month long event which takes place in September and October, is organized by The Last Green Valley, a National Heritage Corridor.  Many partners come together to celebrate the natural beauty of the region. This year, we encourage you to safely explore all of the exquisite natural surroundings in our area.

Feeling inspired by your nature exploration? Try writing a poem, making a collage, painting a scene or another creative activity inspired by your time in the outdoors.


New Games!
Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay
New Switch games have arrived at the Library! Reserve a new game today!
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  • Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics
  • Final Fantasy VII & VIII Remastered
  • Go Vacation
  • Hasbro Game Night
  • Instant Sports
  • Mario & Rabbids Kingdom Battle
  • Overcooked! 2
  • Paper Mario: Origami King
  • Super Mario Maker 2
  • Yoshi's Crafted World

Ms. Liz Reads Stories on YouTube

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!

Lots more to discover! Thanks to the production staff at Southbridge Community TV, there are many other stories read by Ms. Liz at the following link

Crafty Wednesday
Every Wednesday
Curbside Pick up or Drop on in and pick up a craft to complete at home.

Call us 508-764-5427 or drop by  and we will give you 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! You can purchase bags at the Information Desk.

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, October 12, 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 
Tuesday, October 27, 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 fall!



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.