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Reopening Guidelines:



Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm 

Closed on Saturday and Sunday


Everyone entering the library will be required to properly wear a facemask and use hand sanitizer upon entering

six feet

Physical distancing in the building and while on the grounds is required

Total maximum number of occupants on first floor at any time is 15

Total maximum number of families in the children’s room at any time is 1 

30 minutes

Length of stay is limited up to 30 minutes 

no sign

Reduced occupancy on the Adult Level - access is limited to the “New Book” area, the circulation and reference desks, the computer room, the printer/copier/scanner and the restroom


Patrons may request staff to pull any item in the collection that is not publicly accessible at this time - catalog computer will be available for searching collection 


Children's Room limited to 1 family at a time


Shared materials such as toys, games, tablets, puzzles, and the Library of Things are not available at this time  


Meeting Rooms are not available


Computer access is limited to 30 minutes per day, including access to the printer/copier/scanner machine

self check

Self-checkout is available for patrons who wish to check out their own items. Staff is happy to assist in this new service

washing hands

Hygiene and Cleaning:

Sanitizer is required, and is available at entrance and throughout the building 

Disinfectant is available for patrons to clean computers, keyboards and mice before/after each use

Returns will continue to only be accepted at the outdoor book drop, at the rear of the building

All returned items are quarantined for 72 hours before they are checked in and then sanitized

High-touch and heavy-traffic areas are cleaned throughout the day by custodial and library staff, and in the evenings by a professional cleaning service

Any materials that are picked up or removed from the shelf while browsing will be placed on a cart to be sanitized by staff before being reshelved 

 August 31, 2020

Curbside Service continues to be available
Mon.-Fri., 9 am-5 pm

Items may be returned through the bookdrop
located at the rear of the building.

  • 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.  Dates and times may be subject to change. 
  • If returning compact discs, please place a rubber band around the case.
Updated July 27, 2020

Remote Access:

Digital Access to Research Materials:
Click here for list

Digital Access to Educational Materials:

Click here for Pre-K-Grade 5 list

Click here for Grades 6+ list

Digital Access to Fun Materials:

List of Massachusetts Cultural Institutions
with virtual Offerings

Click here for Children/Families list

Click here for general list

Parents & Caregivers:
Resources for Parents & Caregivers to Discuss COVID-19 with Kids

COVID-19 and Novel Coronavirus Resources:

Centers for Disease Control

Massachusetts Department of Public Health

World Health Organization

Town of Southbridge website

Everbridge - Town of Southbridge Emergency Alert Program: 

Community Information:

The Department of Transitional Assistance, 1 North Street, Southbridge, MA, effective Wednesday, March 18, 2020 will be closed to in-person visits until further notice. 

Phone: 877-382-2363.

Literacy Volunteers of South Central Massachusetts

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: 508-909-6589 or for
tutor support and information.

Andrea Cignarella, Program Assistant: 774-230-6468 or for
new students and online classes.

Other Medical Resources:

National Institutes of Health


Daily Life and Coping During the Pandemic (from

Ask a Librarian

A dedicated staff of library professionals is available to help patrons find the answers they seek.  The Reference Desk is located on the Main Level.  Questions may be asked in person during normal Hours of Operation, on the phone by calling 508-764-5426, Ext.105 or by e-mail at

Ask a Local Librarian

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Local History & Genealogy

The Reference Department maintains the Holmes Ammidown History Room on the Main Level. This room houses many important pieces from local history and holds numerous collections of books, photographs, maps, directories, and memorabilia. While the History Room is not open to the public, patrons are welcome to request items that can be brought out to the Reference area for research purposes.

Additionally, the Library maintains an extensive local newspaper collection on microfilm. For more information of available resources, please click here.

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Digital Collections of Historical Materials

Digital Commonwealth houses many historical photographs of Southbridge. 

Internet Archive houses digitized yearbooks and Town of Southbridge Annual Reports.

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Exam Proctoring

A reference librarian is available to proctor tests or exams by appointment. Please contact the Reference Department at, or 508-764-5426 x105 with any questions or to schedule an exam.

Please note that we do not offer constant monitoring, if this is a requirement of your school or organization. Students use a table in the Reference Area to take exams. Please also take into consideration that while the library is generally quiet, it is not a distraction-free environment. There is no charge for exam proctoring.

Please see the Exam Protoring Guidelines here. Completed forms may be returned to the reference desk.

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eBooks and Downloadable Audiobooks

Download free eBooks and audiobooks through the library!  OverDrive provides popular fiction and nonfiction. Biblioboard provides primary source documents for academic research. 

You can also download free digital magazines through OverDrive!

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Mass 2-1-1

Mass 2-1-1's online directory provides access to statewide community resources. Search by keyword or topics to find information and resources for emergency food, rent, help paying your heating and utility bills, mental health counseling, health programs, public health and safety services, child care referrals, job resources, and other help for individuals, parents and families. 

Web Directory

Our web directory is a collection of websites found on the World Wide Web.  We have made every effort to select sites that we feel are maintained by reputable sources.  However, the Jacob Edwards Library does not endorse or attempt to ensure that the information contained in these sites is accurate.  We simply provide this directory as a guide to our patrons.


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