Central Library

Central Library Hours:
Monday - Thursday : 9am - 9pm
Friday - Saturday : 9am - 5pm
Sunday - 1pm - 5pm
(Closed Sundays Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day)

Phone: 434.979.7151
Fax: 434.971.7035
Email Us

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Programs for Adults


The Reference staff will provide one-on-one tutorials on basic computer skills and online job searching and applications. Participants must get a JMRL Library Card. For an appointment call 979.7151 ext 4


Films are shown on the 4th Thursday of the month except for December. Come view and discuss documentary films on current issues. Light refreshments will be provided. Sign up to be added to the film email list: Email Us After being shown, check the online catalog to borrow the film. Program listings are below.


Black Authors Book Club is going digital! Can't make it to the book group but would like to follow along? There will be many interactive discussions and polls about books online as well as discussions about classic books and new releases. All meetings will now take place through email and via JMRL's Blog. Email Tiffany for details.


On the third Thursday of the month bring your lunch and discuss fiction and non-fiction books. Library staff will provide value-added content and lead the discussion. Drinks and desserts will be provided. Sign up to be added to the book email list: Email Us Program listings are below.


No registration required. Enjoy crafts but short on time? Stop by the Central Library for quick & easy projects to do at your own pace, or take them to go. Materials are provided.

  • November: Book pumpkin
  • December: Holiday postcards
  • January: Quilled penguins
  • February: Scratch art
  • March: Woven hearts
  • April: Sonnet Madlibs
  • May: Tissue paper flowers

Art Exhibit by Julia Lesnichy

Artwork.Artwork. Julia is an impressionistic oil painter, working plein air, doing primarily landscapes and outdoor still life. Her goal is to study color harmonies in the fast changing light, searching for color notes which help render the beauty of nature. On display October 1st- December 31st. 3rd floor hallway


First Thursdays at 7pm January 7, February 4, March 3, April 7, May 5 Champion Brewing Company The group generally selects the next title at each meeting. The title for March 3 will be The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers for the Big Read.

MEET THE AUTHOR: Bruce Holsinger

Bruce Holsinger

December 01, 2015
7:00 pm

Novelist Bruce Holsinger, Professor of English at UVA, will discuss his medieval historical thrillers “A Burnable Book” and “The Invention of Fire” as well as his experiences with writing and getting published. Light refreshments will be provided and books available for purchase.
No registration necessary.



December 02, 2015
6:30 pm

Improve your financial skills at these workshops presented by the Virginia Credit Union.

Workshop Topics:

  • Wednesday, December 2: “Investing Basics”

Ages 14+. Registration is required.



December 03, 2015
7:00 pm

First Thursdays at 7pm at Champion Brewing Company

Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O’Nan Check the Catalog arrow


December 06, 2015
2:00 pm

Stop by anytime from 2-4 pm to make a variety of holiday crafts including ornaments, gift tags, and candles. Open to ages 14+.
No registration required.


Third Wednesdays at 6pm

  • December 16
  • January 20
  • February 17
  • March 16*
  • April 20
  • May 18
Explore a world of creative writing with activities and prompts to get your creativity flowing. Feel free to share your work in this non-judgmental environment. Registration requested. For more inquiries, contact Hayley at ht@jmrl.org or call 979.7151 x4. *March 16 with be a registration required workshop on Mindful Writing. See below for more information. Registration requested.

Brown Baggers Book Group

Holiday Party!

December 17, 2015
12:00 pm

Meet to pick books for May 2016 - May 2017


Second & Fourth Wednesdays* at 6pm

  • No meetings in November
  • December 9
  • January 13
  • January 27
  • February 10
  • February 24
  • March 9
  • March 23
  • April 27
  • May 11
  • May 25
No meeting on second Wednesday in April. Improve your writing by getting feedback from your peers. Participants will bring copies of work previously written to share with peers, and will help constructively critique others work as well. No registration necessary. For more inquiries, contact Hayley at ht@jmrl.org or call 979.7151 x4.


handheld devices.

January 14, 2016
5:00 pm

Come try out a variety of the latest mobile devices and eReaders to help you decide which to buy.

Brown Baggers Book Group

book coverTHE PAYING GUESTS by Sarah Waters

January 21, 2016
12:00 pm

Forced to take in lodgers in economically challenged 1922 South London, widow Mrs. Wray and her spinster daughter find their lives profoundly and disturbingly changed by the arrival of a modern young couple.
Check the Catalog arrow


mobile devices.

January 21, 2016
1:00 pm

Bring your devices and JMRL staff will show you how to download free books and magazines from resources like Zinio and OverDrive.


DOWNSIDE UP (2002) directed by Nancy Kelly

January 28, 2016
7:00 pm

"Downside UP" is about America's largest museum of contemporary art, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), which opened in 1999 in an enormous abandoned factory in the filmmaker's hometown, North Adams, Massachusetts.
more info

Brown Baggers Book Group -Celebrating Black History Month

book cover RADIANCE OF TOMORROW by Ishmael Beah

February 18, 2016
12:00 pm

In a parable about postwar life in Sierra Leone, two long-time friends return to their ruined home village and struggle to rebuild in the face of violence, scarcity, and a corrupt foreign mining company.
Check the Catalog arrow

DOCUMENTARY FILM SERIES - Celebrating Black History Month

DVD coverTHE COACHMAN (2014) written by Lorenzo William Dickerson, Angela Rae Smith, directed by Lorenzo William Dickerson

February 25, 2016
7:00 pm

with director Lorenzo Dickerson and local genealogy groups
"The Coachman" is a documentary short film about the life (1887 - 1946) of a local African-American domestic worker in Albemarle County, Virginia for one of the area's most distinguished estates. He came from slaves,
held a position of prestige, enjoyed love, and endured heartache and loss. He lived through Jim Crow, The Great Depression, Great Migration, WWI, and WWII. And though he died with a less than glamorous social status,
he built a family of people willing to work hard and strive for greater heights. This film is about researching the past and getting to know your ancestry. Better understand the sometimes difficult, yet rewarding life
of Warren Dickerson (The Coachman), and the legacy he left behind.
more info

Brown Baggers Book Group part of THE BIG READ

book coverTHE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER by Carson McCullers

March 10, 2016
12:00 pm

Please note: March 10th is the second Thursday of the month.
A quiet, sensitive girl searches for beauty in a small, but damned Southern town.
Check the Catalog arrow


MovieLOST AND SOUND (2012) directed by Lindsey Dryden

March 24, 2016
7:00 pm

Imagine waking up in the morning to find that the world sounds utterly different -- and music is suddenly unrecognisable. All the songs you loved and all the songs you've yet to discover are suddenly out of reach. Could you find a way to get music back again... and could music find you?
more info

Brown Baggers Book Group

book coverTHE NARROW ROAD TO THE DEEP NORTH by Richard Flanagan

April 21, 2016
12:00 pm

Haunted by the death of his wife while attending brutally sick and injured soldiers at a World War II Japanese POW camp, surgeon Dorrigo Evans receives a letter that irrevocably shapes the subsequent decades of his life in Australia.
Check the Catalog arrow

Celebrating National Poetry Month


April 21, 2016
7:00 pm

Celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day with an open mic poetry reading. Meet us beneath the towering oaks on the library steps to read a few of your favorite poems, or just come to listen. Original poems and old favorites are welcome. Winning entries of the Poetry Contest for Adults will be read aloud. Refreshments will be served.
br> Rain site: Children’s Room.

DOCUMENTARY FILM SERIES with Cville Jazz Society

MovieMARY LOU WILLIAMS: THE LADY WHO SWINGS THE BAND (2015) directed by Carol Bash

April 28, 2016
7:00 pm

A feature documentary on the life and music of this renowned jazz pianist, composer and arranger.
more info



May 04, 2016
7:00 pm

Learn how easy it is to add a little green to your indoor space with a terrarium. Please bring your own glass container. All other materials will be provided.
Required registration begins April 20. For more information call 979.7151 x4.

Writing Children’s Picture Books: A Workshop - in partnership with WriterHouse

May 10, 2016
6:30 pm

Children’s author Anne Marie Pace, author of the acclaimed Vampirina Ballerina series, will teach this workshop on writing picture books. Participants will explore elements of picture books, examine the relationship between text and image, and generate ideas to develop into polished drafts. Participants will receive a discount to a WriterHouse class. Required registration begins April 19.


MovieHARPER LEE: FROM MOCKINGBIRD TO WATCHMAN (2015) directed by Mary McDonagh Murphy

May 26, 2016
7:00 pm

Murphy's new film, Harper Lee: From Mockingbird to Watchman, sifts through the facts and speculation surrounding Lee and both her novels, and includes interviews with Lee's older sister, close friends, and admirers including Oprah Winfrey, Scott Turow, Anna Quindlen, Tom Brokaw, Wally Lamb and more.
more info

History of McIntire and Central Library

Albemarle Library Society
Charlottesville Public Library c. 1922

The first known library in downtown Charlottesville was created in 1823 by a group of citizens that included Thomas Jefferson. The “Albemarle Library Society” boasted an initial collection of 238 titles. This village library was located at “Number Nothing” in Court Square (a site now occupied by 224 Court Square). A public subscription library, the society was incorporated by the Virginia General Assembly and lasted at least until 1834. It was not until 1919 and the generosity of Paul Goodloe McIntire that a truly public library was formed. McIntire donated not only the land and the construction costs, but the furniture and the first 5,000 books for the new library as well. The cornerstone was laid in November, 1919, and the new “Charlottesville Public Library” opened its doors to the public on May 30, 1921.

The Regional Library Evolves

Original site of the library, now the Historical Society
Original site of the library, now the Historical Society

With the development of bookmobile service to Albemarle County in 1947, the name of the library was changed to the “Charlottesville-Albemarle Public Library”. In 1958, six years after the death of Mr. McIntire, the main library building and the system itself became known as the “McIntire Library.”

Additional branches in Scottsville, Crozet, and on Gordon Avenue in Charlottesville took some of the pressure off of the small McIntire Branch in the early 1960s, and, in 1972, with the addition of branches in Louisa and Nelson counties, the library system became the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library. Greene County joined the system in 1974.

Market St. Post Office Building
Market St. Post Office Building

In October 1977, the Market Street Post Office building was purchased by Charlottesville and Albemarle County. Under Director Christopher Devan, a 17-month renovation project took place. Total cost of the project reached $2.25 million. After moving the McIntire collection of 90,000 volumes into the building on Market Street, the new Central Library opened on February 2, 1981 to patrons eager for a larger facility. Along with administration and technical services, the third floor of the new building offered the community three meeting rooms, one of them dedicated to Mr. McIntire.

In May 1987, the Albemarle County Historical Society's Library and the Central Virginia Genealogical Association consolidated their resources with those of the Central Library and moved the newly formed Charlottesville-Albemarle Historical Collection to the mezzanine of the Central Library where it remained until 1994. That year, after extensive restoration and renovation, the Historical Collection moved out of the Central Library and into the former McIntire Library.

Beyond the Printed Page

In the late 80s, the Library Board and Director Bill Swinson had committed the library system to obtaining the benefits of emerging modern technology. By February 1989, under Director Donna Selle, the card catalogs at all branches were replaced with on-line computer catalogs for the public and JMRL fully implemented its automated circulation system.

In order to continue to integrate technology into the library system, the Central Library was again renovated in 1995. The opening of a public computer lab for internet access and the development and implementation of a community information network, Monticello Avenue, were initiated. The public lab currently houses many internet stations and access is also available in the Central Reference Department where extensive electronic resources complement the print and microform collections.

Current Director John Halliday oversees the entire JMRL system from his office on the third floor of the Central Library.