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.


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.


On the third Tuesday of the month join Central Libraryís newest monthly book group with a focus on African American authors. Refreshments will be provided. Sign up to be added to the book email list: Email Tiffany


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.

  • April: Collage Poetry
  • May: Blackout Comics
  • June: Coloring Mandalas
  • July: Button Bookmarks
  • August: Flower Notecard


July 08, 2015
6:00 pm

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 ht@jmrl.org or call 979.7151 x4.

Craft Program

jar.Mason Jar Herb Garden Workshop

July 08, 2015
7:00 pm

Come get your hands dirty planting a small container garden of herbs. All supplies will be provided, but extras are welcome. Ages 14+.
Required registration begins June 24.

Game Night

Music Trivia Night

July 09, 2015
7:00 pm

Grab a team of 3-5 people and test your musical IQ. Prizes will be awarded to the top teams. No singing ability required. All ages.
Team captains, please register starting June 25.

Music on the Steps

Let the band play on graphic.

July 10, 2015
12:00 pm

Lunch to the rhythm as ensembles from the Charlottesville Municipal Band and other local groups serenade you while you munch.
Alternate location: McIntire Room.
No registration required.


July 15, 2015
6:00 pm

Come 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. *See information about registration required July 15th Write Your Personal Story memoir workshop. Registration requested: please e-mail ht@jmrl.org or call 979.7151 x4.

Memoir Workshop

Write Your Personal Story

July 15, 2015
6:00 pm

Join writer and educator Linda Kobert to learn how to write your own personal story in this engaging and constructive writing workshop. Please bring a photo of you and/or your family that evokes a meaningful experience. This is a special session of JMRLís Central Library Creative Writing Group.
Required registration begins June 24. Limit: 20 participants.

Brown Baggers Book Group

book coverTHANK YOU, JEEVES by P.G. Wodehouse

July 16, 2015
12:00 pm

Bertie Wooster attempts to solve his personal problems on his own, but at last is forced to turn to his butler, Jeeves, for help. Check the Catalog arrow

Film Program

filmA Birderís Guide to Everything (2013) directed by Rob Meyer

July 16, 2015
7:00 pm

David Portnoy, a 15-year-old birding fanatic, thinks that he's made the discovery of a lifetime. So, on the eve of his father's remarriage, he escapes on an epic road trip with his best friends to solidify their place in birding history.
more info

Black Authors Reading Group

book coverSONG OF SOLOMON by Toni Morrison

July 21, 2015
7:00 pm

Macon Dead, Jr., called Milkman, son of the richest Negro in town, moves from childhood into early manhood, searching, among the disparate, mysterious members of his family, for his life and reality.
Check the Catalog arrow

Craft Program

necklace.Beach Glass Pendant Workshop

August 05, 2015
6:30 pm

Create a gorgeous pendant with beach glass and wire wrapping. Use on a necklace for a summer look, or create a set of wine charms - itís up to you. All materials will be provided. Ages 14+.
Required registration begins July 22.

Black Authors Reading Group

book coverTHE NEW JIM CROW by Michelle Alexander

August 18, 2015
7:00 pm

Argues that the War on Drugs and policies that deny convicted felons equal access to employment, housing, education, and public benefits create a permanent under caste based largely on race.
Check the Catalog arrow

Brown Baggers Book Group

book coverUNBROKEN by Laura Hillenbrand

August 20, 2015
12:00 pm

A captivating young adult edition of the award-winning #1 New York Times best-seller documents the inspirational true story of how Louis Zamperini, a juvenile delinquent-turned-Olympic athlete and World War II pilot, crashed into the ocean and survived for weeks on a life raft only to become a prisoner of war. Check the Catalog arrow

Documentary Film Series

MovieFED UP (2014) directed by Stephanie Soechtig

August 27, 2015
7:00 pm

An examination of America's obesity epidemic and the food industry's role in aggravating it.
more info

Brown Baggers Book Group

book coverTHE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE by Neil Gaiman

September 17, 2015
12:00 pm

Presents a modern fantasy about fear, love, magic, and sacrifice in the story of a family at the mercy of dark forces, whose only defense is the three women who live on a farm at the end of the lane Check the Catalog arrow

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.