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 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


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.

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


May 27, 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.

Documentary Film Series

MovieMAIDENTRIP (2013) directed by Jillian Schlesinger

May 28, 2015
7:00 pm

14-year-old Laura Dekker sets out on a two-year voyage in pursuit of her dream to become the youngest person ever to sail around the world alone. more info

First Fridays Art Exhibition

picture. Works by Blue Ridge Young Birderís Club

June 05, 2015
5:30 pm

Come see a bird photography exhibit by the Blue Ridge Young Birderís Club. On display on the 3rd floor through June and July.


logo for summer reading clubSUMMER READING KICK-OFF PARTY

June 06, 2015
10:00 am

Celebrate the sweet start of summer fun at Central Libraryís annual street party on 2nd St. by Lee Park. Sign up for the Summer Reading Club of choice: adults, teens or kids, and hangout for the fun! Special music provided by the Charlottesville Municipal Bandís Rivanna Dixieland Band.

Craft Program

wreath.Red, Wreath, and Blue Workshop

June 10, 2015
6:30 pm

Learn to make a variety of paper shapes to create a patriotic wreath or decorative star.
Ages 14+.
Required registration begins May 27.

Special Program at Carver Recreation Center

dancers.Swing, Swing, Swing Dance

June 11, 2015
6:30 pm

Location: Carver Recreation Center
Slap some waders on your stems and letís go swing. Start with an hour-long dance lesson followed by an hour of free dance. Mike Herring will lead. He has been a tap, jazz, and swing dancer for over 20 years, teaches at the Wilson School of Dance and helps to run SwingCville, a local swing dance organization.

Special Program at Tin Whistle Irish Pub

logo.Bloomsday Celebration

June 16, 2015
4:00 pm

Location: Tin Whistle Irish Pub, 609 E. Market St.
Join JMRL staff and local Irish literature lovers for this worldwide annual commemoration and celebration of the life of Irish writer James Joyce. Dramatic readings, dance, frivolity and music.
(2 hr. free parking in the Market St. garage.)

Black Authors Reading Group

book coverWHITE TEETH by Zadie Smith

June 16, 2015
7:00 pm

Set in post-war London, this novel of the racial, political, and social upheaval of the last half-century follows two families--the Joneses and the Iqbals, both outsiders from within the former British empire--as they make their way in modern England.
Check the Catalog arrow


June 17, 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.

Brown Baggers Book Group

book coverWE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart

June 18, 2015
12:00 pm

Spending the summers on her family's private island off the coast of Massachusetts with her cousins and a special boy named Gat, teenaged Cadence struggles to remember what happened during her fifteenth summer. Check the Catalog arrow
Future Readings:

Special Program

logo.Juneteenth Celebration

June 18, 2015
7:00 pm

Juneteenth is the oldest known commemoration of the end of slavery. Join storyteller Page Hill for an evening of call and response, interactive participation and collaborative art celebrating freedom.
No registration required; best for families with children 5 and over.

Documentary Film Series

MovieFREEDOM SUMMER (2014) directed by Stanley Nelson

June 25, 2015
6:30 pm

A look back at the summer of 1964, when more than 700 student activists took segregated Mississippi by storm, registering voters, creating freedom schools and establishing the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.
more info

In Partnership with Alliance FranÁaise de Charlottesville

MovieLES CHORISTES (2004) Directed by Christophe Barratier

June 30, 2015
6:30 pm

The new teacher at a severely administered boys' boarding school works to positively affect the students' lives through music. (in French, with English subtitles)
more info

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.

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.

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

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

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.