Gordon Avenue Library

Gordon LibraryHours
Monday: 9am - 9pm | Tuesday: 9am - 6pm
Wednesday: 12 -9pm | Thursday: 10am - 6pm
Friday - Saturday: 10am - 5pm
Sunday - Closed

Please Note: Library will be closed for renovations Feb. 29 - Mar. 1 and will reopen at the regular time on Wednesday, Mar. 2.

Phone: 434.296.5544
Fax: 434.295.8737
Email Us

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Programs for Adults


Meets at 10 am on the first and third Fridays of each month to discuss literary classics. The group meets from September to May. For further information, contact Eileen Stephens: emstephens@comcast.net Program listings are below.


This group meets at 7:30 pm, the second Wednesday of each month to share insights on a variety of classic and contemporary fiction. Program listings are below.




Thursdays at 2-3pm One-on-one tutorials offered once a week to answer your computer use questions and to learn how to use library resources to download eBooks, audiobooks, and magazines to your mobile devices. Call 434-296-5544 to sign up for a half-hour tutorial.


February 1-29 Looking for a great read? Stop by the display and pick out a book wrapped in plain paper with a few descriptive clues. Take the book home as your blind date.

Literary Masterpiece Book Group

ALL MY SONS by Arthur Miller

February 19, 2016
10:00 am

World War II is over and a family, mourning a son missing in action, plants a memorial tree and tries to go with their lives. A storm blows down the tree and a devastating family secret is uprooted, setting the characters on a terrifying journey towards truth. Check the Catalog arrow



February 24, 2016
7:00 pm

Screening of a popular film adaptation of a book on the 4th Wednesday of the month. Light refreshments are served.


coffee and cookies.

February 27, 2016
2:00 pm

Coloring is not just for kids. Grown ups can also have fun and relieve stress with coloring. Join children’s book illustrator, Chris Sesler, for an afternoon of coloring fun. Registration is required and begins February 6.

Library Closed For Renovation

The Gordon Avenue Branch will be closed February 29 - March 1 for renovations. The library will reopen at its regular time on Wednesday, March 2.


March 1 - 26 Create a piece of art that illustrates how you experience isolation, loneliness, or alienation from others, themes that appear in Carson McCullers’ The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. Pick up entry forms and guidelines at any branch or on the Big Read website. Co-sponsored by Charlottesville Pride Community Network. Winners will be announced and prizes awarded at the finale on April 3 at the Haven.


poetry. March 1 - March 31 Submit a poem for a chance to win a prize in this contest sponsored by JMRL in partnership with WriterHouse. Contest forms and guidelines will be available at all JMRL locations. Winning entries will be read at Poetry on the Steps on April 21st. Ages 18 and up.

Reading Poetry


March 02, 2016
7:00 pm

The Live Poets Society meets the first Wed of every month (except April & November) at 7pm. Come and share original poetry, or just listen. For more information, contact Tony Russell at 293.7838 or go to the society blog.

For DIY People


March 03, 2016
3:00 pm

If you're crafty, this is the group for you. Chat, snack, and meet your neighbors, as we knit, stitch, bead, and sew. Bring any project you're working on, or come just to be inspired. All ages and levels of experience welcome. Call or visit the library for details, or to be added to the handcraft email list.
Meets monthly on Thursdays.

Literary Masterpiece Book Group

book coverDEATH OF A SALESMAN by Arthur Miller

March 04, 2016
10:00 am

Willy Loman, the protagonist of Death of a Salesman, has spent his life following the American way, living out his belief in salesmanship as a way to reinvent himself. But somehow the riches and respect he covets have eluded him. At age 63, he searches for the moment his life took a wrong turn, the moment of betrayal that undermined his relationship with his wife and destroyed his relationship with Biff, the son in whom he invested his faith. Check the Catalog arrow

part of THE BIG READ


March 07, 2016
6:00 pm

Marianne Capone, Social Work Manager at UVA Health Systems will offer reflections on the novel and insight into the characters’ search for human connection and the connections we can forge in our community.


book coverTHE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER by Carson McCullers

March 09, 2016
7:30 pm

A quiet, sensitive girl searches for beauty in a small, but damned Southern town.
Check the Catalog arrow

part of THE BIG READ


March 17, 2016
8:00 pm

Please note location: Culbreth Theater

Authors Sara Farizan (Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel), Lamar Giles (Endangered), Meg Medina (Burn, Baby Burn), and Wendy Shang (The Way Home Looks Now) share stories featuring the wide diversity of American immigrant lives. Moderated by Gustavo Perez Firmat (Life on the Hyphen and A Cuban in Mayberry: Looking Back at America's Hometown). Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Literary Masterpiece Book Group

book coverKING LEAR by William Shakespeare

March 18, 2016
10:00 am

Describes the story of a powerful man's descent from the implied divinity of his noble state to a profound recognition of his human nature. Check the Catalog arrow

part of THE BIG READ


March 26, 2016
2:00 pm

Please note location: The Fralin Museum of Art
Saturday Special Tour for the Big Read with guest curator Stephen Margulies, who will explore connections between McCullers’ literary work and visual art, including vintage movie stills and lobby cards, portraits of McCullers, and the work of Southern photographers such as Sally Mann, Shelby Lee Adams, William Christenberry, and William Eggleston.


peeps.Get ready to create chapters of chicks. Books of bunnies. Get yourself a whole heap of Peeps marshmallows and create a depiction of a favorite scene or character from a book. Dioramas will be accepted and displayed in the library April 1-30; awards for all age levels and a special Peep Party on Wednesday, April 27. See library staff for more information.

Literary Masterpiece Book Group

"Shooting an Elephant" by George Orwell, "In What Way Princes Must Keep Faith" by Niccolo Machiavelli, and "The Guest" by Albert Camus.

April 01, 2016
10:00 am

Please note meeting will take place at the Northside Library.
A discussion of selected readings.


book coverNetherland by Joseph O’Neill

April 11, 2016
7:30 pm

Please note the change in date.
Abandoned amid the offbeat inhabitants of the Chelsea Hotel when his English wife and son return to London following September 11th, Hans, a banker originally from the Netherlands, struggles to find himself in his adopted country. Check the Catalog arrow

Literary Masterpiece Book Group

book coverENDURANCE by Alfred Lansing

April 15, 2016
10:00 am

A well-researched story brilliantly recounts how twenty-eight men battled against almost insuperable odds in 1914 to return to civilization after their ship Endurance sank near the South Pole. Check the Catalog arrow

Virginia Thompson Printmaking Workshop: Notecards


April 25, 2016
6:00 pm

Learn to create relief prints with carving tools and water-based inks. You’ll leave with your printing block and notecards with your print. All supplies provided, but bring images and sketches you like. Ages 14+
Registration is required and begins April 4 and is limited to 12 participants.

Literary Masterpiece Book Group


May 06, 2016
10:00 am

Set in an upstate New York convent in 1906, this novel depicts the drama of a seventeen-year-old postulant who discovers unexplainable wounds on her body that many believe are of miraculous origin. Check the Catalog arrow


May 07, 2016

The Library is joining Atlas Comics by handing out free comics at all branches. Stop by to see what's available -- while supplies last.


book cover THE BOYS IN THE BOAT Daniel Brown

May 11, 2016
7:30 pm

Traces the story of an American rowing team from the University of Washington that defeated elite rivals at Hitler's 1936 Berlin Olympics, sharing the experiences of such contributors as their enigmatic coach, a visionary boat builder and a homeless teen rower. Check the Catalog arrow

Window Stars Craft Workshop


May 16, 2016
7:00 pm

Learn how to fold colorful paper stars to display in windows. Ages 14 and up.
Registration is required and begins April 25.

Literary Masterpiece Book Group

"The Birthmark", "Ethan Brand", and "Artist of the Beautiful" by Nathaniel Hawthorne

May 20, 2016
10:00 am

Discussion of selected works by Nathaniel Hawthorne

History of Gordon Avenue

The Gordon Avenue Library opened for public service on November 19, 1966. It was the McIntire Library's first addition built expressly for library purposes since 1921. The construction was funded by the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County, which had been contributing to the operation of the Bookmobile since 1946 and had joined smaller branches in Scottsville (1960) and Crozet (1964) to the city's system.

At the time, this new branch was sorely needed to serve a growing population west of the city, to ease crowded conditions at the McIntire Library (which occupied the building now housing the Albemarle County Historical Society), and to provide a headquarters for the Bookmobile operations.

Gordon Avenue Library
Gordon Avenue Library

Designed by the architectural firm of J. Russell Bailey in Orange, Virginia, the two-story red-brick trim 12,384 square foot building was designed to hold 25,000 volumes (with an additional 10,000 in the Bookmobile "garage" downstairs), seated 38 in the Adult Room and 26 in the Children’s Room and boasted three public meeting rooms, seating 134 in all. The original architect’s rendering can be seen hanging on the wall behind the circulation desk.

The Perry Foundation donated the site. Forty-five percent of the construction costs or $120,262 was provided by Federal Library Aid through the Commonwealth. Charlottesville and Albemarle County appropriated $75,000 each. Additional funds were donated by individuals and groups, notably the America Association of University Women, who helped equip the meeting rooms, and the Friends of the Library who purchased a film projector and screen.

A Time of Growth and Change

Gordon Avenue interior
Gordon Avenue interior

When the Central Library opened in May 1981, Sunday hours were dropped at the branch, and budget cuts in 1982 made further cuts necessary. The book collection continued to grow, however, and by 1988 the library had squeezed in 54,000 volumes, twice its designed capacity. The South Room, one of the public meeting spaces, and the Bookmobile area were given to the Friends of the Library in 1984 for storage and sales space for their successful annual book sales. Gordon Avenue Library now serves as a donation center for the Friends of the Library in addition to hosting the book sales twice a year.

Gordon Avenue Children's program
Gordon Avenue Children's program

With the opening of the Northside Library in 1991, Gordon Avenue Library lost its role as the largest branch, but it retained its reputation as a welcoming, accessible neighborhood library. Programs for children are varied and well-attended, and the strong collection and flexibility of a smaller branch allow for innovative programming. As many as eight programs a week are offered for infants, preschoolers, school-age children and teens, including a drop-in storytime every Saturday morning. Adults, as well, enjoy a variety of programs such as book discussions, movies, and community groups for handcrafts or games.

Celebrating Almost 50 Years of Service to the Community

A bestseller collection to allow quick access to the most popular books; the African-American collection, named for Roland Beauford, an original staff member; and a well-appreciated jazz cd collection; are some of the successful offerings at Gordon Avenue Library. Now, the public computer workstations and public wireless access are used for everything from job searching to social media, educational research and communication.

 Gordon Avenue Library sits as an integral part of this vibrant neighborhood alive with preschools, Venable Elementary School, businesses, homes and the University. Filled with natural light and a cozy atmosphere, it is a place for students, families, retired people and anyone to stop and stay awhile, discovering favorites old and new.