Gordon Avenue Library

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

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.



November 30, 2015
6:30 pm

Laurie Blakey, co-owner/operator of Pearl’s Bake Shoppe on West Main Street, will teach you to create your own confectionary holiday treats. Ages 14+.
Registration begins November 9.

Reading Poetry


December 02, 2015
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.

Literary Masterpiece Book Group

book coverOSCAR AND LUCINDA by Peter Carey

December 04, 2015
10:00 am

Set in nineteenth-century Australia, the story of an unlikely romance between a rebellious Anglican priest and a teenaged heiress who buys a glass factory. Check the Catalog arrow

Wednesday Evening Book Group

book coverTHE BLUEST EYE by Toni Morrison

December 09, 2015
7:30 pm

The story of Pecola Breedlove profiles an eleven-year-old Black girl growing up in an America that values blue-eyed blondes and the tragedy that results from her longing to be accepted. Check the Catalog arrow



December 16, 2015
7:00 pm

Screening of a popular film adaptation of a book on the 4th Wednesday of the month. Light refreshments are served.
December 16: Travels With My Aunt

Literary Masterpiece Book Group

book coverTHE TRUMPET OF THE SWAN by E. B. White

December 18, 2015
10:00 am

Louis, a voiceless Trumpeter swan, finds himself far from his wilderness home when he determines to communicate by learning to play a stolen trumpet. Check the Catalog arrow


game piece

December 21, 2015
6:30 pm

Pathfinder RPG (Role Playing Game) puts you in the role of a brave adventurer fighting to survive in a world beset by magic and evil. Discover a new gaming experience. For all skill levels. Materials and snacks will be provided.
Required registration begins September 7. Limit: 6 participants.


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

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.