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

LITERARY MASTERPIECE BOOK GROUP

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.

WEDNESDAY EVENING BOOK GROUP

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.

PAGE TO SCREEN MOVIE NIGHT

pagescreen

April 22, 2015
7:00 pm

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

Celebrating National Poetry Month

poem in pocket logo.Poem In Your Pocket Day

April 30, 2015

Stop by the library today and pick out a gift-wrapped poem to carry in your pocket. Unwrap it and read it to yourself, share it with someone close, or just tuck it in your pocket for a rainy day.

Literary Masterpiece Book Group

book coverTALE OF GENJI by Murasaki Shikibu

May 01, 2015
10:00 am

The classical novel of court life in tenth and eleventh-century Japan centers on the life and loves of a nobleman known as the shining Genji, son of an emperor, and those of Kaoru, grandson of Genji's best friend.
May 1st meeting place TBA.
Check the Catalog arrow

Free Comic Book Day

May 02, 2015
10:00 am

The Library is joining Atlas Comics to celebrate Free Comic Book Day. Stop in to get your free comic book...while supplies last.

Reading Poetry

LIVE POETS SOCIETY

May 06, 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.

For DIY People

handcraftHANDCRAFT GROUP

May 07, 2015
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.

Wednesday Evening Book Group

book coverTHE KEEP by Jennifer Egan

May 13, 2015
7:30 pm

Two decades after taking part in a childhood prank whose devastating repercussions changed their lives forever, two cousins are reunited to work on the renovation of a medieval castle in Eastern Europe, a remote, eerie site profoundly influenced by its bloody past, where the two are cut off from the outside world and doomed to reenact the horrific event from their past.
Check the Catalog arrow

Hypertufa Planters Craft Workshop

planters.

May 20, 2015
6:30 pm

Make hypertufa planters that will look great in your garden. All supplies are provided. Dress to get messy. Ages 14 and up.
Class size is limited.
Registration begins April 29. Call 434-296-5544.

Wednesday Evening Book Group

book coverTHE SECRET SCRIPTURE by Sebastian Barry

June 10, 2015
7:30 pm

Recording the events of her life from a mental hospital as her hundredth birthday approaches, Roseanne McNulty considers returning to society when she learns that the hospital is about to close, but her situation is complicated by the possibility that Roseanne remembers her life quite differently from what is documented in her patient records.Check the Catalog arrow

Wednesday Evening Book Group

book coverTHE BEEKEEPER'S APPRENTICE by Laurie King

July 08, 2015
7:30 pm

In 1915, Sherlock Holmes is retired and quietly engaged in the study of honeybees in Sussex when a young woman literally stumbles onto him on the Sussex Downs. Fifteen years old, gawky, egotistical, and recently orphaned, the young Mary Russell displays an intellect to impress even Sherlock Holmes. Under his reluctant tutelage, this very modern, twentieth-century woman proves a deft protégée and a fitting partner for the Victorian detective.
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Wednesday Evening Book Group

book coverTHE MEMORY OF RUNNING by Ron McLarty

August 12, 2015
7:30 pm

Working as a quality control inspector at a toy factory in Rhode Island, friendless alcoholic Smithy Ide considers himself a loser until a tragic event prompts him to set off on an epic cross-country bicycle journey that promises him a final chance to become the man he has always wanted to be.
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 major addition built expressly for library purposes since 1921. The construction was funded jointly 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.

The Seventies & Eighties: A Time of Growth

Gordon Avenue interior
Gordon Avenue interior

During its first full year of operation, Gordon Avenue was open for 48 hours per week and circulated 49,748 volumes. The staff of five included three professionals, a library clerk and a janitor. The branch experienced remarkable growth in the 1970’s. By 1975, Gordon Avenue offered 73 hours of service a week (5 hours on Sunday).

When the new 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, and had to reduce seating by a third. 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 remarkably successful annual book sales. Gordon Avenue Library now serves as a donation center for Friends of the Library in addition to hosting the book sales twice a year.

The Nineties and Beyond

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 has retained its reputation as a welcoming, accessible neighborhood library. Programs for children are varied and well-attended, and the strong collection and relative 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, can enjoy a variety of programs such as book discussions, movies, and community groups for handcrafts or games. Library staff offers instruction for all ages in basic computing and navigating library resources such as databases and downloadable eBooks and audiobooks.

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 varied and well-appreciated jazz cd collection; are some of the (more) successful unique offerings at Gordon Avenue Library. Now, the eight public computer workstations and public wireless access are used for everything from job searching to social media, educational research and communication.

In 2012, Gordon Avenue Library houses a collection of over 69,000 items and circulates over 15,000 items in an average month. Presently, five full-time and two part-time staff members serve the public for 52 hours per week. 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.