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.

Reading Poetry

LIVE POETS SOCIETY

March 04, 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

March 05, 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.

Literary Masterpiece Book Group

book coverAFTER MANY A SUMMER DIES THE SWAN by Aldous Huxley

March 06, 2015
10:00 am

A Hollywood millionaire with a terror of death, whose personal physician happens to be working on a theory of longevity-these are the elements of Aldous Huxley's caustic and entertaining satire on man's desire to live indefinitely. With his customary wit and intellectual sophistication, Huxley pursues his characters in their quest for the eternal, finishing on a note of horror. Check the Catalog arrow

Part of The Big Read

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

March 07, 2015
3:00 pm

Vasantha Reddi will share the importance of names and special traditions in India surrounding naming babies. Learn more about the relationship of official names and family names that is such an important theme in “The Namesake”.

Wednesday Evening Book Group - Part of The Big Read

book coverTHE NAMESAKE by Jhumpa Lahiri

March 11, 2015
7:30 pm

A portrait of the immigrant experience follows the Ganguli family from their traditional life in India through their arrival in Massachusetts in the late 1960s and their difficult melding into an American way of life.
Check the Catalog arrow

Literary Masterpiece Book Group

book coverWISE BLOOD by Flannery O’Connor

March 20, 2015
10:00 am

Meeting at the Central Library
The passengers on the train to Taulkinham show mixed reactions when Hazel Moses questions their belief in Jesus. Check the Catalog arrow

PEEPAPALOOZA

peeps.

April 01, 2015

Get 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. Call 434-296-5544 for more information.

Literary Masterpiece Book Group

book coverTHE OPTIMIST'S DAUGHTERby Eudora Welty

April 03, 2015
10:00 am

Laurel Hand is forced to face her Southern past when she returns to Mississippi for her father's funeral
Check the Catalog arrow
PLEASE NOTE: Due to renovations at Gordon Avenue, the group will meet in the Madison Room at the Central Library.
Future Readings:


  • April 17: short stories by Alice Munro. Readers' choice.
  • May 1: Tales of Genji. Meeting place TBA.
  • May 15: Tales of Genji

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.

Hypertufa Planters Craft Workshop

planters.

May 20, 2015
6:39 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.

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.