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
gordon@jmrl.org

Jump to: Adult Programs | Kids Programs | Teen Programs | Volunteer!

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.

Want to see what has already been read? Try Searching the calendar.

JOB SEARCH HELP

Sponsored by the Virginia Employment Commission. Make an appointment to meet with a VEC staff member at the Gordon Avenue Library for one-on-one job search assistance. Get help with searching for jobs, writing your resume, interview skills, and more. Contact Ed Stone at 434-984-9928 or george.stone@vec.virginia.gov to set up an appointment.

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.

Want to see what has already been read? Try Searching the calendar.

For DIY People

handcraftHANDCRAFT GROUP

May 01, 2014
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 cover OUT STEALING HORSES by Per Petterson

May 02, 2014
10:00 am

After a meeting with his only neighbor, sixty-seven-year-old Trond is forced to reflect upon a long-ago incident that marks the beginning of a series of losses for Trond and his childhood friend, Jon. Check the Catalog arrow

Future Readings:

Reading Poetry

LIVE POETS SOCIETY

May 07, 2014
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.

Wednesday Evening Book Group

book coverFRANCHISE AFFAIR by Josephine Tey

May 14, 2014
7:30 pm

Robert Blair was about to knock off from a slow day at his law firm when the phone rang. It was Marion Sharpe on the line, a local woman of quiet disposition who lived with her mother at their decrepit country house, The Franchise. It appeared that she was in some serious trouble: Miss Sharpe and her mother were accused of brutally kidnapping a demure young woman named Betty Kane.

Future Readings:

Film Adaptations of a Book

pagescreenPAGE TO SCREEN MOVIE NIGHT

May 28, 2014
7:00 pm

A monthly film series which presents a screening of a popular film adaptation of a book, along with light refreshments. Call or visit the Library for details, or to be added to the film email list.
Meets monthly on Wednesdays but no meeting in November and December.

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.