Come to the library to sign up - it's free! Each week, stop by the library and let us know what you've been reading. For each book you read, you will be entered into the weekly drawing for fun prizes, and will also be eligible for the end-of-the-summer drawing for a grand prize.
Learn how to use computers and navigate the Internet. Library staff will give FREE tutorials. more info
A program consisting of a variety of craft and informational programs. Funded by the Friends of the Library. Program listings are below.
This group meets the third Wednesday of each month (not December), 7:00 to 8:30 pm. Program listings are below.
Want to see what has already been read? Try Searching the calendar.
Third Fridays (lunchtime 12-1 pm) Sponsored by the Friends of the Library, this is a series of presentations of books reviewed by noted local people. Why not bring a sandwich and join us? All programs are free and open to the public. For more information about the books and their reviewers, call 973-7893. Program listings are below.
Meets January-May and September-November. Want to see what has already been read? Try Searching the calendar.
June 05, 2013
Registration begins May 15.
Do you want to get ideas for a future trip or just enjoy some armchair travel? Join representatives from AAA Travel to learn more about the cultural journey of a river cruise.
June 19, 2013
Internationally acclaimed, Fahrenheit 451 is Ray Bradbury's classic novel of censorship and defiance, as resonant today as it was when it was first published nearly 50 years ago. Check the Catalog
July 10, 2013
Registration begins June 19.
Estra Roell, a Life Purpose Coach, will present a one-hour overview of 7 steps to raise your happiness "set point," generating happiness from within rather than on outside circumstances.
July 17, 2013
The author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Breathing Lessons tells the story of Baltimore's Barnaby Gaitlin, a furniture mover with a history of misdemeanors and a fair-weather girlfriend. Check the Catalog
August 07, 2013
Registration begins July 17. Class size limited.
Collage artist Pat Leavitt will teach you how to alter a book and then embellish it with paints, collage, fabric, etc. to create your own piece of book art.
It cost a cool million to renovate and equip the 15,500-square-foot space that once housed a Drug Fair discount pharmacy in the heart of the Albemarle Square Shopping Center. The renovation itself came to a mere $210,000. It was the computer system, the subscriptions to 130 magazines and newspapers, the innovative yet comfortable chairs and furnishings and, oh yes, the books that made the difference. When Jefferson-Madison Regional Library’s largest and busiest branch first opened its doors to the public on December 14, 1991, the opening day collection was half a million dollars worth of 24,722 volumes, 14,000 of them children’s books. Nearly all the books were new, in pristine condition. The Friends of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library had donated 1,400 items. An additional 6,000 volumes followed over the next six months. Despite these numbers, there was no escaping the obvious: the shelves looked bare. It would take a long time to reach Northside's capacity, intended to hold close to 100,000 volumes. Of course, of no small contribution to the bareness of the shelves was the curious phenomenon observed by the ever alert library staff. From day one, people kept coming in to check out books. A lot of books. 1,319 volumes in five hours went out the first day, with 57 new patrons registered. By the end of the month, 9,421 books had circulated and a record 400 new registrations had been added. The following month 21,299 volumes went on loan.
The plans had long been in the making for establishing a branch in northern Albemarle to meet the needs of the county’s fastest growing communities. The County Board of Supervisors awarded both capital and operating funds to open the new branch, but first someone would have to design and build it. In February 1991, the library board and Albemarle County secured local architect Peter L. Sheeran. He oversaw the development of the building program, from the renovations and modifications to the selections of interior furnishings. Working closely with the contractor, Aerowood Construction of Remington, Virginia, and with senior library staff, Mr. Sheeran created Northside’s open design, an arrangement that heightened public accessibility to the collection while allowing for easy supervision and maintenance. The design also allowed for flexibility, anticipating the many changes in Northside’s services that have occurred and will continue to occur in future years. Among many special features were Northside’s area for young adults (with chairs that rock back—chairs that are supposed to rock back), the sunny reading area for current periodicals and newspapers, and the large meeting room curved toward a dais, easily converted to a lecture hall.
Renovation costs eventually totaled $210,000. Albemarle Square, recognizing a good investment, contributed over $100,000. Grants from the Charlottesville/Albemarle Foundation and the Friends of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library augmented the furnishings’ budget of another $100,000. The strong economy and generous gifts from several donor organizations and individuals afforded the library’s dollars the ability to extend much further than anticipated at the onset of the project. In addition, the Northside Boosters formed that year to support the development of the branch in affiliation with the Friends of the Library. Many volunteers helped raise money, increased interest in the branch, and contributed time to open the library...time spent right up to midnight December 13, shelving books and arranging furniture.
Opening day went off without a hitch, beginning with a dedication ceremony starting at 11:00 a.m. and lasting about 25 minutes. Gary O’Connell, representing the library board, and Frederick R. Bowie, then Chairman of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors, spoke before the ribbon was cut, but unfortunately, not before patrons were already lining up to have their books checked out!! Nevertheless, everything went smoothly—if you don’t count the plumbing in the Women’s Restroom that suddenly broke down two hours after the library opened. Ah, but the reception was elegant, and in the afternoon there were programs of music and dance. Folk musicians Pete and Ellen Vigour entertained children and adults alike, as did a local troupe, Chihamba of Dancescape, who performed West African drumming and dance. Then at 5:00 p.m., the door to the delivery dock in the back of the building refused to close, much to the entertainment of no one, least of all library staff who had to stay behind long after closing, waiting for a repairmen. Still you can’t have an Opening without breaking eggs, or something like that. Yes, it all came off without a hitch.
Today Northside Library remains a vital part of Charlottesville and Albemarle County. Almost a third of the branch’s patrons are city residents, and the popularity of the branch has attracted many other businesses to Albemarle Square to serve a burgeoning population. As the library system as a whole gears up for more Internet-based services, Northside stands ready and able to meet the exciting challenges of the future.