Northside Library

Northside LibraryHours:
Monday - Tuesday: 12 - 9pm
Wed: 10am-9pm | Thurs: 10am-6pm
Friday - Saturday: 10am - 5pm
Sunday: closed

Phone: 434. 973.7893
Fax: 434.973.5876

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

Programs for Adults

Planning for the New Northside Library

Information on Northside Library Project


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.


A program consisting of a variety of craft and informational programs. Funded by the Friends of the Library. Program listings are below.


Learn how to use computers and navigate the Internet. Library staff will give FREE tutorials. more info

Wednesday Evening Book Group

April 16, 2014
7:00 pm

Group will meet to choose titles for 2014. Visit Information Desk or call the Library (973.7893) for more information.

Future Readings:
May 21: SWEET TOOTH by Ian McEwan

Books Sandwiched In


April 18, 2014
12:00 pm

Traces the history of the relationship between America and China back to its earliest days, when the United States traded with China for furs, opium and rare sea cucumbers, but left an ecological and human rights disaster that still reverberates today.Reviewed by Ronald Dimberg, Associate Professor of History Emeritus, UVa
Check the catalog arrow

Poem in Your Pocket Day

April 24, 2014

No registration require
Pick a gift-wrapped poem for your pocket. Unwrap it and read it to your mom, your little brother, or a librarian - or keep it in your pocket for a rainy day.

Yoga Mondays

April 28, 2014
1:30 pm

Kris Onuf, certified yoga instructor, offers free yoga instruction on Mondays, 1:30-3:00 PM. No experience necessary. Wear loose, comfortable clothing, and don't eat a heavy meal before class. You can bring your own mat, but that's not required. Call to register - 973-7893.

@ Your Library

Inedible Jewelry

April 30, 2014
6:30 pm

Registration begins April 9.
Polymer clay artisan Jessica Partain will help you create inedibly delicious spring cupcake charms.  This is a joint teen/adult program. Class size is limited.  

Tech Tutors


May 06, 2014
1:00 pm

Trevor Williams from Cville Tech Tutors leads a technology program on the first Tuesday of each month.
Topic for May: Media Basics
Learn how to access books, music, and movies with your iPhone and
iPad. Class size is limited. Register at the Information Desk or call the Library (973.7893).

Books Sandwiched In

ONE SUMMER, AMERICA 1927 by Bill Bryson

May 16, 2014
12:00 pm

he award-winning author of A Short History of Nearly Everything recounts the story of a pivotal cultural year in the United States when mainstream pursuits and historical events were marked by contributions by such figures as Charles Lindbergh, Babe Ruth and Al Capone.

Wednesday Evening Book Group

book coverSWEET TOOTH by Ian McEwan

May 21, 2014
7:00 pm

Recruited into MI5 against a backdrop of the Cold War in 1972, Cambridge student Serena Frome, a compulsive reader, is assigned to infiltrate the literary circle of a promising young writer whose politics align with those of the government.Check the Catalog arrow

History of Northside Library

A New Branch for Northern Albemarle

Northside Library
Northside Library

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.

Northside had arrived

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, No Hitch

Opening Day
Opening Day

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.