Scottsville Library

Scottsville LibraryHours:
Monday - Tuesday: 1 - 9pm
Wednesday - Saturday: 9am - 5pm
Sunday - Closed

Phone: 434.286.3541
Fax: 434.286.4744

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Programs for Adults




One-on-one tutorials can be provided on basic computer and word processing skills Tuesday evenings and Thursday afternoons. Participants must have a JMRL Library Card. Registration is required. Please call 434.286.3541 for more information.

Book Discussion Group



November 18, 2014
1:00 pm

The group meets the 3rd Tuesday of each month (January - November)to discuss recent books of interest rather than reading specific titles.

History of Scottsville Library

It Began With a Party

The dream of a circulating library in Scottsville reaches back to the turn of the twentieth century. On June 19, 1902, a library benefit was held in “Beal’s Hall.” Guests came dressed as storybook characters, and prizes were given to those who identified the most books and authors. Benefit proceeds became the seed money for a small lending library situated in an old school building at the corner of Main and Valley Streets.

Mrs. J.V. Pereira, the wife of a local banker, opened the library every Wednesday afternoon with the help of Miss Marietta Powers. In 1908, Mr. Pereira built a new bank across the street and the library moved into a room there.

When Mrs. Pereira left town, she gave the books to Miss Powers who moved the collection to a small building adjacent to the Methodist Church. Until her death in 1953, Miss Powers worked in the library without pay. She charged a five-cent fee for borrowing a book and used the money to buy new books.

With the death of Miss Powers, the 1,000 books of the library were purchased by local resident Grover Cleveland for $40. He donated the money to the Scottsville Volunteer Fire Department.

The Beginning of the Regional Library System

Although Scottsville was without a library building, the bookmobile came from McIntire Library in Charlottesville and parked two hours a week in front of the school. This cooperative venture of the two political systems of Charlottesville and Albemarle County marked the beginning of the regional library system.

By the late 1950’s many library patrons wanted expanded service and worked diligently towards opening a library in a former drugstore on Valley Street. The Scottsville Branch Library opened on June 4, 1959, with 1,500 donated books. There was a grand opening reception attended by several local writers.

Open for sixteen hours a week, the new library was governed by a local board, with rent of the building and the salary of the branch’s first librarian, Mrs. Brent Dorrier, paid by McIntire Library.

The new branch was a great success. The next six years saw circulation and bookstock grow dramatically and Mrs. Louise Philpott succeeded Mrs. Dorrier as librarian.

In a 1960 article from a church bulletin we read: “The New York Times Sunday Edition, The National Review, encyclopedias and other reference works are available for use in the library. New books are received each week from the main library and frequently from interested friends. It was noted recently that there were 12 of the 32 Bestsellers listed by the New York Times Book Reviews available.”

A New Building

A schoolhouse becomes a library
This schoolhouse becomes a library

In 1965, the library moved its collection of 5,000 books into a former two-room schoolhouse on the corner of Bird and Page Streets. Renovation of this delapidated building by the Fairhaven Garden Club, Uniroyal, Lions Club, Chamber of Commerce and other volunteers, according to Scottsville on the James by Virginia Moore, afforded local readers “a large pleasant room where the librarian, Mrs. Mary Stone, (branch head from 1966 - 1974) was ready to help any patron of any age who wanted to sit and read periodicals or check out books”.

For the next 15 years many improvements were made to the building, the collection grew to 13,000, and circulation rose to over 25,000 a year as the library became an increasingly important community resource for learning and recreation. In 1975, Mrs. Louise Holt became branch head.

Scottsville Library Rises From the Ashes

Disaster Strikes!
Disaster Strikes!

Then, disaster struck. In September 1980 the library was hit by lightning and almost totally destroyed by fire. Now the same community spirit which had helped Scottsville survive a number of serious James River floods surfaced as, within ten days, a small army of volunteers transformed an old cannery building across the street into a temporary library with donated books and the 1,700 books which could be salvaged from the damaged collection of 9,000.

In May of 1982, ground was broken for a new building at the site of the old one and on December 29, 1982, the current 3900 square foot brick colonial building opened, furnished with a collection of antique reproductions given to the McIntire library by Charlottesville philanthropist Paul Goodloe McIntire. In May, 1988, Mrs. Marianne Ramsden became branch head.

Scottsville Branch Today

Scottsville Branch Library, now open 48 hours a week with a staff of four, boasts a collection of more than 21,000 items and a circulation of approximately 7,000 items a month.