Central Library

Central Library Hours:
Monday - Thursday : 9am - 9pm
Friday - Saturday : 9am - 5pm
Sunday - 1pm - 5pm
(Closed Sundays Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day)

Phone: 434.979.7151
Fax: 434.971.7035
Email Us

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Art @ Central

Watercolors by Lee Alter on display (3rd floor) April 1-30, 2016.

Art. Alter
Art. Alter

Programs for Adults


Join a community discussion sparked by topics in these films, which cover challenges still faced within the black community today. Thirty minutes of discussion will follow the film screening. Refreshments will be available. titles, dates & times listed below.


The Reference staff will provide one-on-one tutorials on basic computer skills and online job searching and applications. Participants must get a JMRL Library Card. For an appointment call 979.7151 ext 4


Films are shown on the 4th Thursday of the month except for December. Come view and discuss documentary films on current issues. Light refreshments will be provided. Sign up to be added to the film email list: Email Us After being shown, check the online catalog to borrow the film. Program listings are below.


On the third Thursday of the month bring your lunch and discuss fiction and non-fiction books. Library staff will provide value-added content and lead the discussion. Drinks and desserts will be provided. Sign up to be added to the book email list: Email Us Program listings are below.


Enjoy crafts but short on time? Stop by the lower level of the Central Library for quick and easy projects to do at your own pace, or take them to go. Materials are provided. No registration required.

  • July: Paper Mosaic
  • August: Olympic Magnets


First Thursdays at 7pm May 5, June 2, July 7, August 4 Champion Brewing Company The group generally selects the next title at each meeting.

Spotlight on Sports with Jay James

August 03, 2016
6:30 pm

Just in time for the Olympics, come hear popular sports personality Jay James discuss the highlights and challenges of working in the sports media world. For all ages.

Harry Potter Film Series

harry potter.

August 04, 2016
2:00 pm

Celebrate the publication of the new Harry Potter book by watching some of the Harry Potter movies. For all ages.

  • July 21: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, PG, 2 hours 32 minutes
  • July 28: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, PG, 2 hours 41 minutes
  • August 4: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, PG, 2 hours 22 minutes
  • August 11: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, PG-13, 2 hours 37 minutes


    book cover

    August 04, 2016
    7:00 pm

    First Thursdays at 7pm at Champion Brewing Company
    BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME by Ta-Nehisi Coates
    Check the Catalog arrow

    Created Equal Film Discussion

    DVD cover Rosewood (1997)

    August 10, 2016
    5:00 pm

    A dramatization of a 1923 horrific racist lynch mob attack on an African American community.
    more info


    Second & Fourth Wednesdays* at 6pm

    • June 22
    • July 13
    • July 27
    • April 27
    • August 10
    • August 24
    Improve your writing with peer feedback. Participants will bring copies of work previously written to share with peers, and will help constructively critique others’ work as well. For more inquiries, contact Abby at acox@jmrl.org or call 979.7151 x4.

    Sports Trivia

    August 11, 2016
    6:30 pm

    Grab a team of 3-5 people and test your sports IQ. Prizes will be awarded to the top teams. For all ages. Team captains, please register starting July 28.

    Adult Coloring


    August 17, 2016
    6:00 pm

    Third Wednesdays at 6pm
    De-stress with a night of coloring with company. Coloring pages from books designed especially for adults as well as colored pencils, markers, and crayons will be provided.


    Third Wednesdays at 6pm

    • July 20
    • August 17
    Explore a world of creative writing with activities and prompts to get your creativity flowing. Feel free to share your work in this non­judgmental environment for writers of any level. For more inquiries, contact Abby at acox@jmrl.org or call 979.7151 x4. Registration requested.

    Brown Baggers Book Club

    book cover THE BOYS IN THE BOAT Daniel Brown

    August 18, 2016
    12:00 pm

    Traces the story of an American rowing team from the University of Washington that defeated elite rivals at Hitler's 1936 Berlin Olympics, sharing the experiences of such contributors as their enigmatic coach, a visionary boat builder and a homeless teen rower. Check the Catalog arrow

    Documentary Film Series

    DVD cover Speaking in Tongues (2009)

    August 25, 2016
    7:00 pm

    Four students become fluent in second languages while attending public school, with challenging and delightful results.
    more info


    book cover

    September 01, 2016
    7:00 pm

    First Thursdays at 7pm at Champion Brewing Company
    MOTHERING SUNDAY by Graham Swift
    Check the Catalog arrow


    book cover

    October 06, 2016
    7:00 pm

    First Thursdays at 7pm at Champion Brewing Company
    THE STRANGE LIBRARY by Haruki Murakami
    Check the Catalog arrow

    History of McIntire and Central Library

    Albemarle Library Society
    Charlottesville Public Library c. 1922

    The first known library in downtown Charlottesville was created in 1823 by a group of citizens that included Thomas Jefferson. The “Albemarle Library Society” boasted an initial collection of 238 titles. This village library was located at “Number Nothing” in Court Square (a site now occupied by 224 Court Square). A public subscription library, the society was incorporated by the Virginia General Assembly and lasted at least until 1834. It was not until 1919 and the generosity of Paul Goodloe McIntire that a truly public library was formed. McIntire donated not only the land and the construction costs, but the furniture and the first 5,000 books for the new library as well. The cornerstone was laid in November, 1919, and the new “Charlottesville Public Library” opened its doors to the public on May 30, 1921.

    The Regional Library Evolves

    Original site of the library, now the Historical Society
    Original site of the library, now the Historical Society

    With the development of bookmobile service to Albemarle County in 1947, the name of the library was changed to the “Charlottesville-Albemarle Public Library”. In 1958, six years after the death of Mr. McIntire, the main library building and the system itself became known as the “McIntire Library.”

    Additional branches in Scottsville, Crozet, and on Gordon Avenue in Charlottesville took some of the pressure off of the small McIntire Branch in the early 1960s, and, in 1972, with the addition of branches in Louisa and Nelson counties, the library system became the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library. Greene County joined the system in 1974.

    Market St. Post Office Building
    Market St. Post Office Building

    In October 1977, the Market Street Post Office building was purchased by Charlottesville and Albemarle County. Under Director Christopher Devan, a 17-month renovation project took place. Total cost of the project reached $2.25 million. After moving the McIntire collection of 90,000 volumes into the building on Market Street, the new Central Library opened on February 2, 1981 to patrons eager for a larger facility. Along with administration and technical services, the third floor of the new building offered the community three meeting rooms, one of them dedicated to Mr. McIntire.

    In May 1987, the Albemarle County Historical Society's Library and the Central Virginia Genealogical Association consolidated their resources with those of the Central Library and moved the newly formed Charlottesville-Albemarle Historical Collection to the mezzanine of the Central Library where it remained until 1994. That year, after extensive restoration and renovation, the Historical Collection moved out of the Central Library and into the former McIntire Library.

    Beyond the Printed Page

    In the late 80s, the Library Board and Director Bill Swinson had committed the library system to obtaining the benefits of emerging modern technology. By February 1989, under Director Donna Selle, the card catalogs at all branches were replaced with on-line computer catalogs for the public and JMRL fully implemented its automated circulation system.

    In order to continue to integrate technology into the library system, the Central Library was again renovated in 1995. The opening of a public computer lab for internet access and the development and implementation of a community information network, Monticello Avenue, were initiated. The public lab currently houses many internet stations and access is also available in the Central Reference Department where extensive electronic resources complement the print and microform collections.

    Current Director John Halliday oversees the entire JMRL system from his office on the third floor of the Central Library.