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

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

Art @ Central

February - March 2017: Photography exhibit, contemporary black–owned Charlottesville businesses by Lorenzo Dickerson.


Programs for Adults


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.

  • December: Paper Envelopes
  • January: Snowflake Button Bookmark
  • February: Paper Hearts
  • March: Fibonacci Coloring Sheets/Post Secret Post cards
  • April: Bookprint Concrete Poetry
  • May: Mazes

Central Film Series

MovieMY ARCHITECT (2003) directed by Nathaniel Kahn (BIG READ)

March 30, 2017
7:00 pm

Director Nathaniel Kahn searches to understand his father, noted architect Louis Kahn, who died bankrupt and alone in 1974.
more info

Tech Series

April 01, 2017
6:00 pm

Wednesdays,January 4th, February 1st, March 1st from 6-7pm and Saturday, April 1st from 1-2pm
Adults and teens 14+ learn about various technologies with John LeMasney, a Virginia based artist, designer, and photographer. Topics include: Making Photos Great for Free; Introduction to the Internet of Things and Home Ecosystems; Analytics or the Art of Discovering your Audience; and Design for the Non-Designer. For more inquiries contact Liz at erapp@jmrl.org or call 434.979.7151 x4.

Coding Club

April 06, 2017
6:00 pm

First and Third Thursdays 6-8pm
Adults and teens 14+ who need a workspace can come work on their computer programming projects at the library. They will need to bring their own computer. Open to all experience levels. Novice coders encouraged to attend.


book cover

April 06, 2017
7:00 pm

First Thursdays at 7pm at Champion Brewing Company
Check the Catalog arrow


FIRST FRIDAYS: Picturing Family: Community Photo Display

April 07, 2017
5:00 pm

I’ve Always Wanted to Read….War and Peace

book coverWAR AND PEACE by Leo Tolstoy

April 11, 2017
7:00 pm

Second Tuesdays at 7 pm
December 13, January 10, February 14, March 14, April 11, May 9, June13
Always wanted to read War and Peace, but feel a little intimidated? Join us for a leisurely paced exploration of the book with tea, pastries, and casual conversation interspersed with screenings of a film adaptation and Russian potluck deliciousness. Registration requested.


Second & Fourth Wednesdays* at 6pm

  • December 14
  • January 11 & 25
  • February 8 & 22
  • March 8 & 22
  • April 12 & 26
  • May 10 & 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.

3D Printing Workshop

April 12, 2017
6:30 pm

Curious about 3D printing and design? Come learn more by creating a simple design and printing it with staff assistance. Don’t want to design? Drop in to watch the printer in action. Ages 14+.
Registration required if you want to design and print, and begins March 29.


Third Wednesdays at 6pm

  • January 18
  • February 15
  • March 15
  • April 19
  • May 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.


book coverMORNINGS ON HORSEBACK by David McCullough

April 20, 2017
12:00 pm

Examines the life of Theodore Roosevelt from age ten to twenty-seven, focusing on the influence of his family relationships and experiences on his growth to manhood. Check the Catalogbullet

Celebrating National Poetry Month


April 20, 2017
7:00 pm

Celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day with an open mic poetry reading. Meet us beneath the towering oaks on the library steps to read a few of your favorite poems, or just come to listen. Original poems and old favorites are welcome. Winning entries of the Poetry Contest for Adults will be read aloud. Refreshments will be served.

Rain site: Children’s Room.

Central Film Series - Partnership with Cville Jazz

MovieNIGHTBIRD SONGS (2016) directed by Stephanie J. Castillo

April 27, 2017
7:00 pm

Thomas Chapin, an alto sax and flute master, was nearing the pinnacle of his meteoric rise when leukemia took him at the age of 40 in 1998. Though fame and world recognition have eluded him despite the mark he left on jazz in the '80s and '90s, his passionate life and incandescent music are unforgettable to fans who knew him and musicians who played with him. more info

LIBRARY CLOSED for Staff Training

training graphic. Branch Staff Training Day

May 03, 2017

Central Library will be closed on Wednesday, May 3rd for staff training. Central Library will resume its regular schedule on Thursday, May 4th. For assistance, call any other branch of JMRL.


picture.Art by Sara Gondwe

May 05, 2017
5:00 pm

On display on the third floor May 2017. Art by award winning artist, Sara Gondwe. A mixed media artist, Gondwe, shaves crayons onto a 2' x 3' canvas and uses a household iron to melt, combine and shape the colors into a design. The side of the iron becomes her brush. Bright colors, along with a 3-D effect culminate in a work of art. Refreshments will be served.

Free Comic Book Day

May 06, 2017

Once again, the Library is partnering with Atlas Comics by handing out free comics. Stop by to see what’s available -- while supplies last.
All ages.

Charlottesville’s Inaugural How-To Festival

May 06, 2017
10:00 am

There's something for everyone in this fast-paced interactive library takeover event! Drop in to any 15-30 minute session and learn about a variety of topics, from how to raise chickens in the city or brew a perfect cup of coffee to how to prepare for a zombie invasion or learn computer coding. See JMRL's 3D printer in action and pick up a free comic book while you're here. 10 AM - 2 PM.

Find the Voice in Your Memoir

May 11, 2017
6:00 pm

A memoir tells a piece of your personal story. In this workshop, professional writer and educator Linda Kobert uses writing exercises and readings to help participants find the right voice to tell their own story.
Registration is required and begins April 27.


book coverOLD FILTH by Jane Gardam

May 18, 2017
12:00 pm

Sir Edward Feathers has progressed from struggling young barrister to wealthy expatriate lawyer to distinguished retired judge, living out his last days in comfortable seclusion in Dorset. The engrossing and moving account of his life, from birth in colonial Malaya, to Wales, where he is sent as a "Raj orphan," to Oxford, his career and marriage, parallels much of the 20th century's torrid and twisted history. Check the Catalogbullet

Central Film Series

filmBIRDERS: THE CENTRAL PARK EFFECT (2012) directed by Jeffrey Kimball

May 25, 2017
7:00 pm

A diverse group of full-of-attitude New Yorkers reveals how a hidden world of beautiful wild birds in the middle of Manhattan has upended and magically transformed their lives.
more info

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.