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

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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: central@jmrl.org

After being shown, check the online catalog to borrow the film. Program listings are below.


On the third Tuesday of the month join Central Library’s newest monthly book group with a focus on African American authors. Refreshments will be provided. Sign up to be added to the book email list: tduck@jmrl.org

BOOK TASTING - Saturdays

Try it - you may like it! Ravenous readers - take a seat at designated book tasting tables where you will discover delicious new books you may enjoy. Feel free to check them out afterwards.


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

  • October: Magnets
  • November: Origami
  • December: Cards

JMRL Board Meeting

October 27, 2014
1:00 pm

The Board of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library usually meets the 4th Monday of every month. Some months this will change. The location is usually at the Central Library but the agenda (PDF) will show if the meeting is at a different location.


book coverAPPALACHIAN HEART by Lynn Coffey

November 01, 2014
2:30 pm

Enjoy light refreshments as authors discuss their works. Books will be available for purchase. No registration required.
LYNN COFFEY discusses her work recording the experiences of the mountain people of Love, Virginia and her latest book Appalachian Heart.
Check the Catalog arrow

First Fridays Art Exhibition

picture of cars.ON THE ROAD by Tom Tartaglino

November 07, 2014
5:00 pm

Central Library will host a First Fridays: “On the Road” art opening reception with an exhibition by local artist Tom Tartaglino The main and 3rd floors of the library will be open; light refreshments. The exhibit will be on display until 1/2/15. More information about the artist. .

Recycled Book Crafts - Decorative Wreaths

November 12, 2014
6:30 pm

Registration required. Call 434.979.7151 x4 to sign up.

Learn how to make a decorative wreath from recycled books. All supplies provided.

Cartooning in the Digital Age...with UNSHELVED Cartoonist Bill Barnes

Cartoonist, Bill Barnes

November 13, 2014
6:00 pm

Making comic strips...thanks to the Internet, it’s easier than ever to put your work in front of potential readers. Veteran cartoonist Bill Barnes (Unshelved, Not Invented Here) will show you how to make comic strips, publish them on the web, and maybe make some money too!

1st hour - The Basics of Cartooning: Covers the steps in creating a comic strip - creating memorable characters, writing dialog, lettering, penciling, inking, and coloring.
2nd hour - Technology and Business of Cartooning: Bill describes how he uses computers to create and publish comic strips to the Internet, and describes how he makes money doing it.

Black Authors Reading Group

book coverLITTLE GREEN by Walter Mosley

November 18, 2014
7:00 pm

Surviving a near-fatal car wreck and cruising the streets of the Sunset Strip during the heyday of the late 1960s, Easy Rawlins investigates the disappearance of a young African-American, a case that is complicated by Rawlins's changing perspectives. By the O. Henry Award-winning author of the Socrates Fortlow series.
Check the catalogbullet


November 19, 2014
6:00 pm

Come explore a world of creative writing with activities and prompts to get your creative juices flowing. Registration required. Please email ht@jmrl.org or call 434-979-7151 x4

Brown Baggers Book Group

book cover. THE GOOD LORD BIRD by James McBride

November 20, 2014
12:00 pm

Fleeing his violent master at the side of abolitionist John Brown at the height of the slavery debate in mid-nineteenth-century Kansas Territory, Henry pretends to be a girl to hide his identity throughout the raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859. Check the Catalog arrow

Recycled Book Crafts - Card-Making

December 03, 2014
6:30 pm

Registration required. Call 434.979.7151 x4 to sign up.

Make a variety of easy holiday cards using recycled book pages.


book coverTHE GIFT OF PETS by Bruce Coston

December 07, 2014
2:30 pm

Enjoy light refreshments as authors discuss their works. Books will be available for purchase. No registration required.
A veterinarian shares new stories from his Virginia country practice, recounting his interactions with such colorful patients as a remarkably friendly parrot, a lovable Bull Mastiff, and a rock-eating beagle shepherd mix.
Check the Catalog arrow


December 14, 2014
2:00 pm

Stop by anytime from 2-4 pm to make a variety of holiday crafts including ornaments, greeting cards, and more. No registration required, and open to ages 14+.

Brown Baggers Book Group

No December selection -- meet to pick titles for 2015.

December 18, 2014
12:00 pm

Brown Baggers Book Group

book cover. THE GOLDFINCH by Diana Tartt

January 15, 2015
12:00 pm

A young boy in New York City, Theo Decker, miraculously survives an accident that takes the life of his mother. Alone and abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by a friend's family and struggles to make sense of his new life. In the years that follow, he becomes entranced by one of the few things that reminds him of his mother: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the art underworld. Check the Catalog arrow

Black Authors Reading Group

book coverCONVERSATIONS WITH MYSELF by Nelson Mandela

January 20, 2015
7:00 pm

Draws on the author's personal archive of never-before-seen papers to offer unique access to the private world of the incomparable world leader, who worked from prison to end apartheid in South Africa.
Check the catalogbullet

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.