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

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 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: Email Tiffany


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.


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.

  • February: Valentines
  • March: Mehndi (part of the BIG READ)
  • April: Collage Poetry
  • May: Blackout Comics

Black Authors Reading Group

book coverJUNETEENTH by Ralph Ellison

April 21, 2015
7:00 pm

Shot on the Senate floor by a young black man, a dying racist senator summons an elderly black Baptist minister from Oklahoma to his side for a remarkable dialogue that reveals the deeply buried secrets of their shared past and the tragedy that reunites them. Check the Catalog arrow


April 22, 2015
6:00 pm

Improve your writing by getting feedback from your peers. Participants will bring copies of work previously written to share with peers, and will help constructively critique others work as well. No registration necessary. For more inquiries, contact ht@jmrl.org or call 979.7151 x4.

Documentary Film Series - in partnership with Cville Jazz Society & Cville NOW

MovieTHE GIRLS IN THE BAND (2011) directed by Judy Chaikin

April 23, 2015
7:00 pm

The untold stories of female jazz and big band instrumentalists and their journeys from the late 1930's to the present day.more info

Hypertufa Planters Craft Workshop


April 29, 2015
6:30 pm

Make hypertufa planters that will look great in your garden. All supplies are provided. Dress to get messy. Ages 14 and up.
Class size is limited.
Registration begins April 15. Call 434-979-7151 ext 4.

Celebrating National Poetry Month

poem in pocket logoPoem In Your Pocket Day

April 30, 2015

Stop by the library today and pick out a gift-wrapped poem to carry in your pocket. Unwrap it and read it to yourself, share it with someone close, or just tuck it in your pocket for a rainy day.

Celebrating National Poetry Month


April 30, 2015
7:00 pm

Celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day with an open mic poetry reading. Meet us under the spreading oaks on the Central Library steps to read a few of your favorite poems, or just come to listen. Original poems and old favorites are welcome. Refreshments will be served.
No registration required.
Sign-up to read begins at 7 pm and will be ongoing throughout the evening.
Rain site: Children’s Room.

Book Buffet - Free Comic Book Day Edition

May 02, 2015
9:00 am

Try it - you might like it. Ravenous readers, take a seat at designated Book Tasting tables, where you will discover delicious new books you may enjoy. In honor of Free Comic Book Day, the menu will feature graphic novels and other illustrated books. Check out your favorites, and then stop by the Children’s Department or the Reference Department for your free comic book…while supplies last. No reservations required, just an appetite for good books. All ages.

Window Stars Craft Workshop


May 06, 2015
6:30 pm

Learn how to fold colorful paper stars to display in the window. All supplies are provided. Ages 14 and up. Class size is limited. Registration begins April 22nd. Call 434-979-7151 ext 4.

Black Authors Reading Group

book coverBOY, SNOW, BIRD by Helen Oyeyemi

May 19, 2015
7:00 pm

A modern reimagining of the Snow White fairy tale follows the experiences of a woman who marries a Massachusetts single father and succumbs to vanity when the birth of her baby reveals her husband to be a light-skinned African American.
Check the Catalog arrow


May 20, 2015
6:00 pm

Come explore a world of creative writing with activities and prompts to get your creativity flowing. Feel free to share your work in this non-judgmental environment. Registration requested: please e-mail ht@jmrl.org or call 979.7151 x4.

Brown Baggers Book Group

book coverTHE READER by Bernard Schlink

May 21, 2015
12:00 pm

At the age of fifteen, Michael Berg falls in love with a woman who disappears, and while observing a trial as a law student years later, he is shocked to discover the same woman as the defendant in a horrible crime.
Check the Catalog arrow

Documentary Film Series

MovieMAIDENTRIP (2013) directed by Jillian Schlesinger

May 28, 2015
7:00 pm

14-year-old Laura Dekker sets out on a two-year voyage in pursuit of her dream to become the youngest person ever to sail around the world alone. more info

Brown Baggers Book Group

book coverWE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart

June 18, 2015
12:00 pm

Spending the summers on her family's private island off the coast of Massachusetts with her cousins and a special boy named Gat, teenaged Cadence struggles to remember what happened during her fifteenth summer. Check the Catalog arrow

Future Readings:

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.