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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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.


Black Authors Book Club is going digital! Can't make it to the book group but would like to follow along? There will be many interactive discussions and polls about books online as well as discussions about classic books and new releases. All meetings will now take place through email and via JMRL's Blog. Email Tiffany for details. You can also meet Tiffany at the October 20 Nikki Giovanni Poetry Reading.


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: Sugar skull decoration + Bonus Star Wars CubeeCraft
  • November: Book pumpkin
  • December: Holiday postcards


October 07, 2015
7:00 pm

Writers benefit from a small group of similar-minded folk. Yet finding a group that works is a challenge. BACCA Literary Group will guide writers through a hands-on mixer that will break the ice and start the process of building a writing community. Attendees will leave with tools to create or join a writing group. Ages 18+. No registration is necessary.


October 10, 2015
2:00 pm

May the force be with you at Central Library’s second annual Star Wars Reads Day celebration. Come in costume for a chance at prizes. Crafts, music, food, and fun for all ages.
No registration required.


Second & Fourth Wednesdays* at 6pm

  • October 14 & 28
  • No meetings in November
  • December 9
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 Hayley at ht@jmrl.org or call 979.7151 x4.

Brown Baggers Book Group

book coverDEAR COMMITTEE MEMBERS by Julie Schumacher

October 15, 2015
12:00 pm

Enduring budget cuts and the favoritism of other departments at a small liberal arts college, literature professor Jason Fitger despairs of his writing ambitions and imposed role in a star pupil's would-be opus while writing wryly comic, passive-aggressive letters to students and colleagues. Check the Catalog arrow

Family Film

MovieThe Book of Life (2014) directed by Jorge R. Gutierrez

October 18, 2015
2:00 pm

Manolo, a young man who is torn between fulfilling the expectations of his family and following his heart, embarks on an adventure that spans three fantastic worlds where he must face his greatest fears. 95 minutes. Rated PG. Best for ages 7+.
more info

All Aboard the Poetry Train with Nikki Giovanni


October 20, 2015
7:00 pm

Acclaimed African-American poet Nikki Giovanni presents at special reading in Charlottesville. Of this reading, Ms. Giovanni wrote, “The poetry train is the only true vehicle to express our souls. All Aboard!” All ages welcome.
No registration required.


Third Wednesdays at 6pm

  • October 21
  • November 18
  • December 16
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. For more inquiries, contact Hayley at ht@jmrl.org or call 979.7151 x4.

Documentary Film Series

MovieTINY: A STORY ABOUT LIVING SMALL (2013) directed by Merete Mueller and Christopher Smith

October 22, 2015
7:00 pm

Two young people decide to downsize their lives by building a 'tiny home' on a flatbed trailer.
more info



October 28, 2015
6:30 pm

Improve your financial skills at these workshops presented by the Virginia Credit Union.

Workshop Topics:

  • Wednesday, October 28: Retirement Income Planning
  • Wednesday, December 2: “Investing Basics”

Ages 14+. Registration is required.

HALLOWEEN READING at Tin Whistle Irish Pub


October 31, 2015
5:00 pm

Tin Whistle Irish Pub, 609 E. Market St.
Begin your night listening to spooky selections from famous Irish authors, like Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

COME WRITE IN: A NaNoWriMo Workspace

November 03, 2015
6:00 pm

Drop in to the McIntire Room for a quiet space to work on your National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge. More info.

Virginia Thompson Printmaking Workshop: Notecards


November 04, 2015
6:00 pm

Learn to create relief prints based with carving tools and water-based inks. You’ll leave with your printing block and notecards with your print. All supplies provided, but bring images and sketches you like. Ages 14+.
Required registration begins October 14 and is limited to 12 participants.


handheld devices.

November 12, 2015
5:00 pm

Planning to buy a new device for the holidays? Come try out a variety of the latest mobile devices and ereaders to help you decide.
No registration required.

Brown Baggers Book Group

book coverALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE by Anthony Doerr

November 19, 2015
12:00 pm

A blind French girl on the run from the German occupation and a German orphan-turned-Resistance tracker struggle with respective beliefs after meeting on the Brittany coast.
Check the Catalog arrow

MEET THE AUTHOR: Bruce Holsinger

Bruce Holsinger

December 01, 2015
7:00 pm

Novelist Bruce Holsinger, Professor of English at UVA, will discuss his medieval historical thrillers “A Burnable Book” and “The Invention of Fire” as well as his experiences with writing and getting published. Light refreshments will be provided and books available for purchase.
No registration necessary.


December 06, 2015
2:00 pm

Stop by anytime from 2-4 pm to make a variety of holiday crafts including ornaments, gift tags, and candles. Open to ages 14+.
No registration required.

Brown Baggers Book Group

Holiday Party!

December 17, 2015
12:00 pm

Meet to pick books for May 2016 - May 2017

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.