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

Art work by Peter Sacco on display (3rd floor) August 1 -September 1, 2016.
Minimal and expressive works using layered canvas or fabric to create an illusion of depth.

Art. Sacco
Art. Sacco

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.

  • August: Olympic Magnets
  • September: Banned Bookmarks
  • October: Galactic Crafts
  • November: Six Word Stories
  • December: Paper Envelopes

Hosted & sponsored by the Live Poets Society.

Visit by Poet Christian Formoso

September 30, 2016
7:00 pm

Chilean poet, Christian Formoso, will present some of his work along with his two U.S. co-translators, Terry Hermsen and Sydney Tammarine. Christian has won the Pablo Neruda Prize for poetry in his native country.
Christian, Terry, and Sydney will do a 45-minute reading from Christian’s latest book, The Most Beautiful Cemetery in Chile, moving back and forth between English and Spanish. Then they will open it up for discussion about the art and challenges of translation, as well as any other questions the audience might have.
Books will be available for purchase/signing.


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

Beat Poets Reading at Tin Whistle Irish Pub

October 07, 2016
5:00 pm

Location: Tin Whistle Irish Pub, 609 E. Market St.
Is your favorite Beat poet Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Lawrence Ferlinghetti or Gregory Corso? Read your favorite selection at this celebration of a movement that is over 60 years old.(2 hr. free parking in the Market St. garage.)

Star Wars Reads Day

October 08, 2016
2:00 pm

May the force be with you at the Central Library’s third annual Star Wars Reads Day celebration. There will be prizes, crafts, games, food, and fun for all ages. Costumes encouraged!

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

book coverWAR AND PEACE by Leo Tolstoy

October 11, 2016
7:00 pm

Second Tuesdays at 7 pm
September 13, October 11, November 8, December 13
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

  • September 28
  • October 12
  • October 26
  • December 14
  • *No Meetings in November
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.


Third Wednesdays at 6pm

  • October 19
  • November 16
  • *No December Meeting
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 cover GRAY MOUNTAIN by John Grisham

October 20, 2016
12:00 pm

Losing her job at New York City's largest law firm in the weeks after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Samantha becomes an unpaid intern in a small Appalachian community, where she stumbles upon dangerous secrets.
Check the Catalog arrow

Created Equal Film Discussion

DVD cover BIRTH OF A NATION (2016)

October 20, 2016
6:00 pm

Thursdays at 6pm
September 15, October 20
This two-part lecture series is part of a national series and community-building initiative. Inspired by the 2016 The Birth of a Nation film focused on Nat Turner, the series is presented in conjunction with the Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services at the American Library Association, the United Nations’ Remember Slavery Programme, Fox Searchlight Pictures, and BazanED.


MovieA BALLERINA'S TALE (2015) directed by Nelson George

October 27, 2016
7:00 pm

A feature documentary on African American ballerina Misty Copeland that examines her prodigious rise, her potentially career ending injury alongside themes of race and body image in the elite ballet world.
more info

Read Local: Panel and Author Fair

November 05, 2016
10:00 am

Join us for a celebration of local authors. The day begins with a discussion about writing in Virginia by a small panel of local authors. An author fair featuring a variety of authors in the area will follow the panel discussion.

COME WRITE IN: A NaNoWriMo Workspace

November 08, 2016
6:00 pm

Tuesdays in November at 6-8pm
November 8, 15, 22, & 29
Drop in to the Madison Room for a quiet space to work on your National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge. More info.

Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead

November 12, 2016
2:00 pm

Get creative and explore science, engineering, and technology with hands on activities. Try your hand at controlling an Ozobot. Compete in construction challenges. Take apart tech equipment to see how it works. Activities best for elementary school children and older. Families welcome.

Book Making Workshop with Virginia Thompson

November 16, 2016
6:30 pm

Learn how to make both a folded-X book and a paper bag keepsake book. All supplies provided. Ages 14+.
Required registration begins November 1.


book coverTHE ROUND HOUSE by Louise Erdrich

November 17, 2016
12:00 pm

When his mother, a tribal enrollment specialist living on a reservation in North Dakota, slips into an abyss of depression after being brutally attacked, fourteen-year-old Joe Coutz sets out with his three friends to find the person that destroyed his family. Check the Catalogbullet


December 08, 2016
6:00 pm

Have you always wanted to try coding? Come learn the basics and gain some experience with help from library staff. Bring your laptop or use one of ours. For ages 14+.


December 15, 2016
12:00 pm

Meet to select books for 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.