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.


Join JMRL and the Charlottesville Office of Human Rights in a community discussion of the Civil Rights Movement and its ongoing effects on society. Each evening features segments of award-winning documentaries focused on one aspect of the Civil Rights Movement, and ends with audience discussions led by prominent community members and scholars. Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle is made possible through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as part of its Bridging Cultures initiative, in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Thursdays at 6 pm on January 15, January 29, February 12, and February 26. More Information See individual sessions 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

Brown Baggers Book Group

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

December 18, 2014
12:00 pm

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.

JMRL Board Meeting

December 22, 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.


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.

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


          January 14, 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.

          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

          Future Readings:

          Created Equal: A Film-Based Discussion Series on Civil Rights

          DVD coverTHE ABOLITIONISTS (2013) an American Experience Film, written, produced & directed by Rob Rapley.

          January 15, 2015
          6:00 pm

          Film segments will be shown followed by audience discussion led by prominent community members and scholars.
          Abolitionist allies Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Harriet Beecher Stowe, John Brown and Angelina Grimké turned a despised fringe movement against chattel slavery into a force that literally changed the nation. Check the catalog bullet

          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

          Future Readings:


          January 21, 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.

          Documentary Film Series

          MovieGMO OMG (2013)directed by Jeremy Seifert

          January 22, 2015
          7:00 pm

          Today in the United States, by the simple acts of feeding ourselves, we are unwittingly participating in the largest experiment ever conducted on human beings. Each of us unknowingly consumes genetically engineered food on a daily basis. The risks and effects to our health and the environment are largely unknown. Yet more and more studies are being conducted around the world, which only provide even more reason for concern. We are the oblivious guinea pigs for wide-scale experimentation of modern biotechnology.
          more info

          Created Equal: A Film-Based Discussion Series on Civil Rights

          DVD coverSLAVERY BY ANOTHER NAME (2012) produced & directed by Sam Pollard.

          January 29, 2015
          6:00 pm

          Film segments will be shown followed by audience discussion led by prominent community members and scholars.
          A documentary which takes a look at various instances where slavery has continued to exist in America even in the many years following its supposed abolition. Check the catalog bullet

          REGIONAL AUTHOR SERIES - Meet the Author Events


          February 08, 2015
          2:30 pm

          "The gravestone is an invaluable source of information, but it is only one of a complex series of mortuary rituals that can reveal much about the culture of the dead," writes Rainville (Sweet Briar College). Like most scholars who study African American archaeology and history, Rainville successfully attempts to weave a story of undocumented populations through the materials they leave behind. Check the Catalog arrow

          Enjoy light refreshments as authors discuss their works. Books will be available for purchase. No registration required.

          Created Equal: A Film-Based Discussion Series on Civil Rights

          DVD coverFREEDOM RIDERS (2010) written, produced & directed by Stanley Nelson, produced by Laurens Grant.

          February 12, 2015
          6:00 pm

          Film segments will be shown followed by audience discussion led by prominent community members and scholars.
          From May until December 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives – many endured savage beatings and imprisonment – for simply traveling together on buses as they journeyed through the deep south. Determined to test and challenge segregated travel facilities, the Freedom Riders were greeted with mob violence and bitter racism, sorely testing their belief in non-violent activism. From award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson, “Freedom Riders” features testimony from a fascinating cast of central characters; the riders themselves, state and federal government officials, and journalists who witnessed the rides firsthand. Check the catalog bullet

          Created Equal: A Film-Based Discussion Series on Civil Rights / Documentary Film

          DVD coverTHE LOVING STORY (2011) an Augusta Films production ; director, Nancy Buirski ; writers, Nancy Buirski & Susie Ruth Powell.

          February 26, 2015
          6:00 pm

          Film segments will be shown followed by audience discussion led by prominent community members and scholars.
          A racially-charged criminal trial and a heart-rending love story converge in this documentary about Richard and Mildred Loving, set during the turbulent Civil Rights era. Check the catalog bullet


          book coverA WALK ACROSS THE SUN by Corban Addison

          March 08, 2015
          2:30 pm

          Orphaned and homeless after a tsunami decimates their coastal India town, 17-year-old Ahalya Ghai and her 15-year-old sister, Sita, are abducted and sold to a Mumbai brothel owner, where they endure a torturous existence before they are helped by a Washington, D.C. attorney who is able to combat human trafficking.
          Check the Catalog arrow

          Enjoy light refreshments as authors discuss their works. Books will be available for purchase. No registration required.

          REGIONAL AUTHOR SERIES - Meet the Author Events

          book coverVARIOUS TITLES BY Andy Straka

          April 12, 2015
          2:30 pm

          Charlottesville mystery writer will discuss his books, including his Frank Pavlicek series which follows a private investigator and falconer in Charlottesville. Check the Catalog arrow

          Enjoy light refreshments as authors discuss their works. Books will be available for purchase. No registration required.

          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

          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.