JMRL Newsletter

JMRL offers to update you on the latest happenings at the library

VLA Names JMRL 2022 Virginia Library of the Year

JMRL is honored to receive the 2022 Virginia Library of the Year award from the Virginia Library Association. The library was commended for two centennial projects that “celebrated and honored JMRL's 100 years of public library service, while acknowledging the roots of that century of service were in a segregated system which didn't serve non-white community members”:

  • An exhibit created in partnership with the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society showcasing 100 years of library service. The semi-permanent exhibit is currently on display on the third floor of Central Library.
  •  The collaboration with local filmmaker Lorenzo Dickerson to produce the documentary "Free and Open to the Public." DVDs are available for checkout at any JMRL branch.

The Library of the Year award also recognizes the resiliency and creativity of JMRL's outstanding staff. The library has expanded outreach initiatives to meet people where they are: outdoor and hybrid programming, curbside services, additional self-pickup hold shelves, shifting to the Beanstack app for reading challenges, digital library card sign-up options, and meeting the increased demand for in-person services such as notarizations, meeting space, faxing and printing, and assistance with job searches. JMRL circulated over 1.6 million items in fiscal year 2022, and offered over 1300 programs attended by more than 33,000 people. 

“This award wouldn't be possible without the tremendous support of JMRL's partner jurisdictions-the City of Charlottesville, and the counties of Albemarle, Greene, Louisa and Nelson,” said Library Director David Plunkett. “This 50-year partnership has brought the joy of literacy and community to hundreds of thousands of people in the JMRL service area. While JMRL is honored to accept this award for 2022, the Library is already focused on the next 50 years of providing the library service that the people in these communities expect and deserve.”

Coming soon @ your library

Celebrate 50 years of library service at Nelson Memorial Library's Open House, Tuesday, Oct. 4th, 10 AM - 2 PM. Drop in to see a display recounting the library's history and enjoy refreshments. Call the library for more information at 434.263.5904.

History lovers will not want to miss these two exciting events coming to Northside Library: 

Questions? Contact Northside Library at 434.973.7893 x4 for further information or updates.

Bring a healthy (pest-free) plant or cutting to swap at Gordon Avenue Library's Plant Swap, Saturday, Oct. 15, 10am - 1pm. Browse a curated collection of plant-related library materials and meet fellow plant enthusiasts.  Don't have something to swap but want to adopt a new plant?  Stop by! There are usually plenty of extra plants.

Have spooktacular fun with Halloween-themed storytimes, crafts, films, and more for all ages!  Some programs may require registration. 

Poets ages 18+ are invited to submit one original, unpublished poem, 30 lines or less, to any JMRL branch location, WriterHouse, or via an online form. Winners will be contacted directly and a public announcement will be posted on the JMRL Blog. Prizes: $200 Visa gift card (1st place) and $100 Visa gift card (runner-up). Learn more details here.

Questions? Contact EJ Dowling 434.979.7151 ext. 4 or Sibley Johns at 434.282.6643.

Find more programs, classes & events.   
JMRL Calendar of Events

Enjoy the storytimes, craft workshops, book clubs, and more offered at your local JMRL branch-plus plenty of reasons to make a special trip to another branch. Check out these October events: Bilingual StorytimeBuild It! WednesdaysCreation StationExplore Nature, Lego WednesdaysMessy Paint PartyMonarch Migratio nPaws to ReadSteam Power HourThank You, First RespondersWiggle Time, and many other Programs for Kids.

Get involved with the Teen Advisory Board (TAB) or volunteer at your local JMRL branch, drop in for a teen hangout at Gordon Ave. or Central Library, or check out one of these October events: Board Game ClubBook DragonsCookbook BookclubDungeons & Dragons, Lord of the Rings Movie MarathonMaker Mondays: Macrame, Make a Cipher Disk for Sending Secret Messages, Mindfulness and MeditationTreat Your ShelfYA Book Club and many other Programs for Teens.

Are you ready to try something new? Check out these opportunities in October: Cookbook BookclubFriday Film Series: First CowFolder FridayGentle Chair YogaHealthy Living for Your Brain and Body, Quilting and Knitting Gathering, Wednesday Evening Book Group, Writer's Group, and many other Programs for Adults.

All JMRL branches will be closed on Monday, Oct. 10 for Staff Training Day.  Digital services are always available at

Two new services at Louisa County Library are featured in this  Central Virginian article.
The Friends of JMRL Fall Book Sale returns to Albemarle Square Shopping Center on Sat., Oct. 15 - Sun., Oct 23 from 10am - 7pm each day. Members Preview Night will be on Friday, Oct. 14, 5 - 7pm for members of the JMRL Friends. For more information about membership and the book sale, visit
Check it out

New For You: Exciting Updates to JMRL's Digital Collection

Learn more about these digital resources available with your JMRL library card. Questions? Call 434-797-7151 or use the Ask a Librarian chat box at

Now you can access online magazines with your JMRL library card directly through the Southwest Virginia Public Libraries Overdrive collection on the Libby App. No need to switch or add other cards/libraries. The magazines are right there!

A new digital resource, available under Extras on the Libby App, ArtistWorks offers a huge variety of self-paced, online lessons, for all skill levels, from master musicians. There are courses for 16 instruments, including six different guitar styles, singing, how to DJ, music theory and certifications. This resource is particularly helpful for all parents with children in required music classes, band or orchestra. Coming soon: In conjunction with the launch of ArtistWorks, JMRL will begin to add Music Learning Kits to the Special Collections. Stay tuned (pun intended)!

Also available on Libby, Kovels is the go-to source for expert information, pricing, and trends on antiques and collectibles. Find out how to sell your items, browse articles on thrifting, flea markets and yard sales, and research in-depth analysis of specialty collections.

For more information about a specific branch: