JMRL Newsletter

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

JMRL is pleased to be among 50 libraries selected to participate in the nationwide #PlantWildflowers campaign. In support of the film, My Garden of a Thousand Bees, HHMI Tangled Bank Studios and PBS Nature launched the campaign to encourage communities across the U.S. to better understand the importance of native bees and other pollinators and to create new pollinator habitats.

As part of the initiative, many JMRL branch locations are distributing native wildflower seed packets while supplies last, and programs and activities are planned throughout the summer months to empower patrons in supporting wild bees and other pollinators at home and in their local communities. Please follow the link provided below or call the library branch listed for details, as some programs require registration. Look for more programs and activities coming soon!

Saturday, April 30, 10am – 1pm, Plant Swap (Gordon Avenue Library)

Sunday, May 1, 3 – 4:30pm, Seed Swap and Pollinators Workshop (Central Library)

Saturdays in May, 11amTogether Tales: Story & Take-away Activity – pollinator-themed for the month of May (Gordon Avenue Library)

Saturday, May 14, 2022, 2 – 3pm and 3-4pm, The Buzz on Bees (and other pollinators): Hands-on Pollinator Demonstration #plantwildflowers (Gordon Avenue Library)

Saturday, June 18, 10am – 12pm, Citizen Science BioBlitz at the Botanical Garden of the Piedmont (Botanical Garden of the Piedmont)

Wednesday, June 22, 6:30 – 8pm, "My Garden of A Thousand Bees" Documentary (Gordon Avenue Library)

Wednesday, July 13, 10 – 10:30am, Storytime at the Garden (Botanical Garden of the Piedmont)

May highlights

Saturday, May 14th, 10 am - 1 pm  There's something for everyone in this fast-paced, interactive, free event. The How-To Festival is a drop-in library takeover with presentations and demos covering numerous topics. Learn a variety of skills in just 15 minutes! 

After a two year break, the festival is expected to once again attract a diverse crowd of individuals who love learning and connecting. Drop in to any 15-minute session and learn something new—from how to do a home DNA test to how to tune a guitar to how to use essential oils to repel mosquitos. As a bonus, see JMRL's 3D printer in action and enter a drawing for a 3Doodler pen! 

Questions? Contact Heather at

Inspired by a love for dance and a craze for Bollywood musical numbers, instructor Kumud Vanderveer has combined dance with fitness exercises and made it a fun way to work out! This 45-minute cardio workout with varying intensity provides dance sequences to get you moving, sweating, and having fun at the same time.

Get ready for a workout that not only tones your entire body but also burns serious calories. A great way to release the stress hormones from the body and make you feel light and happy. No prior dance experience is required – just a positive attitude and the desire to have fun!

Join in on Saturday, May 14, 1 pm, at Northside Library. Registration required. Call 434.973.7893 x4 for more information.

On Thursday, May 19 at 2 pm, come witness the unveiling of a State historical highway marker outside the Central Library to recognize the 1950 court case Swanson v. UVA . 

With the assistance of famed civil rights attorneys Thurgood Marshall, Oliver Hill, Martin A. Martin and Spottswood Robinson of the NAACP,  Gregory Hayes Swanson sued and won the right to attend the University of Virginia School of Law in the courtroom inside what is now JMRL's Central Library. This case helped lay the groundwork for the desegregation of education in America.

Remarks from the City of Charlottesville, Albemarle County, University of Virginia School of Law, and the NAACP will kick off the event outside, and a reception will follow after the unveiling in the Swanson Case Courtroom inside the Library.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month! Join JMRL for programs to help you de-stress and unwind, and use the booklists below to find helpful resources to support your mental health. You can place holds on these books to pick up at your local branch or download them to your favorite reading device. Some of the programs listed below require registration, and when a program repeats you must register for each session. Please follow the link provided or call the library branch listed for details.

For adults:
Mental Health Resources
Books (and a few movies) on depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, addiction, and other mental health concerns.
Self Care
Information and methods related to self care, including: yoga, meditation, anti-anxiety practices, stress management, easy recipes, soothing hobbies, and more.
Humorous Nonfiction & Humorous Fiction
Books for when you need a belly laugh to cheer yourself up!

For teens:
Mental Health in YA Literature
Books with characters who experience anxiety, depression, self-harm, OCD, ADHD, eating disorders, and more.
Mental Health Resources for Teens
Books for teens focusing on mental health issues and reaching out for help.

For kids:
Practicing Mindfulness helps children to notice the positives and get a perspective on the negatives. This assists in developing a sense of appreciation, gratitude and contentment.
Picture books that help kids identify and process their feelings.

Tuesday, May 3, 10, 17, & 31, 10:30 am, Stitches (Northside Library)
Tuesday, May 3, 10, 17, 24, & 31, 11 am, Nia Dance: The Joy of Movement (Central Library & virtual)
Wednesday, May 4, 1 pm, Bring Your Own Craft (Louisa County Library)
Saturday, May 7, 11 am, Paws to Read (Crozet Library)
Monday, May 9, 16, 23, 11:30 am, Chair Yoga for Seniors (Louisa County Library)
Friday, May 13, 10 am, Advance Care Planning (Crozet Library)
Thursday, May 19, 6:30 pm, Paper Succulent Craft (Northside Library)
Friday, May 20, 1 pm, Advance Care Planning (Northside Library & virtual)
Monday, May 23, 5 pm, Maker Mondays (virtual)
Thursday, May 26, 7 pm, Building our Charlottesville Caregiver Community (virtual)

Find more May programs and activities for children, teens and adults by clicking below.  
JMRL Calendar of Events

Start with a book and then go look!  Visit The Fralin Art Museum with Gordon Ave. Library staff to share a dynamic arts-related storytime incorporating books, music, and movement. Then museum staff will invite the youngest art patrons to explore and create.

Stories help enrich the art experience of a particular exhibit or piece.

May 4: Bright Buildings
June 1: Water + Waves

To register or learn more about what exhibits will be highlighted, email museum outreach
or call 434.243.2050. For children ages 2-4 years and their grownups.

Saturday, May 7th is Free Comic Book Day! JMRL is again partnering with Telegraph Art & Comics 
to give away free comic books! Stop by any JMRL library branch to see what's available while supplies last!

JMRL partners with PB&J Fund to bring you a storytime with songs and activities to fill your hearts and your bellies. Each participating family receives a recipe bag with the ingredients to prepare a meal. On the menu for Wed., May 11th, 4:30 pm: Black bean burgers! 

PB&J Fund is a local non-profit that works to ensure that children in the Charlottesville area aren’t hungry and have the nutrition they need to learn, grow, and thrive. 

Registration is required and closes May 5. Space is limited. For more information:

As if! Don’t be, like, totally buggin'! Join Crozet Library for a blanket fort and pajama movie party. Wear your favorite PJs, bring your coziest blankets and pillows, and watch the 90s classic Clueless. You don’t want to miss it, young Paul Rudd is like, a total Baldwin. For grades 8-12. Film is rated PG-13.

Registration required to allow for distancing; please cancel if you are unable to attend. Call 434.823.4050 for further information.

JMRL's Summer Reading Challenge is coming soon! Have you signed up for Beanstack to participate in the summer reading challenge online? Learn more about JMRL's reading challenges throughout the year. More details about the Oceans of Possibility summer reading kickoff coming soon!

It was one for the record books. With total sales of $127,185, the Friends of the Library 2022 Spring Book Sale raised nearly 33% more than any previous Spring book sale! Big thanks to everyone who supported the book sale with purchases, donations, and volunteer hours. With your help, the Friends of the Library are able to support JMRL programming throughout the year.
Check it out at your library

May the 4th Be With You: Find Your Next Reading Adventure With the Libby App

From comics to read-alongs to novels, the whole family can plan to spend May the 4th in the Star Wars universe with titles from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

How do you travel through space from the comfort of your home? Use the Libby app! Download Libby or use to read ebooks and listen to audiobooks for free with your JMRL library card.

Not interested in space odyssey novels? Not to worry, Libby has a wide variety of genres (mystery, poetry, history) and formats (audiobooks, picture books, magazines). Discover your next favorite read using the curated lists feature—there's even a JMRL Staff Picks list with recommendations from your own library staff! 

Need help downloading or logging in to Libby? Visit your local branch for a quick tutorial. Be sure to bring the device you'd like to read with! You can also call JMRL's reference librarians at 434-979-7151x4 or send a text to 434-236-8611 for questions about eLibrary services.

Library stories
Nelson Memorial Library Branch Specialist Yulita Ellis gives Keith Nevison of the PBS show Virginia Homegrown a tour of the library's pollinator garden, which she built and maintains.

Building a Garden, Cultivating Community: Meet Nelson Library's Yulita Ellis 

Before construction started for the expansion of Nelson Memorial Library in 2019, Branch Specialist Yulita Ellis had the slightly painful duty of tearing out the established sensory/pollinator garden she had built just one year earlier.  

Ellis asked Branch Manager Susan Huffman if she would be able to build another garden once the new building was finished. The answer: "Of course!" 

"Yulita's talents are a treasure to the library in Nelson," said Huffman. "She creates interesting and entertaining programs for our teens and children of all ages. Her first love is gardening, and the garden at Nelson Library is a beautiful example of her expertise."

Last fall, Ellis appeared on the PBS program Virginia Homegrown and gave co-host Keith Nevison a tour of the library's new pollinator garden and memorial brick path. Watch the episode here.

The Nelson community seems to appreciate having a gardening expert on staff at the local library. According to Ellis, a certified landscape designer through Virginia Society of Landscape Designers and a certified horticulturist through Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association, many patrons come to her with questions about plants and gardening at the library's information desk. She doesn't mind. "I love to share," she said. "And I always point people to the library's wonderful collection of gardening books."

Do you have a library story you'd like to share? Send it to Jennifer at

For more information about a specific branch:
Bookmobile Central Crozet Gordon Greene 
Louisa Nelson Northside Scottsville
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