Jefferson-Madison Regional Library
JMRL's mission statement "enhances the quality of life by providing equal access to information. The Regional Library serves all ages, promotes reading, serves as an educational resource, and supports democracy by fostering the free exchange of ideas."
- 1 History of McIntire and Central Library
- 2 The Regional Library Evolves
- 3 Beyond the Printed Page
- 4 Ten Branch Libraries
- 5 Budgets
- 6 Overcrowding at Crozet
- 7 JMRL Board of Trustees
- 8 References
- 9 External links
History of McIntire and Central Library
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
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.
By 1960, the conversation turned to how to prepare for a new library because circulation in Albemarle began to surpass circulation in Charlottesville. In February of that year, an expansion committee decided to wait until a new home for Charlottesville's city hall was selected by the Municipal Facilities Commission. Circulation in Charlottesville had spiked in 1959 due to the closure of two city schools during Massive Resistance.
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.
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 J-MRL 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 houses many internet stations and access is also available in the Central Reference Department where extensive electronic resources complement the print and microform collections. In December 2010, the library began offering downloadable books for e-readers and mobile phones.
As of 2014, Director John Halliday oversees the entire J-MRL system from his office on the third floor of the Central Library.
Ten Branch Libraries
- Central Library
- Crozet Library
- Gordon Avenue Library
- Greene County Library
- Louisa County Library
- Nelson Memorial Library
- Northside Library
- Scottsville Library
- Albemarle-Charlottesville Historical Collection
In January 2010, Albemarle County staff responded to JMRL's 2010 budget proposal with a request to consider five-percent and 10-percent budget reductions, which JMRL board president Anthony Townsend said would result in library closings. The JMRL Board said they would absorb the costs by closing the Scottsville branch rather than apply that 5% cut across the board. By the end of the review process, the Board agreed to level-fund the library, but Supervisor Duane Snow has asked county staff to research what it would cost the county to run its own system independent of JMRL.
Albemarle County put together a budget for FY2011/2012. As part of this review, county staff is reviewing the agreement by which Albemarle is part of the JMRL. A work session was held in February 2011 to discuss their findings. Supervisors directed county staff to work with library director John Halliday on a process by which the library agreement will be updated for the 21st century.
2012 out-of-network charges
In 2012, pressure from Albemarle County to raise additional revenue caused the board to consider a $30-a-year charge to people who live outside the JMRL network. The Nelson County Board of Supervisors unanimously agreed to the new fee.
Central library renovation
In October 2014, trustees were presented with an $8.74 million plan to renovate the central library. This will involve a temporary library needing to be found in the meantime.
Overcrowding at Crozet
In July 2010, the firm Dominion Library Associates was hired to conduct an assessment of the Crozet, Scottsville, Louisa County and Nelson County facilities. The Crozet library was deemed to not be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and "is the most crowded facility attempting to provide library service that this consultant has seen in recent years. The report called for the library to be shut down until a safer one could be opened.
JMRL Board of Trustees
The responsibilities of the Board of Trustees includes setting library goals annually and developing a 5-year comprehensive plan designed to meet statewide requirements. Trustees:
- Gary Grant, Albemarle County
- Tim Tolson, President, Albemarle County
- Brian LaFontaine, Albemarle County
- Peter McIntosh, Charlottesville
- Carla Mullen, Charlottesville
- Mike Plunkett, Charlottesville
- Deborah Willenborg, Greene County
- Faye Rosenthal, Louisa County
- Mary Coy, Nelson County
- Print: Library Expansion is Postponed, Staff Reports, Daily Progress, Lindsay family February 11, 1960, Page 11.
- Web. Local libraries offering e-books for free, Brandon Shulleeta, Daily Progress, World Media Enterprises, December 4, 2010, retrieved December 6, 2010.
- Web. JMRL says budget reductions could close Scottsville, Crozet libraries, Brendan Fitzgerald, C-VILLE Weekly, Portico Publications, January 19, 2010
- Web. Library Analysis Scope of Work, Albemarle County Board of Supervisors, retrieved October 1, 2010.
- Web. Supervisors seek changes to library agreement, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, February 9, 2011, retrieved February 10, 2011.
- Web. Regional Library Might Have New Fee In 2012, Newsradio 1070, retrieved November 5, 2012.
- Web. Supervisors accept new library agreement, Katrina Koerting, Nelson County Times, retrieved November 7, 2012.
- Web. $8.74M Central Library renovation proposed, Nate Delesline III, Daily Progress, October 27, 2014, retrieved October 28, 2014.
- Moorman, John A. "Albemarle County Library Facility Study Project July10 Final Report." Scribd. 7 July 2010. Web. 30 Aug. 2010. <http://www.scribd.com/doc/36638052/Albemarle-County-Library-Facility-Study-Project-July10-Final-Report>.
- Web. J-MRL Board of Trustees’ Goals and Planning, 27 February 2006, retrieved 28 June 2012.