JMRL Plan: Extend, Expand Library Services

April 29, 2014

The Jefferson-Madison Regional Library (JMRL) Board of Trustees has approved a new five year plan. At the top of the list, expanding library services across the board.

Some of the libraries in our area will be a getting a bit of a make-over to fit in the modern era.

"People still like libraries for the tradition use, the check books out," says JMRL Director John Halliday. "But in addition to that people like to use it as a community center, a place where they can use their smart phones or laptops just to settle down for an hour or two."

On Monday night, the JMRL Board approved a new five year plan, which includes updates to the central library in Charlottesville.

"A lot of the infrastructure needs to be looked at; the plumbing and the electricity. So we need to update the library so it becomes a 21st century library in a historic building," Halliday said

In a 21st century library, book are still important, but libraries have also become a community space for groups to meet, or folks to have alone time.
Those needs will be reflected in five year plan in the new Northside Library on Rio Road.

"Space for community meetings, quiet study areas, a place for noisy children's programs,” said Halliday. “There will also be a place for teenagers, and there is also going to be a cafe, which is something we don't have in any of our libraries yet."

While the Northside Library won't open until 2015, hours at JMRL will be extending, especially in the evening and on weekends.

"Children after school like to have a place where they can go and meet with friends and do homework. And also people like to use the library for community meetings."

Whether is using the library to for some alone time to read a book, find a quiet spot to study, or hold a get-together, Halliday hopes the JMR libraries will be a place to do that for the next five years, and beyond.

The plans also call for expanding the Nelson County Library, and opening a new library in southern Albemarle County.


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