Celebrate Black History Month at JMRL

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history.

Throughout the month of February, there are a number of book clubs and events being held at the JMRL branches to help celebrate.

For a list of what’s happening, visit JMRL’s Black History Month 2020 webpage.

There are other resources on this webpage, such as lists of African American authors and books, eBooks/Audiobooks, and resources for historical research.


The poster above is an example of one of JMRL’s Black History Month events. This event will be at the Northside Library and more information can be found by visiting JMRL’s Facebook page.


Information at your fingertips

Wanting to know more about your ancestors? There’s a database for that!

The Jefferson-Madison Regional Library (JMRL) offers a variety of online databases that provide access to eBooks, newspaper and magazine articles, and a wide range of other reference sources.

man in red long sleeved shirt

Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

All of these databases are available in the library and most can be accessed from the comforts of your home 24/7. These services are provided by the library, all you need is a library card!

Below is a list of online database topics currently available:

Arts and Science & Technology
Provides full-text periodicals covering an extensive range of subject areas including business, health, education, fitness, sports and leisure, personal finance, and more.

Provides exclusive photographs, diagnostics designed by instructors, step-by-step repair procedures, and more in one easy-to-use website.

A database of reading recommendations for all ages and reading levels. Browse by genre to find new and popular biographies and memoirs.

Business Info
A variety of databases offered for career transitions, legal forms, investment tools, and stock and bond guides.

Encyclopedias and General Info
A variety of databases offering full-text periodicals, adapted reading material for teens and adults, newspaper and magazine articles, and online courses.

Two databases offering the Directory of Virginia Foundations and Foundation Directory Online.

Health & Medicine
A database covering diseases, disorders, treatments, procedures, specialties, anatomy, and biology, as well as recent developments in medicine.Genealogy
Databases include Ancestry Library Edition, Ancestry for Virginians, and HeritageQuest.

Kids & Teens
A variety of databases geared towards history, culture, lifestyle, health, science, sports, arts, and government education for primary, middle, and high school aged children.

Online language-learning systems. Includes lessons, games and more.

Literature & Books
Databases providing eBook collections and book recommendations.

Magazines & Newspapers
Access full-text periodicals from a number of databases, including archived editions.

Social Sciences
Databases providing information about history, culture, government and much more.

Library Resource Highlight: UniversalClass

January is a great time to learn something new! Check out UniversalClass for over 500 online courses that you can access with just your JMRL library card.


Go to JMRL Databases– Encyclopedias and General Information- UniversalClass to get started. You’ll need to sign up with your library card number and create a username and password.

There are classes on a wide range of topics, including computers, crafts, pet care, and spiritual studies. You can take a class on women who have changed American history, or a class on retirement planning. Most courses take 10-20 hours to complete, but some are as little as 4 hours long. You can access all the courses you are taking at UniversalClass under “My Classes.”

You’ll need to complete the course within 6 months once you sign up for it. Most of the coursework, exams, assignments, activities, and class participation is recorded and assessed by an instructor. Based on the grading guidelines that your instructor uses, all of your coursework grades and final assessment are displayed in the “Report Card” area. But, there are some classes that also offer a “video audit” option (for example, knitting), where you do not have to submit assignments or take exams, but you won’t receive a certificate at the end of the course. So take a class and learn a new skill!