2018 Adult Poetry Contest Winners

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2018 Adult Poetry Contest winner Erin Newton Wells reads her poem “Nevertheless, Isabella Gibbons Reads” at Poetry on the Steps

This year was the most successful yet for our third annual Jefferson-Madison Regional Library/WriterHouse Adult Poetry Contest. With 108 entries, it’s easy to see that poetry is near and dear to the hearts of those in the Charlottesville area. Former Poet Laureate of Virginia, Ron Smith, judged the contest this year and selected the winner as Erin Newton Wells with her poignant poem “Nevertheless, Isabella Gibbons Reads.” For this poem, Erin won a $200 Visa gift card as her prize, along with a yearlong membership to WriterHouse. Congratulations, Erin! Pictured here, Erin reads her poem at Poetry on the Steps on April 26. Continue reading

How-To Festival 2018

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JMRL is hosting its 2nd Annual How-To Festival on May 5 from 10am-2pm at the Central Library. Learn a variety of subjects in 30 minute or less. This schedule is being finalized. The details below will reflect changes to the schedule as they are made.



  • How To Design Videos On Your Phone with Creative Might (Madison Room)
  • How To Sharpen Knives (McIntire Room)
  • How To Use Virtual Reality with Albemarle County Public Schools staff (McIntire Room)
  • How To Improve Energy Efficiency with LEAP (Jefferson Room)
  • How To Use Resources for the Public at UVA with the UVA Library staff (Main Floor)



  • How To Do Citizen-based Photojournalism with Jason Lappa (McIntire Room)
  • How To Perform a Tea Ceremony with The Radiant Leaf (Jefferson Room)
  • How To 3D Design with library staff (Madison Room)



  • How To Sew with Cville TimeBank (McIntire Room)
  • How To Play North Indian Classical Music with SPICMACAY (McIntire Room)
  • How To Audition for a Play with Miller Susen (Madison Room)
  • How To Draw In 3D with library staff (Main Floor)
  • How To Repair a Bike with Community Bikes (Outside)


  • How To Be a Birder with Jim Nix (Jefferson Room)
  • How To Cross Stitch with library staff (Main Floor)
  • How To make a silhouette portrait with library staff (Madison Room)


  • How To Make Gelato with Splendora’s Gelato (Madison Room)
  • How To Podcast with library staff (Main Floor)

From 10am-2pm we will also feature:

  • How To participate in summer reading
  • How To get the most out of the library (learn about tech & other non-book items to check out)
  • How To use the bookmobile
  • How To put out a fire with the Charlottesville Fire Department (with a truck!)
  • How To join and support the Friends of the Library AND a mini book sale
  • How To 3D print

Hope to see you there!

CvilleStrong: Affordable Housing

CvilleStrong DiscussionOn Saturday, February 24th, the Central Library launched the new CvilleStrong discussion series. Violent events during the summer of 2017 made visible ongoing inequities in the Charlottesville community. By creating a safe space for conversation,  JMRL intends to foster connections among neighbors.

This opening discussion centered around affordable housing in Charlottesville, within the context of the destruction of Vinegar Hill during urban renewal in the 1960s. The displacement of residents of  this vibrant, largely African-American neighborhood immediately created a need for affordable housing. The current housing market is directly influenced by the policies enacted almost 60 years ago. First, CvilleStrong participants watched a short documentary about Vinegar Hill, That World Is Gone. Next, those in the room spoke with  panelists including former residents of Vinegar Hill, a representative from the Public Housing Association of Residents, as well as representatives from three organizations that focus on issues related to affordable housing: Legal Aid Justice Center, The Charlottesville Low-Income Housing Coalition, and Thomas Jefferson Area Coalition for the Homeless. The lived experiences and professional expertise shared by all led to a very well-informed and deeply personal discussion.

CvilleStrong will return a few times a year. Details on upcoming topics will be posted on jmrl.org and JMRL’s social media accounts.

Related resources:



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