Libraries are Awesome

(Part 1 of 2)

Yesterday someone from another state emailed me asking for permission to use this photo. Leaving aside the remarkableness of someone actually asking permission to use something on the internet, the email exchange led to an interesting exchange culminating with this:

I have looked at your new library. It is lovely!  I know you are happy to have such a wonderful community space.  As a realtor, I know you know a good library can be a real asset to a homeowner, create value  in the community, and enhance the quality of life.  I would have been lost without a library when I was a child, since I couldn’t buy all the books I wanted to read.


I loved the old Crozet Library. And we love the new one too.

New Crozet Library
New Crozet Library
Old Crozet Library
Old Crozet Library

New Crozet Library Hours

Good stuff can happen when the community raises its voice.

Via press release:

Crozet Library Adapts New Hours

The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors approved funding for additional open hours at the new Crozet/Western Albemarle Library. The library will now be open Wednesday evenings until 9 p.m. The additional evening hours are designed to better serve students and residents who are unable to visit the library during the day.

The library will now be open 52 hours a week: 1-9 p.m., Mondays and Tuesdays; 9 a.m. – 9 p.m., Wednesdays; 9 a.m. -5 p.m., Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Since opening last September, library use in Crozet has increased by 80%, with over 2,000 new registered library users.

Crozet Library Seeking Funding for More Library Hours

Received via email. This is the Albemarle County Budget.

Dear friends of Crozet Library,

The Albemarle County Executive’s proposed budget for FY2015, released recently, includes increased funding for the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library. Those increases cover:

1. Mandates required by the County’s requested changes to the revised regional agreement,
2. Additional costs due to the development of the new Northside Library,
3. Salary increases to bring JMRL staff pay closer to comparable County positions, part of a multi-year effort,
based upon the County’s recommendation of a professional salary comparison.

The budget presentation cover (screenshot attached) features our beautiful library and the community-volunteer-staffed Book Brigade.

What the proposed budget does not include: the $34,000 in funds needed to increase the hours the Crozet Library is open.

The County built it; we furnished it; and the community is using the library in unanticipated numbers. The librarians donated their time (and creative planning) to staff Exam Cram during the WAHS and Henley exam week and the library was filled with teens.

We are grateful for the support of the County and we know they have heard often from this community about the need for increased hours. We hope that hearing from the community now will help the Supervisors realize they could make a large number of Western Albemarle citizens happy with a relatively small amount of money.

If you care about increasing the hours the library is open, now would be the time to contact the Board of Supervisors with your concerns. Here’s how:

Continue reading “Crozet Library Seeking Funding for More Library Hours”

Crozet’s 2013 in Review on RealCrozetVA

2013 – lots happened in Crozet this year – a lot of good, some bad, and I tried to capture most of it here. 2013 is the year that the RealCrozetVA Facebook page (I don’t like FB, but it’s awfully useful) became the third leg in the RealCrozetVA community, the recaps of the Crozet Community Advisory Council meetings proved quite useful, and the Crozet community time and again demonstrated why this is a great place to live. If you’re interested in browsing all the stories, you can see the 2013 archives – 165 stories all – here.

I’ve highlighted some of the stories I posted from each month and done my very best to not editorialize (although if I did, “Crozet Library opened” would have an exclamation point!).

Five things:

– You can subscribe to RealCrozetVA by email, follow RealCrozetVA on Twitter, or like RealCrozetVA on Facebook. A note on Facebook – we tend to have very good conversations and interaction there, but I don’t post everything there that gets published here.

– I’m a Realtor who lives in and loves Crozet. In my ideal world, I’d never get off my bicycle to show houses or meet seller clients. (and I know this will likely never happen). I rarely explicitly say this, but if you’re moving to Crozet or thinking about selling your home, I’d appreciate the opportunity to talk with you.

– If you’re curious, these are some of the photos I’ve taken in Crozet this year.

– Thank you. Thank you. Thank you Crozet for reading, commenting and sharing what you see here with your friends. You truly make this a great place.

– Really, thank you. Whenever I hear from people how they read about Crozet here, or used RealCrozetVA to research Crozet before they moved here, or when you let the community know about power outages and such via the RealCrozetVA twitter feed, I’m ever more grateful for the Crozet community and your support here. Thank you.

January 2013

We had a good discussion about Crozet school’s competitiveness and a great conversation about what we want Crozet to be.

February 2013

A hotel was announced to be coming to Old Trail in Crozet and many of you described your neighborhoods in Crozet.

March 2013

We had a rare (and appreciated!) guest post recapping the March Crozet Community Association meeting.

April 2013

WAHS got a new principal, the Daily Progress called for retrofitting 250 West, a guest’s reflection on the James Sun Memorial 5k, Crozet Volunteer Fire Department got a Twitter account, and the Crozet real estate market started to really pick up.

May 2013

King Family Vineyards responded to the soggy pitch by having Nolo Weekend – and it was tons of fun. A 10 year old was accidentally shot in Crozet. I started to recap the CCAC meetings using Storify – and subsequently did it many more times to what I think is a great success.

June 2013

WAHS’ new principal answered 10 questions, Crozet got another new great restaurant, Restoration and the Field School put together a great kids’ triathlon.

July 2013

The Crozet Gators won the Jefferson Swim League Championship for the first time in 22 years and Restore N Station finally broke ground.

August 2013

We discussed where the next Crozet stop light will be, I thanked Blue Ridge Internetworks for hosting RealCrozetVA, I summarized the CCAC meeting and the Crozet community suffered another rash of car break-ins.

September 2013

The Crozet Library opened, the community responded to a survey on new Crozet hotel, I recapped the September CCAC meeting, I looked at when homes come on the market in Crozet, Ned Gallaway, Albemarle’s At-Large school board member hosted the first community conversation about Albemarle County Schools that I can remember being held by a school board member in Crozet, and you voiced your opinions on what should happen to the old Crozet Library.

October 2013

We figured out what the utility work in front of BP was, I relaunched the Crozet Calendar – and it’s now available for community members to post their own events (ask me how), y’all answered the question – What’s the first thing you tell someone about Crozet?, the 3rd Quarter Crozet real estate market report was interesting, the recap of the CCAC meeting proved useful and interesting, and we had a good conversation about the walkability of Crozet.

November 2013

Lots happened in Crozet on the Crozet Calendar, the awesome Crozet Trails Crew reached a few milestones, the Crozet Angel Tree was quickly accomplished, the buildings downtown were re-sided and the CCAC meeting was live-tweeted by a chorus of people! and recapped here on RealCrozetVA.

December 2013

The Crozet Streetscape meeting was very informative, I looked at the Crozet real estate market in December, Tim Dodson, WAHS junior, wrote about his perspective after having attended and live-tweeted the CCAC meeting, the Streetscape really is coming, we can now drive faster (legally) on 64, and the Barnes Lumberyard redevelopment may be moving forward – see this recap of the December CCAC meeting.

Continue reading “Crozet’s 2013 in Review on RealCrozetVA”

Crozet Library Days at Fardowners – 28-30 October

Crozet Library needs more books.

Two of the things I love about Crozet – Fardowners and the Crozet Library.

Fardowners restaurant in the Crozet Square has designated October 28, 29 and 30 as Library Days in support of the new Crozet/Western Albemarle Library.
Patrons can help provide needed funds for new book purchases by simply dining at Fardowners. For every meal purchased during Library Days, Fardowners will donate a percentage of the meal—15 percent of lunch food orders and 10 percent of dinner food orders—to the Crozet Library. Patrons will have the opportunity to make direct donations to the library as well.

Click through to see the press release from Fardowners.

(and here I thought once the new Crozet Library opened, the “library” tag would be unused. 🙂 Continue reading “Crozet Library Days at Fardowners – 28-30 October”

Help Get more Hours at Crozet Library

From the Crozet Community Association email:

The Build Crozet Library fundraising committee members and the Crozet librarians have been asked recently and repeatedly if the new library can be open more evenings. If you have an opinion on this, you’re encouraged to email the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library (JMRL) director, John Halliday  and your county supervisor, Ann Mallek .  (editor’s note: I’d encourage emailing the entire BoS as well – [email protected])

The county budget process for the upcoming FY14-15 gets started later this fall, and JMRL is making their budget to submit to Albemarle county right now, so they need to hear from you.   

There is an effort underway to organize supports to speak at the next several Board of Supervisors first of the month meetings.  This was discussed at the Crozet Community Advisory Council (CCAC) last week.

Contact Phil Best if you’re interested in helping. The first meeting to speak is November 6

via email: This is the time because budgets are being made and next BOS is Nov 6. The more people willing to speak the better.

—– Continue reading “Help Get more Hours at Crozet Library”