Crozet Needs a Bigger Library


Here is the report referenced by NBC29 and commissioned by the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library (JMRL) board.

I emailed John Halliday, the Executive Director of the JMRL and asked three questions:

1 – Why was the study commissioned?
2 – Can you tell me how much it cost?
3 – What was the purpose of the study? It seems obvious that the library is too small.

His answers:

The study was done as a routine review of library facilities.  JMRL’s Five-Year Plan, 2009-2014 called for a review of library facilities to be completed by June 2010.  The review was completed in June, even though it had a July date.  The cost was $2000.  We called in a consultant because we wanted JMRL’s facilities to be looked at objectively, from an outsider’s perspective.  The review included space needs (size) based on current standards, condition of physical plant including furnishings and mechanical systems, and security needs.

More on the history of the Crozet Library’s need and plans to build at Charlottesville Tomorrow’s cvillepedia.

The above information isn’t new:

Continue reading “Crozet Needs a Bigger Library”

More on the Crozet Library

Update 10 February:

Ann Mallek writes that the meeting tonight is questionable due to the weather. Make sure you check before you go.

From the CrozetEagle listserv:

Many of you may not know that the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors has spoken about closing Scottsville Library and our own Crozet Library. Due to budget constraints, they say there is not enough money for these libraries. It has been shown that the cost of running the libraries in Albemarle County is well below the other areas in Virginia. Also the Crozet Library has increased their volume of circulation over the last 2 years. As you know, once they do close this library, it is very likely we will not get another one – new or old back into this area.

Please help us save our local library! They are trying to brainstorm ideas of how we can help save the library. Right now due to weather conditions, they are not having a library meeting scheduled. But, there is a Board of Supervisors meeting on Wednesday Feb. 10th. Anyone who wishes, can go and sign up to speak out for the library.

We also have petitions to sign against closure put out at Crozet Pharmacy, Crozet Hardware Store, Mudhouse and the Post Office. I will try to put out more petitions as weather clears. Also there is a website I have created for people to post on and I am sending these to Board of . Please forward this info to anyone you can! On this website is a calendar for future events. If we can get the weather to co-operate, I will try again to post new dates for any meetings.
Continue reading “More on the Crozet Library”

Help Plan the New Crozet Library

A reminder that the Crozet Library Design Steering Committee monthly meeting is this Monday, April 27, from 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM at the Old Trail Golf Clubhouse conference room.

Everyone is welcome to attend.

Tentative Agenda

I. Welcome & Re-cap
II. BOS Meeting and preps
III. Schematic Design
a. Site Review
i. Angled vs. perpendicular
ii. Bus travel lane
iii. Site connectivity (Block study)
b. Elevation Review
i. Roof
ii. Corner
iii. Main Street entrance canopy

IV. Next meeting

V. Adjournment

The committee’s meeting agenda, minutes, membership, information about the new Crozet Library, etc. are all posted on the Albemarle County web site.

Update on the Crozet Library


Steering Committee Begins Meeting This Week to Guide Design Process

Schematic design for the new Crozet Library gets underway this week as the project consultant meets with county staff and the Board of Supervisors-appointed Library Steering Committee on Tuesday afternoon. The new 20,000 square foot facility is expected to open in 2011, providing space for state of the art library services for the western Albemarle County area as well as community space to support public needs in downtown Crozet. Construction of the library supports a host of infrastructure projects that have multiple benefits for the public including the sidewalk project, shared public parking for downtown, construction of Main Street, and the Crozet Avenue streetscape project.

The Crozet Master Plan adopted in December, 2004, established an expanded downtown library as a critical community priority because the current Crozet Library, which is 1,900 square feet in size, was determined to be inadequate for the community’s current and future library needs. The master plan envisioned a new downtown library that could provide improved library services and also could serve as an anchor for a revitalized downtown Crozet – a major public sector investment and visible presence that would help support critical infrastructure improvements like parking, sidewalks, and the new Main Street.

The new library will be constructed on two parcels of property owned by Albemarle County along Crozet Avenue next to B&B Cleaners. These properties together provide approximately two acres to house the new library facility and associated parking.

Crozet Library

Last year the Board of Supervisors expressed unanimous support for pursuing LEED Certification for all newly-constructed County buildings including the Crozet Library— LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is a nationally accepted rating system for designing and building green buildings. The new Crozet Library will be the County’s first planned LEED Certified building project.

In April, 2008, the Board of Supervisors approved the formation of the Crozet Library Steering Committee. The committee’s charge is to oversee the schematic design phase of the project. Formal design will take place from January through December 2009, and bidding for construction will be held December 2009/January 2010. Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2010, with completion scheduled for spring/summer of 2011.

Summary of Major Library Project Milestones to Date:

– Downtown library endorsed by adopted Crozet Master Plan – December, 2004
– Purchase of Harris property for establishment of new Main Street – March, 2006
– Selection of project architect – September, 2006
– Contingent contract on Amato property – September, 2006
– Consultant meetings with stakeholders on library site – September, 2006
– Public meeting on library site selection – October, 2006
– Board work session on library site selection – November, 2006
– Purchase of Amato property – December, 2006
– Topographic surveys/alignment studies for Crozet Avenue and Main Street – initiated January, 2007 – completed June, 2007
– Board of Supervisors establishes library building at 20,000 sq ft with approximately 15,000 sq ft dedicated initially for library programming– March, 2007
– Downtown Zoning project begins – May, 2007
– Consultant selected for Crozet Avenue/Main Street Streetscape project – May, 2007
– The streetscape project that will create New Main Street and access to the Crozet Library gets underway – August, 2007
– Structures on the Harris property are removed as part of site preparation for the library project – March, 2008
– The Board of Supervisors appoints a Steering Committee work with County staff and the project consultant during the library’s conceptual design phase – May, 2008
– The Board of Supervisors adopts the downtown zoning ordinance for Crozet that establishes the conditions necessary to design and construct the library as envisioned in the Master Plan – June, 2008

* republished in entirety from the County’s press release

Pulled from the Comments – Why I chose to move to Crozet

My family moved out of Charlottesville to a farm near Crozet 9 years ago. We moved out this way because we could see the way things were changing in the north of Albemarle County, way more traffic, more subdivisions, more shopping centers. I grew up in SC which has been taken over by shopping centers and developments. When one gets run down, the developers move a mile down the road, abandon the first shopping center and build another. There are many abandoned shopping centers around Greenville, SC. It is an ugly, concrete filled, traffic inundated place, that used to be green and lovely until the developers took over. I would hate to see that happen to Crozet. It seems to be already happening in the north of the county.

I love old Crozet. Yes, it is rundown in some ways, but my kids love watching the train at the old library, I love being able to look for books in the library and still being able to keep an eye on my kids. If the library doesn’t have a book that I want, they will get it for me from another library in the county or in the state. I love that the librarians know my name, and that I know the people in the hardware store, and the pizza and grocery store.

I really would rather not see the Harris Teeter go in on 250. Our traffic will increase substantially, and where one store goes, others will follow. I make a trip to Charlottesville or Waynesboro once a week for a major shopping trip, what I run out of during the week, I shop for locally.

I love that I can have chickens, roosters, donkeys, horses and cows and no one complains about the noise, smell, flies, … We live in what is now a rural area. How long that it will remain that way is questionable, but I chose to move here because it was a largely rural area. I think that it is the charm of the area, and keeps it unique. If we add all the things that people want like a movie theatre, Chinese restaurants, more pizza places, more stores, then it will begin to be more like NoVA and less like Crozet. What will make our town unique? We will look like every other place in suburban USA.

Editor’s Note – anyone is welcome to submit a story to be published on If you’re interested, please let me know. Also, a new library is coming.

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The Crozet Library’s impact on Downtown

Let’s hope that the new Library (more on the plans here) has some of the impacts that Jim Bacon details after his recent visit to two different library settings

The (Shirlington) library also contributes to the vision of a community where things are happening 24/7. “We have a regular flow of traffic on the streets during the weekday but especially during early evening and the weekends,” says director Susan McCarthy. Many of the visitors arrive on foot. “Most of our traffic is through the front door,” not from the parking deck connected to the side door. “We have a lot of people who come over from the offices during the day, checking out a book for the weekend or using the wireless.”

Five years ago, libraries were struggling for identity. Who needed them when vast repositories of knowledge were available online, was delivering books to your doorstep, and Google was digitizing thousands of books for access over the Internet? By redefining themselves in an increasingly depersonalized society as community crossroads where real, live people come together and interact, they have emerged as relevant as ever.

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Crozet Library will be Downtown

The library will be Downtown. Thanks to Jeremy Borden with the DP:

Board members said neither site would please everyone, but they all had their own reasons for wanting the site downtown.

Now … is that house historic?

And … also from the DP:

School Board member Brian Wheeler said that in the Crozet Master Plan, the new elementary school’s cost is listed at $12.4 million. According to the school division’s long-range planning committee estimations, it will cost $29 million if construction started in 2017, the year planned. This figure does not reflect the cost of acquiring land for the school, Wheeler noted.

Update 11-04-06: Cvillenews has a story. All stories on the library.

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Crozet Library meeting recap

About one hundred and fifty people attended this past Wednesday’s Library meeting at Western Albemarle High School. Supervisor David Wyant opened the meeting with the sweeping statement that “The library today involves the internet.”

The lead architect’s presentation was highlighted in part by her seeming un-awareness of the political environment in Crozet. A few of the notable laugh lines were:

– a slide noting how a great library can jump-start development

– her response to a question regarding when “new” Main Street will be built

– her noting that all the sidewalks, benches, light posts, etc. Crozetians have been promised for years would be part of the implementation plan

– her noting that there have been a few studies regarding the building of a new Crozet library. (since 1987!!!) No one can say that Albemarle has not done their due diligence.

In all seriousness, the meeting was informative, enlightening and about 45 minutes behind schedule. I look forward to the follow up meetings.
These are the major observations and questions I left with –

– Regarding the Downtown Location (Site Option #3 -pdf) – what is the historic value of the property? At what point will this issue be put to bed and not be a component of the equation that could derail the entire project?
– There were surprisingly few young people (25-35 years old) in attendance. One would think that more would be interested as they will benefit greatly from a state of the art library, particularly because of the library’s intended focus on children and teens.

– A general (library) rule of thumb is that when a library reaches a checkout rate of 25 books per square foot, it is time to start looking for a new home. Crozet’s checkout rate is 64 books per square foot. Clearly, the time is right for a new library.

– Nothing is more enlightening than a Power Point presentation.

– The architects (Grimm and Parker) are planning an additional half-dozen or so public meetings.

– Will the library offer free wireless to their surroundings?

– I was impressed and happy to see and hear that the architects intend to build with green, sustainable concepts.

– An idea for future meetings – distribute (and market) the pertinent materials before-hand.

My vote: The Downtown Location.

Albemarle’s Crozet Library Page.

The Daily Progress’ report

NBC29’s report


– as always, County Staff showed their tireless dedication. We owe them some real thanks.

– one of the more challenging aspects of so-called “citizen journalism” is the whole “not getting paid to do this part.” 🙂

Crozet Library meeting 10-25-2006 Continue reading “Crozet Library meeting recap”

Readers’ Forum 10-26-2006 – Crozet Library

Library meeting: Real chance to be heard, or PR obfuscation?

Can our voices make a difference, or has the County already decided where to put the library? Is the listening sincere or just a calculated strategy, in reaction to Crozetians’ anger over Old Trail and the way those plans changed?

All that cynicism aside, here is my main question after the library meeting: why do none of the proposed buildings (never mind the sites) have the 22,500 square feet they’d like without future additions? Why are we already planning a building that is too small? And if it’s true that Mountainside is planning to move, and who knows when the new Main Street will be built, and maybe they’ll build a new elementary school . . . how can you choose a site for a community centerpiece when the things you’re using to decide seem to be shifting under your feet? I’ve never made a $5 million choice, so I worry about making the right one. But maybe the goal is to make the choice right, rather than make the right choice?