Twelve Days of Richmond Public Library – What’s Happening

Posted about 7 months ago by Jennifer Deuell

Richmond Public Library is your public library. Although books are in our DNA, public libraries of today are so much more. In the spirit of holiday giving, we are presenting (see what we did there?) a series of blog posts highlighting all of the resources available to you — in the library, or at home — to become a Richmond Public Library power user. All you need is a library card. Don’t have a library card? Find out how to get one here.

One of the things our patrons tell us they love most about our library is the wide variety of programs, classes, workshops, and events that we offer.  From birth to 199, no matter what your interest, there is something for everyone.

Programs and Classes

Here at Richmond Public Library we offer a plethora of programs, classes, and workshops. As mentioned above, these programs are geared toward different age groups and cover a variety of topics including author visits, book discussions, early literacy, life and job skills, school readiness, the arts, gaming, law, business, history and preservation, science, technology, genealogy, and more! It would be futile to list them all here when you can find a full listing of events on our online calendar; however, I would like to share a few of my favorites coming up in the next few months:

Read to Ollie the Dog – Bring the kids and let them read (or just meet) Ollie and his two legged buddy, Landon, from PUP Readers. Saturday, January 6 at 10:30 AM, Ginter Park

Snow Sensory Play – Roll, shape and build “snow” with the provided tools. Perfect for ages 18 months to 4 years. Saturday, January 13 from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM, Belmont

Anime Club – Do you love anime and manga? Joins us for Anime Club, where we’ll be watching anime, chatting about our favorite series, and munching on popular Japanese snacks (Pocky, anyone?) Ages 13-19.  2nd Tuesday of the month at 4:30 PM, East End

Adult GED Classes – Register through the Career and Technical Education – Adult Education Center (804) 780-8311. Thursdays from 11:00 AM-1:30 PM, Hull Street

Patterson Pages: Adult Book Discussion Group – Join the lively discussion of a variety of titles, both fiction and nonfiction. Copies of each title are available to borrow. New members encouraged to attend! 3rd Saturdays of the month at 1:00 PM, West End

Signature Events

In addition to the programs we have going on throughout the week every week, Richmond Public Library also hosts a handful of “signature events” that happen annually. These events are large scale and attract a big audience.

Young Adult Virginia Author (YAVA) Award – The Richmond Public Library’s annual Young Adult Virginia Author (YAVA) Award highlights excellence in writing for readers at the middle and high school level by Virginia authors. This is our Library’s biggest teen event, providing readers an opportunity to interact with local authors, learn about current young adult literature, and engage with others in the community. Although the Award Celebration takes place in April, the nomination and judging process happens year round. The 2024 YAVA Award Celebration will be on Saturday, April 20, 2024 from 2:00 PM-4:00 PM at the Main Library. This program is made possible by the generous support of the Richmond Public Library Foundation.

Urban Fiction Experience – Calling all fans of Urban Fiction! The Urban Fiction Experience is the only festival of its kind in Virginia! There are interviews, spotlights, spoken word performances, book signings, workshops, a Kids’ Zone, and more! It is an opportunity for the urban fiction community to come together for the sake of literacy and entertainment! The next Urban Fiction Experience is an all day event and takes place on Saturday, May 18, 2024 at our Hull Street Branch. This program is made possible by the generous support of the Richmond Public Library Foundation.

Summer Reading Program – Our Summer Reading Program takes place yearly from June through August and happens system-wide. It is an opportunity for young readers to maintain their literacy skills and enjoy reading all summer long. Each year we have a new theme and host programs based off it. There is typically a reading log for youngsters to track their reading and opportunities to earn prizes throughout. We also finish off the Summer Reading Program with a big Summer Reading Finale! Next summer’s theme is “Adventure Begins at Your Library.” Stay tuned for more details! This program is made possible by the generous support of the Friends of the Richmond Public Library.

Gellman Room Concert Series – Since 1973, the Gellman Room Concerts have been free and open to the public. They were initiated by Myra Kight, the Senior Librarian of the Art and Music Department at RPL, “to give Richmond area instrumentalists and vocalists a place to perform and entertain countless music lovers.” Gellman Room Concerts are held at the Main Library on select Saturdays September through May, always at 2:00 PM. They are also livestreamed on our library’s YouTube Channel. The lineup this year includes the Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia, the Sweet Potatoes, the Greater Richmond Children’s Choir, and more!

Read Up Richmond – Read Up Richmond is an annual author event where we have an author and another speaker in conversation. Its goal is to challenge people to read differently, to read outside one’s own lived experience to develop an understanding of the world. This program is an opportunity for people from different walks of life to come together in the library to learn together, to enter into a conversation with the larger community, to share the same space, making Richmond a more connected, more civil place. The next Read Up Richmond event will take place in fall 2024. It is made possible by the generous support of the Richmond Public Library Foundation.

What’s Happening

If you want to be in the know about all the goings on at Richmond Public Library, the best thing to do is stop by one of our locations and pick up our current What’s Happening publication. We just released our Winter 2023-2024 edition and it covers all events December 2023-February 2024. As you’ve probably guessed, What’s Happening comes out quarterly in December, March, June, and September. If you’re not into the paper version, you can access a digital version here.

Find Us on Social Media

Another way to keep in touch is to follow us on social media. We actively update our Facebook and Instagram accounts and would love for you to give us a follow. We also regularly livestream and/or upload the recording of programs to our YouTube channel. That’s another great place to find quality program content.


Finally, should you want to speak to someone directly (whether you have questions, comments, or program suggestions) you can email me! My contact is

We hope after reading this post you’ll become a Richmond Public Library power user by attending our programs and events! Also, be sure to check back to read all the Shelf Respect posts on Twelve Days of Richmond Public Library.

Jennifer Deuell

Jenn Deuell is a Librarian with Richmond Public Library. She is a native of Fredericksburg, VA but has lived in Richmond for long enough that she now considers it home. She loves all things YA and can usually be found curled up at home with a good book (rainy day or not). Her other hobbies include traveling and spending time with family, including her husband, daughter Hannah, and two rescued pit bulls. For YA reading recommendations from Jenn, visit Bookologist.

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