On July 1, 1959, the Northwestern Regional Library was officially organized with three charter members: Alleghany County Library in Sparta, Stokes County Library in Danbury, and Surry County Library in Dobson (which also served as Regional Headquarters). Kathleen Gilleland served as the first Regional Director.
Over the next several years other libraries in the four county area joined the regional system. In 1962, Yadkin County, with libraries in Yadkinville and Jonesville, became members. The Mount Airy Library joined in 1962 with the Elkin Library following two years later. In 1967, the King Library opened, followed by the Walnut Cove Library in 1970. Also in 1970, the Charles H. Stone Library in Pilot Mountain became a member. In 1986, the East Bend Library came on board followed by the Lowgap Library in 1990 and most recently, the Boonville Library in January, 1999.
In 1966 the Northwestern Regional Library contracted to move its headquarters to Elkin where it would share space in a proposed new facility. Construction was completed in 1969, with the formal dedication held on
April 20th, 1969.
In 1976, Kathleen Gilleland retired after serving as Regional Director for seventeen years. She was succeeded by Charles Pipes who headed the system until 1981. Edward Sheary was Regional Director from 1981 until July 1983, and Linda Wright held the position from 1983 through October 1986. Jessica Macphail joined the system from June 1987 through October 1992. Nora Warren became Director from 1993 through July 1997, and Michael Sawyer served as Director from 1998 until 2003. John Hedrick was named Director in February, 2004.