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Red River Regional Library

Red River Region


Red River Regional Library is helping our local libraries build a “roadmap to the future” by providing the following services:

  • assisting local governments and public libraries in the development and improvement of public library services;
  • assisting libraries in the selection, maintenance and use of library technologies;
  • providing supplementary library materials and digital content to member public libraries and facilitating the preparation of materials for public use;
  • facilitating the sharing of resources between libraries through a delivery system;
  • providing opportunities to participate in shared automation systems;
  • and providing continuing education to local library staff and trustees.

Join us in our quest with the Tennessee State Library and Archives in seeking the best services for all citizens using our public libraries in Red River Region and across the State of Tennessee.

“We Make Libraries Better.”

Counties Served: Cheatham, Dickson, Houston, Humphreys, Montgomery, Robertson, Stewart, and Sumner.

Libraries Served: Cheatham County Public Library, Clarksville-Montgomery County Public Library, Dickson County Public Library, Gallatin Public Library of Sumner County, Gorham-MacBane Public Library, Humphreys County Public Library, Houston County Public Library, Hendersonville Public Library of Sumner County, Portland Public Library of Sumner County, South Cheatham Public Library, Stewart County Public Library, White House Inn Library & Museum, Westmoreland Public Library of Sumner County.


The Regional Library program in the state of Tennessee was authorized by the State legislature in 1936 in order to serve the State’s growing, but disparate population. Today’s Red River Regional Library has been known as the Austin Peay State College Region (1947-1955) and as the Warioto Region (1955- 2012). The Region officially began as the Austin Peay State College Region on September 15, 1947 when Stewart, Houston, Humphreys and Perry counties where transferred from the University of Tennessee Junior College Region.  The U.T. Junior College Region, located in Martin, had grown too large to provide adequate services; therefore, a new region was organized to take care of the extra load. These four counties had not had a regional librarian nor book service for six months. Needless to say, the organization of a new region was welcomed with enthusiasm.

As the population of the State grew and changed, so did the geographical shape and services of the Region.   The Regional name was changed.  A chronological overview history of the Red River Regional development follows:

1947—Robertson and Sumner Counties were added.

1948-1949 Dickson, Hickman, and Montgomery Counties were added.

1949-1950 Benton County was added. Benton County was added as a result of a TVA contract with the Johnsonville Steam Plant Project. The TVA contract benefited the Region in several ways with an increased overall appropriation of the area, an additional bookmobile, equipment, and books.

1951-1952 Lewis County was added (for a total of eleven counties).

1954 Hickman, Lewis, and Perry transferred to the Blue Grass Region.

1955-1956 Austin Peay State College Region’s name was changed to the Warioto Region.

1966 Benton transferred to the Reelfoot Region.

1967-1968 Cheatham County was added to the Region.

This brought the total number of counties in the Warioto Region to eight; the number that we serve today.

From its establishment in 1947, the Region has been guided by the following directors:  

  • Margaret Anderson Williams - June, 1947 - May, 1949
  • Julia Lee Graden Martin - June, 1949 - August, 1951
  • Mary Eleanor Wright - August, 1951 - September, 1957
  • Julia Graden Martin - October, 1957 - July, 1994
  • Philip A. Place - August, 1994 - May, 1996
  • Rebecca F. Bailey (Interim) - June, 1996 - January, 1998
  • John M. Chapman - February, 1998 – 2006
  • Rebecca F. Bailey 2006 - Present

In 2012, the Tennessee State Library and Archives reorganized the Regional Library System, and the name of the Region was changed to the Red River Region. The reorganization also realigned the duties of the Red River Regional Library and other Regional libraries to focus on providing professional advice and assistance to the member libraries. Services include:

  • Consultant services for public libraries and local government
  • Continuing education opportunities for library staff and trustees
  • Technology support for libraries
  • Supplemental library materials in print and digital formats
  • Interlibrary loan delivery
  • Statistical coordination and reporting to State and Federal authorities.
  • The Region also provides library leadership, professional guidance, continuing education, library technology support, and assistance in collection development to supplement locally owned materials.

In order to provide these services and others to public libraries in 8 counties, the Red River Regional Library has five staff members in the following positions: Regional Director, Assistant Director (Part-Time), Administrative Assistant, Technical Services Assistant, and Library Information Systems Specialist.

Over the past 66 years, the Regional Library helped provide enrichment for public library services for the citizens of the area.  The Region started with a few small collections in libraries located in inadequate buildings with limited service hours.   The Regional Library provided needed bookmobile and rural library book deposit services to multiple locations in eight counties. Today, the Region provides services to 13 public libraries helping enrich larger more diverse material collections in more spacious facilities, with longer public service hours per week. The Red River Region’s Official Public Service Area Population is approximately 559,000.  Technology support continues to be a major component of our services.

Without any doubt Regional services along with increased State, federal and local funding has increased the quality of public library services to all Tennesseans. The future roadmap of Red River Region shows a continuation of progressive and positive improvements to the public libraries that it serves in conjunction with the Tennessee State Library and Archives.