History of the Three Rivers Regional Library System

From 1960 until 1995, the Dixie, Gilchrist, and Lafayette County Public Libraries were members of the Suwannee River Regional Library System. In 1994 a Task Force began meeting to explore the advantages of dividing the six-county system into two three-county systems. It became obvious that the benefits of dividing the region far outweighed the negatives. Plans were made to formally split into two separate systems at the conclusion of the 1994-95 fiscal year.

A regional library ofce was established in Mayo, the county seat of Lafayette County. A contest was held to choose a name for the new library system, and “Three Rivers Regional Library System” (TRRLS), was selected from more than seventy-five entries. Three Rivers represents the names of the rivers that border the three counties: the Santa Fe, Steinhatchee, and Suwannee. TRRLS ofcially began service to the citizens of Dixie, Gilchrist and Lafayette Counties on October 1, 1995. The Taylor County Public Library was added to the System in August 2011.

The role of the regional library is to support the member libraries in all aspects of public library service. This includes acquisition of materials, cataloging and technical processing, continuing education and training, library programming, computer and networking applications, and outreach services. The Three Rivers Regional Library System has a nine member governing board appointed by the four counties.

Interesting facts about the libraries

Gilchrist County Public Library used to be housed in a building that had served for many years as a funeral home. The staff swore it was haunted.

The Lafayette County Public Library and the Dixie County Public Library were both started by local Woman’s Clubs.

The Lafayette Library was housed for many years in the old courthouse which was rumored to be haunted and many of the staff were scared to work alone. The light switch was located in the back of the building which meant a long walk in a dark room to leave each day. That walk was usually a sprint.

Taylor County Public Library was once housed in a building that had served as the County Jail where executions were carried out. As expected, no one wanted to be alone after hours in the building.