In 1937 the Government of Nova Scotia passed an Act to Provide for the Support of Regional Libraries and a survey was undertaken asking residents if they needed a public library in their community. The recommendation was made to implement regional library service. The Second World War stalled plans for library service, but after the war in 1947-1948 the survey was updated and work began on the long-awaited project to establish a regional library in the Annapolis Valley making it the first regional library system in Nova Scotia.
In May 1949, three branches were opened in Annapolis County—Annapolis Royal, Bridgetown, and Lawrencetown. Middleton opened a branch in September 1949, and then the Windsor and Wolfville branches opened in November 1949. In 1951 the Berwick branch was set up followed in 1954 by Kentville, Hantsport in 1957, Port Williams in 1958, and the Kingston branch in 1972.
From 1955 – 1962 the regional library operated a branch at Canadian Air Force Base Greenwood, but this library is no longer part of the regional library system.
The Bookmobile also began providing service in 1949 throughout Annapolis County and West Hants with Kings County signing on for service in 1970.
Books By Mail service began in 2007 to serve those who could not travel to a branch library or bookmobile stop. The name was changed to Borrow By Mail in 2014 when Canada Post’s “Library Book Rate” was extended to include audiovisual materials.
Downloadable eBooks and audiobooks service was launched in July 2010.