The Jefferson County Rural Library District was created on November 7, 1978, receiving a majority vote in the general election. It was established as a Junior Taxing District authorized by law to establish, develop, and maintain library services in Jefferson County.

The Board of Trustees was appointed by the Board of County Commissioners with initial terms of five, four, three, two, and one years. The first meeting was held on April 19, 1979 with B.G. Brown, County Commissioner, presiding.

During 1979, operating funds for the Library were provided by the County through Revenue Sharing. In 1980 the Trustees set the original budget for collection from tax revenues at $205,000 with a levy rate of .3987 per thousand dollar evaluation.

Facilities progressed from a small room in the Port Townsend Library to a portable classroom on the Chimacum School Campus, to a rented facility in Port Hadlock, and finally to the present site of the Jefferson County Library building in Port Hadlock. The Port Hadlock building was dedicated in April 1985. Funds for construction came from timber revenues and property tax revenues saved and invested for the building project.

In 1991, voters approved a one-year excess levy to enlarge the facility to 11,000 square feet.  The addition was dedicated in January 1992.  In 2012, the library remodeled its facility and added 340 square feet for a new total of 11,340.  The project was funded by Library reserves and private donations.  A stand alone garage was built, with help from the East Jefferson Rotary Club, at the west end of the property to house the bookmobile. The remodel was dedicated in June 2013.

The District operates a Bookmobile Service throughout the east side of the County. Service for the west end residents of Jefferson County is provided through a reciprocal agreement with Timberland Regional Library System and a contract agreement with North Olympic Library System.