Barry-Lawrence Regional Cooperative Libraries was initially established on July 13th, 1954 when the library boards of Barry and Lawrence Counties jointly agreed to join in providing library service to the counties.
The Monett Library merged with the cooperating county system in August 1961. Monett, being centrally located between the two counties, became the chosen site for regional administration.
In 1973, the library district became the first two-county consolidated library district in the state of Missouri under RSA 182.610.
The consolidated public library district is supported by a tax levy (currently 15 cents per $100 valuation) from Barry and Lawrence counties, Missouri state aid, grants, donations, and miscellaneous income.
The Board of Trustees is the governing body of the library and is made up of 8 members: 4 from Barry County and 4 from Lawrence County. The board members are appointed by their respective county commissioners and serve 4 year terms.