The Jacksonville Public Library began in 1957 as a part of the Calhoun County Library when the Town and Realty Company provided an 8 foot by 17 foot space for the collection of books. A high school student was employed as librarian and paid by the Jacksonville Book Club. In 1958 more clubs agreed to participate in a building fund and the library moved into city hall. In 1959, the library expansion continued with a move into the recreation center.
In 1963, Mrs. A. C. Shelton was appointed librarian to keep the library open 20 hours per week instead of the previous nine. The first month this "new" facility was open, 50 books were checked out.
In 1983-1984 the library doubled its floor space by moving from the recreation center to the old post office building, which was built of white Alabama marble in 1940. In 1984 the library boasted a circulation of 39,112 under the leadership of librarian Kathryn Childress.
In 2011, the library expansion continued with the addition of the annex, which includes a much needed elevator. With the new space, the library began offering more classes and programs for all ages in addition to all the programs that had been hosted off-site for several years.
The library has continued emphatic growth in membership, collection size, programs, and circulation.Last year, circulation was 87,524 items; which includes the newly offered eBooks service.