The roots of what is now the Pine River Library can be traced back over 75 years. In 1930 the Bayfield Study Club was founded by a group of Bayfield women who wanted to have a wider range of reading material available. Six women formed the first Board of Directors of the Bayfield Public Library after it was approved by the Bayfield Town Board in 1934. The Board purchased the old Farmers and Merchants Bank building on Mill Street for $1,500 and set themselves to work raising money to furnish the building and buy books. The Library ran solely on the efforts of volunteers until 1941 when the Town Clerk was given a pay increase of five dollars per month to also act as Town Librarian. This arrangement lasted until 1976 when a full-time librarian was hired.
The Pine River Public Library District was formed in 1972, empowering the library to use tax money to fund operations and services. As the Bayfield population increased, the need for a larger and more modern building became apparent. A mill levy increase passed in November 1999, and funding for new facilities became available. Construction started in 2001 and was completed at the beginning of 2004. The Library moved from its Mill Street location into the current facility in March 2004.
The library is located in the heart of the expanded business district on the north side of Highway 160. An addition to the 2004 building was added in 2012 to add a large community room and expanded space for the public. The Library's 12,000 square foot building is home to almost 40,000 items including books, audiobooks, public access computers, tablets, e-readers and more. The Library includes more than 80 public computers, two smaller meeting rooms, a children's imagination room, comfortable chairs for reading, and a large selection of books, magazines, audio and video materials, online databases, and downloadable media including audio, video, music, and e-books. A 17,000 square-foot Community Garden serves the community by providing space for garden beds, teaching classes and serving the food needs of the community. Current staff level is the equivalent of 10 full-time employees who eagerly serve our community of over 9,000.