The Clayton County Library System was founded in January of 1941 through the efforts of the Jonesboro Women's Club. The library began with a collection of 200 books that the Women's Club borrowed from the WPA. A room was rented above the old Jones Brothers Department Store on South Main Street, across from the railroad depot. Mrs. Mary Barnette became the first librarian.
1960: The Jonesboro library joined the Flint River Regional Library System, headquartered in Griffin, GA. This alliance allowed Clayton citizens to use the region's larger collection of books, staff, of professional librarians and bookmobile services. In 1964, ground breaking for a new Jonesboro library began. In 1966, the library opened on the corner of Smith and Lee Streets in downtown Jonesboro, the Jonesboro Branch's current location.
1968: The Riverdale Branch opened, then located on GA Hwy. 85 near Upper Riverdale Rd.
1975: The Morrow Branch opened, then located in a store front on Old Rex Rd.
1981: The libraries of Clayton County were so successful that they left their affiliation with the Flint River Regional System and the Clayton County Library System was formed.
1991: The Morrow branch was built on Maddox Road.
1998: A new Riverdale Branch was built on Valley Hill Road.
2005: The Lovejoy Branch was built on McDonough Road.
The Clayton County Friends of the Library group began in June 1950 due to the efforts of the Jonesboro Women's Club and the Clayton County Library Board. Interest dwindled, but in the 1980s, the Friends reorganized and has been a thriving and beneficial part of the library ever since.