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 of these women formed the first Board of Directors of the Bayfield Public Library when 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.
The Library continued to operate in downtown Bayfield in the old bank building. Gradually, as Bayfield's population increased, so did its need for a larger and more modern building. A mill levy increase passed November 1999, and funding for new facilities became available. Construction started in 2001 and completed at the beginning of 2004. The Library began moving from its Mill Street location into the brand new facility on March 25, 2004.
The library is located in the heart of the expanded business district on the north side of Highway 160. The newly-expanded 12,000 square foot building is home to almost 30,000 items including books, audiobooks, public access computers, tablets, ereaders, and more. The building also offers several meeting spaces for community groups, private events, and library programs. 8,200 square foot Library includes 30 public computers, a large public meeting room with the capacity to seat 50, two smaller conference rooms, a children's area, comfortable chairs for reading, and a growing selection of books, magazines, audio, and video materials. Recent additions to the collection include online databases, downloadable media including audio, video, music, and e-books, GPS units, MP3 players, and flash drives. Over 200 patrons, representing between 28 and 35 different groups, use the public meeting room each month.