Falling Water River Regional Library

Falling Water Regional Library

Our Vision and Mission

The vision of the Falling Water River Regional Library, and its counterpart regional libraries across the state of Tennessee, is that the citizens of Tennessee will have the information they need for personal growth and development.

The mission of the Tennessee Regional Library System is to make libraries better by:

  • assisting local governments and public libraries in the development and improvement of public library services;
  • assisting libraries in the selection, maintenance and use of library technologies;
  • providing supplementary library materials and digital content to member public libraries and facilitating the preparation of materials for public use;
  • facilitating the sharing of resources between libraries through a delivery system;
  • providing opportunities to participate in shared automation systems;
  • and providing continuing education to local library staff and trustees.


Falling Water River Regional Library was established July 1, 2012 with the merger of the nine counties in the Upper Cumberland Region and five counties of the Caney Fork Region.

The Upper Cumberland Regional Library had its beginning in the fall of 1945 when Martha Parks, director, Division of Libraries, Tennessee Department of Education and Maude Terry of Cookeville visited various county courts and civic groups in order to establish regional library service. This resulted in Smith, DeKalb, Putnam, and White Counties meeting the necessary matching requirements to form a region in the spring of 1946. Overton and Cumberland Counties joined the program in July 1946 and it was at this time that Alberta Cameron was employed as the Regional Librarian.

In July 1947, the region expanded to include Jackson County and in September, Pickett County. September also brought a new Regional Librarian Helen Qualls replaced Miss Cameron. By 1948-1949 White and Jackson Counties were no longer part of the region and Van Buren County joined the program. In July 1952, Bledsoe County became a part of the region.

In keeping with a statewide policy of naming the various regions, the name, Upper Cumberland Region, came into being in 1954. Helen Qualls' resignation in June 1956 left the region without a regional librarian until Julia Greer Boyd assumed this position in October.

In 1956, Pickett and Cumberland Counties were unable to appropriate sufficient local funds. Hoping that these county courts could somehow locate the funds, service was not stopped abruptly. By the end of the year, however, Pickett County had dropped out of the program, and Cumberland County was in the process of being transferred to the Caney Fork Region, which was being formed. Two other counties, Bledsoe and Van Buren, were also soon to become a part of the Caney Fork Region. At the same time, groundwork was being laid in Macon and Fentress Counties for these areas to become a part of the Upper Cumberland Region as demonstration counties in 1957-1958.

Jackson and Clay Counties joined the region in July 1959 as demonstrations bringing the total number of counties to eight. Jackson and Clay County library demonstrations were completed in June 1961 with the County Courts voting the funds to assume the financial responsibility. That same year, Pickett County joined the region as the final and fifth demonstration bringing the number of counties served to nine.

Due to a political situation in the County, Clay County dropped from the region for a brief time, but by 1962-1963 service was resumed. The nine counties, Ciay, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Picket, Putnam, and Smith, remained constant until April 30, 2012.

Caney Fork Region Library began July 1, 1957 with six counties. Mary Little was named Director. Grundy and Warren Counties transferred from the Highland Rim Region. Bledsoe and Van Buren Counties transferred from the Upper Cumberland Region. Marion and White Counties received services through the Library Services Act funds for a two-year demonstration.

At the end of two years, Marion and White Counties appropriated money to continue their regional Services.

Sequatchie County received LSA funding in 1959 and received county funding in 1962. Cumberland County was a demonstration county for two years and received county funding in 1963.

The eight counties, Bledsoe, Cumberland, Grundy, Marion, Sequatchie, Van Buren, Warren and White Counties remained constant until March 31,2012.

April 1, 2012, Bledsoe, Cumberland, Sequatchie, Van Buren and White Counties transferred to the Upper Cumberland Region (Falling Water River Region) and, Grundy, Marion and Warren transferred to Highland Rim Region (Stones River Region).

Falling Water River Region has fourteen counties Bledsoe, Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Picket, Putnam, Sequatchie, Smith, Van Buren, and White.

Falling Water River Regional Library
208 Minnear Street
Cookeville, TN 38501-3949

Legislators Public Libraries in the Region Staff Trustees


Ken Yager

Paul Bailey

Mae Beavers

Eric Stewart


Kelly Keisling

Terri Lynn Weaver

John Mark Windle

Ryan Williams

Kevin Dunlap

Cameron Sexton

Ron Travis



Matt Kirby

Asst. Director
Jeanne Schmitzer

Administrative Services Assistant
Angel Payne

Technical Services Assistant
Jennifer Moody

Library Information Systems Specialist
Karen Howard


Bledsoe County

Clay County
Elaine Cherry

Cumberland County
Lisa Harrison

Dekalb County
Bobby White

Fentress County
Terry Bryan
Myra Stowers

Jackson County
Raymond Hansen

Macon County
George McCrary
Frances Darnell

Overton County
Elmo Garrett

Pickett County
Lois Pierce
Richard Pierce

Putnam County
Alicia Eldridge
Patricia Lawrence

Sequatchie County
Mary Harmon
Rachel Hixson

Smith County
Pat Bush
Carolyn Haliburton

Van Buren County

White County
Mabel Moore
April Smith