The Hickman County Public Library began in 1935. The Chautauqua Library and Scientific Circle held a carnival on the public square on July 4, 1935, to raise money for and create interest in the new library. Four hundred twenty books were bought and 1,211 donated. The library was placed in the courthouse basement. The Chautauqua Club furnished volunteer librarians for the first year.
In 1936 the first librarian, Mary Frances Wade, was hired at $6.00 per month. Other librarians were Fanny Wilson, Jessie May Cooper, and Melba Gilbert. In 1945, Mrs. W.E. Warren was hired. She worked until her retirement in 1981.
A new library building, containing 7,000 square feet, was begun in 1972. The library was moved to its new location on West Swan Street in 1973, with the dedication held on July 15, 1973, Mary Beth Shouse Pruett was hired as the director in 1978.
In 1998, due to the generosity of a bequest from Mary Stanfill of Centerville, the library was completely remodeled for the first time since it was built. New lighting, new carpet, paint, and other improvements were handled by workers from the Turney Center Prison in Hickman County.
One of the features on the library is its collection of circus figures, made and donated by Edwin Adair and his wife Louise. The figures are carved from styrofoam and made to scale, with authentic detail.
Another feature is a collection of African masks and statues donated by Katie Harrington in Memory of Gertrude Dansby.
David Dansby, who was hired in 1986 as Assistant Director, became Director in December 2016.
In 2018 the library board added a Handicap Accessible ramp at the back door of the library.
The East Hickman Branch of the Hickman County Library was created in 1997. It was originally located at 4887 Hwy 100 Lyles, Tennessee. Mina Dressler was named Branch Manager.
In 2005 the county commission voted to purchase the 5,000 square foot building at 5009 Hwy 100 Lyles, TN for the East Branch.
June 6, 2022, David Dansby passed away.
Mina Dressler was named Library Director March 2023 and Summer Boyd was named Branch Manager of the East Branch.