Library service began in the Hopewell–Prince George area in 1930 when Thomas B. Robertson established a Library Association for persons interested in forming a library. In 1931, the city formally took over operation of the library, with Mrs. Maude Langhorne Nelson as its first librarian. The John Randolph Library, as it was then known, was located in the State Planters Bank Building (now the United Virginia Bank).
In 1957, the library was moved to the annex of the Municipal Building and the name was changed to honor the first librarian, Maude Langhorne Nelson. In 1974, Prince George and Dinwiddie Counties joined the city of Hopewell to form the Appomattox Regional Library. The name of the library was chosen because the Appomattox River runs through each of the three localities that are served.
In 2000, the Dinwiddie Branch, ARLS, moved into the renovated Circuit Clerk’s Office in the historic Dinwiddie Courthouse complex. It is located next door to the Dinwiddie County Historical Society. The library is governed by a Board of Trustees. The Library Board of Trustees is responsible for adopting policies necessary for the operation of the regional library system.
The Appomattox Regional Library System will provide services and programs to the communities it serves through support of life-long learning, general information, and the exchange of ideas with the effective use of traditional library resources and emerging technology.