Assam is one of the seven North Eastern States with Guwahati is the gate way of the entire region. In the year 1954 ( 5th Five year plan 1951-56) under the scheme of educational development i.e. improvement of library services 7 District Libraries along with the State Central Library, Shillong were come into being. With the shifting of capital of Assam from Shillong to Guwahati the State Central Library was shifted to Guwahati in the month of December 1973.
The State Central Library was upgraded a separate Directorate to be known as “Directorate of Library Services” with the head quarter at Guwahati with the existing staff of State Central Library vide notification No. ETM 168/79/Pt. IV/24 dt. 27-01-1984 under jurisdiction of Education (CTM) Department. The Administrative control was transferred from Education Department to the Cultural Affairs Department vide notification No. AR 15/2003/51 dt. 2-8-2003.
In 1954 Public library schemes implemented in Assam by the Govt. through Plan provisions have been provided only the urban section of the State. In 1961 the scheme brought under Non-Plan scheme of the State Govt. and made permanent in the same year. Now Library services has so far covered with one no. State Central Library, 23 nos District Libraries, 14 nos Sub – Divisional libraries, 3 nos. of Branch Libraries. Consequent upon the creation new District & Sub-Divisions, expansion of Library services to the new District & Sub-Divisions also with a view to expanding the library services to the grass root level and to build up a sound network of Library system from the rural level to the state level, the Rural Library scheme was implemented in Assam in the year 1985. This scheme will help much creation reading habit in rural areas for all round development.
The State Central Library Was established in 1954 at Shillong, the then capital of undivided Assam along with Seven District Libraries at the Head Quarters of Seven Plain Districts in Assam at Guwahati, Nagoan, Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Tezpur, Dhubri and Silchar under Education Development Scheme of “Improvement of Library Services” as sponsored by the Govt. of India during the 1st Five year Plan.
The State Central Library, Assam was shifted to Guwahati during the year 1974 after division of Assam into two states namely Assam and Meghalaya & shifted of the State Capital of Assam to Dispur from Shillong. In 1967 -68 in two District Libraries at Diphu and Haflong were established in two Hill Districts of Karbi Anglong and N. C. Hills respectively and ten Sub-Divisional Libraires at Sivasagar, Golaghat, North Lakhipur, Goalpara, Karimganj, Nalbari, Barpeta, Hailakandi, Mangaldoi and Kokrajhar and with the creation of new Sub-Division at Morigaon, Tinsukia and Dhemaji, Sub-Divisional Libraries were also been established in those place later. The above mentioned 13 Sub-Divisions were up graded to the Districts and those sub-Divisional Libraries also upgraded to the District Libraries. With the creation on new District at Bongaigaon, one more District Library was established at Bongaigaon and there are 23 District Libraries are functioning under the Directorate of Library Services.
With the creation of Sub-Divisions at different places of Assam, 14 nos Sub-Divisional Libraries now functioning at Jonai, Majuli, B. Chariali, Sodiya, Charaideo, Sarupathar, Hojai, Hamren (Hill area), Pragjyotishpur, Rangia, Gossaigaon (BTAD) North Salmara, South Salmar & Udalguri (BTAD)
The Govt. of Assam 3 nos. of District Library and 2 nos. Sub-Divisional Libraries crated newly at BTAD area of the State with the Letter no. CAD 389/2008/pt. -1/60 dt. 04/08/2014.
In addition to those Districts & Sub-Divisional Libraries, one full fledged children library at Bishnu-Nirmala Bhawan at Guwahati, a branch library at Dispur with a view to meet reading habit of the inhabitants of capital complex, a Research and Reference Section under the Directorate is also providing facilities to all public & the Research scholars since 1975.
204 nos. of Rural Libraries are so far been setup in different Districts to extend library scheme which is being implemented since 1985-86 with the provision of establishment of one Rural Library in each Gaon Panchayat in the State and out of 204 nos. 199 nos. rural libraries are functioning smoothly till date.