On August 6, 1981, the Tri-Community Library officially opened its doors to the public. Prior to that, the Benewah County Library Board had contracted with the Latah County Bookmobile Service to furnish books for the communities and school. When the service ceased operation, it left the Upriver area people without access to reading and educational material.
William and Pat Kelly offered a building next door to their home to house the library. The next step was to seek financial and advisory assistance, which came from the Benewah County Library Board and the Nez Perce County library. The State Library Association and the Idaho Commission on the Arts were also contributing factors. William and Pat Kelly contracted to pay the rent and some salary for Mrs. Kelly, who became the librarian.
In 1990, the Benewah County Library Board purchased the library. The board represents the interests of the library and oversees the operation with the cooperation of the hired librarian and director.