Our Story

NCRL's mission is to promote reading and lifelong learning.

Established in 1960, the North Central Regional Library (NCRL) provides public library service to over 250,000 people in Chelan, Douglas, Ferry, Grant, and Okanogan counties. The library's 14,497 square-mile service area comprises about 1/5 of Washington State's land-surface area. Geographically, NCRL is the largest library in Washington State.

Management and control of NCRL is vested in a regional board consisting of two trustees from Chelan and Grant Counties and one trustee from each of the three remaining counties. NCRL is supported almost exclusively by property taxes and proportional fees from incorporated cities and towns that choose to contract with the regional library.

Access to the library's collection of over 700,000 books and other materials is available through 30 community libraries and our online catalog. Collections include materials available in English, Spanish, and Russian languages. Service to our many rural patrons is provided through our popular Mail Order Library, which was the first in the nation and is one of the few remaining.

NCRL offers extensive programming directed to children and their caregivers. Storytime programs are scheduled regularly in all 30 community libraries. Children and their parents have appreciated our Summer Reading Program for over 50 years. Classroom visits, library tours, book clubs for kids, and special events such as author presentations are all part of our system-wide children's services.

NCRL provides service outside of community libraries to Head Start programs, nursing homes, senior retirement centers, youth detention facilities, jails, and other facilities throughout the library's service area. Our outreach staff provides personalized support to over 200 book clubs active in our five counties. Our Bookmobile ensures that children without convenient access to a community library have a great public library experience.

Our Story