In 1936, the State Library of Ohio asked the Hiram Public Library to become the county extension service library. The library accepted this responsibility and began serving all the rural residents and schools in Portage County. From its founding until 1942, the Hiram Library occupied three rented locations. In 1942, the library purchased a large two story house in Hiram. Several additions were made to this facility over several years but this soon proved inadequate.
The Hiram Library changed its name to the Portage County District Library in 1949. Portage County District Library has added additional branch locations since that time. Branch locations include Aurora Memorial, Garrettsville, Pierce Streetsboro, Randolph, Windham, and Outreach Services (includes Library Express). In March 2011, the Brimfield Library, which opened in January 2000, closed its doors due to funding issues.
The Garrettsville Branch was constructed on land donated by the community of Garrettsville in the Garrettsville Village Park. Completed in 1987, this facility also houses the administration offices, Technical Services, and Outreach Services (includes Home Delivery & Library Express).
In the mid-1990s, Portage County District Library joined the two independent library systems within Portage County, Kent Free Library and Reed Memorial Library, in forming the Portage Library Consortium (PLC). The PLC allows all three public libraries to contain the cost of emerging technologies and materials collection through a combined catalog.
During the early 2000s, the Portage County District Library received a grant to begin the Library Express delivery program. This delivery program provides delivery service to eight remote locations within the Portage County area. These locations include Aurora, Brimfield, Edinburg, Hiram, Mantua, Randolph, Rootstown, and Shalersville.