The J. R. Clarke Public Library of Covington was first known as the Covington-Newberry Township School and Public Library.  It was organized in 1917.  Its first location was in the Newberry Township building located on the corner of Wright and Pearl Streets in Covington.  Outgrowing these quarters, the Covington Board of Education designated a room in the elementary school building for the library.  The library remained in this building until 1950.  In 1940, a branch of the library was placed in the high school study hall for the convenience of the students.

     In 1950, the library moved to 212 Walnut Street, Covington.  This location was made available by Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Clarke, former Covington residents.  Mr. Clarke was a former state librarian.  After extensive remodeling, it was named the J. R. Clarke Public Library and was dedicated in 1950.  With the continued growth of the library, the site of the Grace Brethren Church became the next location for the library.  This building, located on the corner of Pearl and Spring Streets, opened its doors to the public in February, 1981.  It remains the current location of the library.  In addition to library services, this location offers a large parking lot, a large meeting room and auditorium for the patrons.