WPLS started operation as a demonstration program in 1966 for Custer and Washita Counties, using State and Federal Funding under the Oklahoma Department of Libraries’ Library Development program. In 1967, Dewey County petitioned to be added to the program; and in 1968 Roger Mills County also requested to be added to the program. The residents of Custer and Washita Counties voted a two mill levy on property in March of 1968 to provide permanent funding for the library system. In April of 1968, Dewey County voted permanent funding with a two mill levy. Roger Mills County voted the library levy in September or 1969. In 1991, Custer County residents responded to the request of the library system to provide more funding with the voting of an additional two mill levy for services in Custer County.
Authorized by the Oklahoma Library Code and Article X, Section 10a of the Oklahoma Constitution, WPLS operates under the direction of a library board appointed by the County Commissioners of the four counties it serves; in counties with no towns of 2000 or more the board appointment is done by County Seat Towns. The System Board is composed of nine people and meets bi-monthly to approve bills and policy.
The current WPLS board roster can be found here: Current System Board Members
A map of library systems in Oklahoma can be found here: Library Systems Map