According to former library director, Robert Trinkle, the most significant change during his service (1971-1992) was in the area of automation. During the 1970s, the library started investigating library automation systems. The library paid off its new building mortgage in January of 1979 and received a $500,000 bond to implement plans for an automated library system, a renovation of the children's department, installation of a theft-detection system, and replacement of old furniture. The library selected CLSI as its system vendor and went on-line on December 15, 1982. In 1974, Community Access Television was launched with Channel 7 and later became Channel 3. Channel 12 was added in 1987 to host the Community Calendar. Any non-profit organization is able to publicize their events using this service.
A new Bookmobile went in service with 3,000 books in 1987, in order to satisfy the need of Monroe County's rural population.
In 1987, the Randtriever was removed after evaluating the cost of renovation. The removal of this automatic storage system created space for several departments and programs to expand. For instance, the adult learning program, VITAL (Volunteers in Tutoring Adult Learners) founded in 1977, and the Tutoring Room with its computers and learning materials for adult readers were able to utilize the space created on the second floor which formerly housed the Randtriever. The empty space on the first floor was converted into a children's program room and storage area.
Monroe County Public Library constructed a new Ellettsville branch building. It was dedicated in October 1990.