The Norwich Public Library was actually founded as a private library in 1880. The collection was housed in a number of locations, including the Congregational Church vestry building and the North Barracks on the Town green. When the North Barracks burned down in 1897, the town decided to build a new library, which was completed in 1901 at the cost of $2,414.75. In 1920 the library became a free library. Over the past century, the Norwich Public Library has undergone two expansions to accommodate the growing population of readers in town. The first addition was completed in 1976, and the second addition was finished in 1991.