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Norwich Public Library

14letter.gif: A letter dated May 8th 1914. This letter explains that if the village will agree to pay $700.00 per year then the Carnegie Corporation will be willing to give $7000.00 towards the construction of a library building (or bilding as it's spelled in 1914).

15letter.gif: A letter dated September 24th 1915 that says that the $7000.00 is now available and payments will be made in installments of $1000.00 or $2000.00.

blabel.gif: A scan of a photocopy of an original book label from around 1900. It appears that it was placed in each book so that each book could have a different loan time.

Norwich Public Library Timeline

  • December 1876

    "Mechanics's Institute" formed. A room in the printing office is designated as a reading room. W.T. Turney is designated as president. Subscription rates were $2.00 for males and $1.00 for females over the age of 18 per year. They receive a legislative grant of $4.00. The library has had several homes over the years. Over Pitcher's store, in the Miller Block, in the Moore Block, and over Haken's Drug Store.
  • 1899 or 1900

    Fire breaks out in the Tidey Block and soon develops in Haken's Drug Store. Over 3000 volumes are lost to fire and the library is only insured for $500.00
  • 1913-1915

    Thanks to a petition signed by 50 people, the Norwich Council decides to help begin a public library. The library is endowed by the Carnegie Fund. The Carnegie Foundation offers $7000.00 towards the construction of a permanent library building (the current library building) if the municipality agrees to pay $700.00 for the operation and maintenance of the library. Final cost for the building is $7009.44.
  • 1936

    Norwich Library joins the Oxford County Library Association.
  • 1953

    A bookmobile service increases the number of books available at the Norwich Library.
  • 1965

    Norwich Library becomes a branch of the Oxford County Library System.
  • 1973

    The library is redecorated including a new roof, wall to wall carpeting and matching drapes, decorated walls, new book racks, colourful new tables and chairs, an antique screen, a new hot water tank, and a book receptacle to collect books when the library is closed. A new telephone is also installed.
  • 1976

    Norwich Library celebrates its 100th birthday.
  • 1985

    April and Susan from the Mr. Dress-Up Show visit the library to hold a performance.
  • April 1988

    - Canadian Poet David McFadden visits the library to read poetry from his latest collection.
  • 1995

    Each Oxford County household contributes $40.00 to support public libraries in the county. The Norwich Optimist Club donates $250.00 for the purchase of children's books.
  • 1997

    Norwich Optimist Club donates time and money to redecorate the library. Redecorating includes painting the walls, blinds for the windows, and brand new carpeting. It is estimated to cost $10,000.00 in material goods and labour. It is interesting to note that this figure is $3000.00 more than the cost of the building when it was made in 1913-1914.
  • 1998

    The library receives funding to become a CAP (Community Access Program) site. Funding includes the purchase of three computers networked together, computer desks and chairs. North Norwich Telephones provides Internet access allowing the library to offer free access to the computers and the Internet.