Woonsocket Harris Public Library

303 Clinton Street
Woonsocket, RI 02895


 The Woonsocket Harris Public Library was originally known as the Harris Institute Library. Situated on the second floor of the Harris Institute Building in the Harris Block on Main Street , the Harris Institute Library opened its doors to the public on October 3, 1868. The Harris Institute Library has the distinction of being the first public library in the state of Rhode Island . The library was located directly below Harris Hall, where Abraham Lincoln delivered an anti-slavery address in 1860. The founder of the library was Mr. Edward Harris, who was a noted Woonsocket woolen manufacturer and philanthropist.

The first branch library in the city was the Social Branch Library, which opened on January 13, 1927. The Social Branch was located on the second floor of the Dulude Building near Social Corner, in the heart of Woonsocket 's most densely populated district at the time. The Social Branch Library remained in operation until 1974. 

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