The Roanoke Rapids Public Library was founded in 1933 by the Roanoke Rapids Women’s Club with donated books and a volunteer staff. In 1938 the Club presented the Library to the City of Roanoke Rapids. A few years later, the National Guard Armory became the new home of the Library.

In 1958 the Jaycees began a fund drive to build a new Library building. When the bids came in too high, the Jaycees themselves broke ground and began the building project. Money ran out and it was feared that the Library would not be finished. In December of 1961, a contribution from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation of $15,000 allowed completion of the building.

A major expansion in 1989 nearly doubled the size of the now 7,550 sq. ft. Library. With over 41,000 items available and nearly 13,000 registered Patrons, the Roanoke Rapids Public Library has been and continues to be a successful community project.