How Benjamin Franklin Established The Public Library Of Philadelphia

Decent Essays

Section 1: Describe how Benjamin Franklin established the public library in Philadelphia. What was the effect of this library on Franklin and on his community? In 1731 Benjamin Franklin along with the members of philosophical organization known as the Junto, decided to write “Articles of Agreement” and to create a library. At this time the vast majority of Americans were illiterate. They did not have access to books that would help the improve their reading skills as there were no public libraries at the time. This was a problem for the Junto group as men of average prosperity also could not afford books. While they members of Junto were educated and interested in a variety of areas none of them had more than a couple of books. In fact, the only people who have a substantial collection of books are the extremely wealthy and the clergy. The Junto realized that is they combined their assets they would be able to afford more books then they would be able to on their own. Using their combined purchasing power also guaranteed that all members of the organization would have access to the books. Each of the fifty subscribers invested an initial 40 shillings. They also agreed to invest another 10 shillings each year. This annual investment would be used to buy additional books and to keep up with the maintenance of the library they were launching. The institution soon manifested its utility, was imitated by other towns, and in other provinces. The libraries were augmented by

Get Access