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The Contributions of Benjamin Franklin

            Benjamin Franklin is regarded as one of America's greatest heroes due to his roles in securing the independence of the United States and establishing it as a nation. Franklin became the most famous American of his time, helping found a new nation and defining the American character. Franklin was a writer, a businessman, founder of a fire company, an inventor, diplomat, musician, scientist, and a civic leader. .
             Franklin had limited formal education, yet he was an avid reader and taught himself to become a skilled writer. He established the American Philosophical Society and the public library in Philadelphia. At the time he settled in Philadelphia there was no good library around the community, there was not a good bookshop in any of the colonies. The quest to read took people to far distance to get their books. The idea to establish a library came as a result of the advantages members of his club, Junto derived when they gathered all their books together in a room where they held their meetings for common usage. In 1727, Franklin gathered eleven friends to form the Junto, a club that met weekly to discuss Ways of working together for the benefit of themselves and the Philadelphia community. Benjamin came up with the idea of a public subscription library. He solicited for the support of his Junto club members for the new project. It started with 50 members, majority of them from the Junto club and their friends. They agreed to pay forty shillings and a commencement deposit for initial purchase of books and to make annual contribution of 10 shillings for the next 50 years. .
             A charter was obtained after the membership rose from 50 to 100. The library was able to pull through with the additional donations and gift from the public "The libraries were augmented by donations" (FRANKLIN chapter 8). The library was opened to the public once a week for lending and subscribers were made to pay double the amount of the book if not returned.

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