The following is taken from Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography concerning libraries;
“And now I set on foot my first project of a public nature, that for a subscription library. I drew up the proposals, got them put into form by our great scrivener, Brockden, and, by the help of my friends in the Junto, procured fifty subscribers for forty shillings each to begin with, and ten shillings a year for fifty years, the term our company was to continue. We afterwards obtain’d a charter, the company being increased to one hundred, this was the mother of all the North American subscription libraries, now so numerous.
It is become a great thing itself, and continually increasing. These libraries have improved the general conversation of Americans, made the common tradesman and farmers as intelligent as most gentlemen from other countries, and perhaps have contributed in some degree to the stand so generally made throughout the colonies in defence of their privileges.” (p 114)
** Thank you to SURE Copies in Courtenay, BC for all their support over the last two years**