Who Made That Library?

By Ms. Starkson, Language Arts 9, Ms. Starkson

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When Benjamin Franklin wrote his autobiography to his son (who was born out of wedlock), he gave him some advice: Fill a wheelbarrow with paperwork and wheel it around the town. That way, people will think that you are always busy and hardworking. While Franklin was busy putting on a hardworking persona, he was also busy inventing. He created the first library system.

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin was born in 1706 and died in 1790 at 84 years old. He is considered to be a founding father of the United States, and he voted for the national bird to be a turkey instead of an eagle. He is best known for his experiment with electricity, a kite, and a key. However, he invented a lot of other day-to-day things, such as bifocals, paper money, the fire department, and, of course, the library.

What is a library?

The library is a place in which you can borrow books. It is free to go to a library and read, or you can check out a book to take home for a limited period of time. The only time you have to pay the library is if you lose your library card or fail to return a book. Public libraries are funded by the state, and you can also find a library in every school.

Benjamin Franklin came up with the idea for the library after meeting his friends several times to discuss literature. They would recommend books to each other, but the books were not always available. Franklin thought that combining their collection of books for each other to borrow and read would solve that problem and build stronger friendships.

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Modern Libraries

Today, libraries are more than a collection of books. Most libraries have computer labs and other resources for research. Public libraries often have community programs or events such as children’s storytime and book clubs. Some libraries also have resources to help people apply for jobs. They also rent out rooms to study in or hold meetings. You can even borrow books on your tablet, Nook, Kindle, or iPad. Modern libraries have come a long way since Benjamin Franklin’s small, shared book collection.

Works Cited

"Benjamin Franklin: Diplomat, Scientist, Inventor, Writer." Biography.com, 28 Apr 2017. Web. 30 Apr 2017.

Francis, Frank C., et al. "Library." Britannica, 12 May 2017. Web. 18 May 2017.

Franklin, Benjamin. "The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin." Norton, 2012. Print. Mar 2013.