1st Public Library in America

The Franklin Public Library in Franklin, MA is generally recognized as the first public library in the United States.


The Franklin Collection of books formed the original nucleus of the Franklin Library.  Books were exceedingly rare and costly in the Americas, even at the end of the 18th Century.

On November 20th, 1790, a Franklin town meeting voted to lend the books to all Franklin inhabitants free of charge.  Thus the first public library in the United States was established.

It is pretty amazing to consider that Franklin, MA established a public library before major population centers such as New York, Philadelphia and Boston!

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