Tonight the Franklin Town Council voted to accept Resolution 15-66, Reconstructing, Adding to, Equipping and Furnishing the Franklin Public Library. Woohoo!
You see our library is the first public library in the USA. Yes, even before Boston! Our claim to fame is due to Ben Franklin sending the town books for public use. The books were placed in the minister's home and were available for the town's people to borrow.
At the turn of the 19th century, a wealthy family in town, the Ray family, donated money to build our current building. Since then the funds left the library from the Ray family were used to fund the library. NO taxpayer dollars were spent! It was all Ray monies. That lasted until the 1980's. The town took over the library and helped expand and support the library.
A history of the library can be read here.
Presently, the library needs to be updated and expanded. The library needs $ 11, 500, 000.00 for updating electrical, mechanical and plumbing in the existing building, including compliance to the American with Disabilities Act, and an addition to provide additional space.
I was among those in the audience to support this proposal. Since I am an avid reader and use the library a lot, I wanted to show my support. Not only do I borrow books, CD's, DVD's, I also bring my grandchildren to the library for books, and programs. A good library is an asset to the town.
Think about it. The town is named after Benjamin Franklin. And he, himself, started our library. Wouldn't it be a shame and an insult to not take care of his legacy? The Ray family also, who gave their fortune for this important heritage. Kudos to the Town Council for honoring this important literary and institutional heritage.