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|Country||United States of America|
|Access and use|
|Population served||33,092 (2010 census)|
Franklin Public Library is the first public lending library in continuous existence in the United States. It was founded in 1790 in Franklin, Massachusetts with a donation of books from Benjamin Franklin. It is currently located at 118 Main Street in Franklin.
A town in Massachusetts chose to name itself Franklin after Benjamin Franklin, and Franklin donated 116 books to the town in lieu of a requested church bell. Franklin's town meeting voted to lend the books to all Franklin inhabitants free of charge in 1790, and this small collection can therefore be considered the first public library in the United States. In 1904, the Ray family donated the Ray Memorial Building which was dedicated as the first permanent building for the library collection. The Franklin Library Association was in charge of the library until 1981 when town of Franklin began running the Franklin Public Library directly as a department of the town.
- "Library History". franklinma.gov. Town of Franklin. Archived from the original on 2018-10-21.
- Dawson, Robert (2014-05-27). The Public Library: A Photographic Essay. Chronicle Books. ISBN 9781616893279.
In 1790 the citizens voted to lend the books to all Franklin inhabitants free of charge. The vote established the Franklin collection as one of the first public libraries in the United States.
- A History of America's First Public Library at Franklin, MA Bicentennial Commemorative Edition (1990) http://www.franklinma.gov/franklin-public-library/pages/history-americas-first-public-library-franklin-ma
- Baughman, James C. (1986-10-15). "Sense Is Preferable to Sound" (PDF). Library Journal. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-09-12. Retrieved 2018-10-21.