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Ben Franklin's concept of public library alive & well in Gilmanton

To The Daily Sun,

Benjamin Franklin understood that for democracy to flourish, all citizens must have access to the knowledge and information they need to participate in that democracy. To this end, he and his colleagues devised a plan to create a single collection of their combined personal libraries and make these books available to the citizens of Philadelphia. Thus was the concept of a public library born.

Now, nearly 200 years later, the Gilmanton Year-Round Library continues the tradition. Resources available at the library allow every Gilmanton resident an equal opportunity to access information regardless of socioeconomic status. Whether it is a child learning the alphabet or a senior searching for computer assistance, the librarians are there to help. Early childhood programs ensure that every student has the opportunity to begin their school years with appropriate language skills. Library resources for older students allow those with less access to information at home to keep up with their peers. Adults benefit by finding information needed to pursue further education, conduct job searches, and research government programs.

Now that we're living in the digital age, the digital divide may have narrowed. But it has become much deeper for those who do not have computers or internet access. As government resources become available only through the internet (including our own town information!), as e-commerce allows for better consumer shopping for those big ticket purchases, as job searching and application submission is available almost exclusively online, we are pleased that the Gilmanton Year-Round Library makes both computers and internet access available -- for free.

As we follow in Benjamin Franklin's footsteps, we encourage all residents to make use of the information and programs offered by the library. Our goal is to provide every community member with the resources needed to reach their fullest potential.

Board of Directors

Gilmanton Year-Round Library

 
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