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Benjamin Franklin's Junto Club led to the birth of the first US Public Library in 1731

Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 27 July 2017



Benjamin Franklin's Junto Club led to the birth of the first US Public Library in 1731
WeblogGurteen Knowledge Log
Knowledge LetterAppears in the Gurteen Knowledge Letter issue: 205
Posted DateThursday 27 July 2017 16:37 GDT
Posted ByDavid Gurteen

I was driving into town recently and switched on the car radio and caught the last few minutes of BBC Radio 4 programme called Making History and was gobsmacked at my serendipitous discovery of a so-called "Conversation Society" founded in 1727!

I have downloaded the audio and clipped out the key passage and uploaded to YouTube - it is only two minutes long. (I am sure the BBC won't mind.)

I googled around to find more information on the Conversation Society that is mentioned. It was called the Junto Club. More information here on the Benjamin Franklin History website and here on Wikipedia

So Benjamin Franklin was convening a Book Discussion Café (well not really but it's a nice fantasy) back in 1727 that morphed into the Library Company of Philadelphia - the first public library in the US in 1731.

I love the thought that they bought books to inspire their conversations and that this book collection was the foundation of the public library.

An absolutely amazing story!

Why not start your own Junto Club. It has some very KM like features. All you need to do is update Benjamin Franklin's 24 questions into modern day English and a business environment - and you have it!

If you are interested in Knowledge Management, the Knowledge Café or the role of conversation in organizational life then you my be interested in this online book I am writing on Conversational Leadership
David Gurteen

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