When it all started

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On July 1, 1731, Benjamin Franklin founded the first circulating library which was a model for the many public libraries in the U.S. He began it as a way to settle intellectual arguments with a group of friends called the Junto who discussed civil matters and eventually morphed into the present American Philosophical Society. Each of the charter members bought a share which provided funds to buy books. In exchange, they could borrow books. They called their library the Library Company of Philadelphia. The books were moved to the Pennsylvania State House which is now known as Independence Hall.