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Library Happenings – Book on Jane Franklin leads to listing of other classics (Feb. 25, 2015 issue)

I currently am reading Jill Lepore’s “Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin.” Jane, the younger sister of Benjamin, was born poor and she married unwisely and too young. She received very little in the way of education, but she loved to read—and write. Jane is the subject of a scholarly biography because a portion of her correspondence with her famous brother has survived.
In one of the latter chapters, Jane recommended a book she had read to her brother, who was making a gift of library books to the newly christened town of Franklin, Massachusetts. Benjamin asked a friend, who was a clergyman, to compile a list of books that would serve as a foundation for the parish library. Although Jane thought Franklin should have presented a bell for the church tower rather than books, she was interested in the list.
In the end, the 116 volumes of the Franklin donation included the two-volume book of sermons Jane had suggested. The other works were heavy on religion, philosophy, law, history and science. While many of these titles are no longer widely known, readers of “Little Women” should remember John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress” and fans of “Pride and Prejudice” may recognize “Fordyce’s Sermons.” It was the book which Mr. Collins chose to read to his “fair cousins,” much to Lydia’s chagrin.
If you are intrigued by either of these venerable titles, you may find “Pilgrim’s Progress” in our main collection and James Fordyce’s “Sermons to Young Women” online through Google Books. If you have a compatible device, you may download the eBook free of charge.
Reading about Franklin’s donation got me to thinking. Which books would I select for a library if I were limited to only 116 volumes? What would you choose?
READing Paws
READing Paws dogs will be at the library this Saturday, Feb. 28. Reading Education Assistance Dogs are registered therapy animals that volunteer as companions for children who need to practice reading skills. Each dog is accompanied by its owner/trainer.
Some budding readers may be embarrassed when they read slowly or mispronounce a word. They may be reluctant to read to adults or their older siblings, but they can relax and relish the experience when they read to a dog. The dog simply enjoys having the child’s attention regardless of the quality of his reading performance.
READing Paws dogs will be here between noon and 1 p.m. Each dog’s time is divided into four fifteen-minute appointments. If your child would like to read to a dog, call the library at 743-6533 to reserve a time slot or to get further information.