Last month, the Library Company, partnered with the 92nd Street Y and the Free Library of Philadelphia to launch Philadelphia’s own network of Ben Franklin Circles. Over 300 years ago, Benjamin Franklin began his Junto – a group of Franklin’s friends and peers who met weekly to discuss the current state of their community and work towards self-improvement. Now, in the 21st century, the 92nd Street Y has partnered with us and the Free Library to expand these self-improvement discussion groups and keep Franklin’s Junto alive.
It was exciting to see the number of both new and old friends at the kick-off event on December 14th. Benjamin Franklin himself even made an appearance!
Left to Right: Asha Curren, 92nd Y Chief Innovation Officer ; Dr. Benjamin Franklin; Dr. Michael J. Barsanti, Library Company Edwin Wolf 2nd Director; Andrew Nurkin, Free Library of Philadelphia, Deputy Director of Enrichment and Civic Engagement. (Photo Credit: Steve Weinik)
The Library Company’s own Franklin Circle, led by our own Edwin Wolf 2nd Director, Michael Barsanti, had its first meeting this January and focused on the theme, Temperance. Each monthly meeting will focus on one of Franklin’s 13 Virtues outlined in his Autobiography and how these virtues apply to us today.
Those inspired to pick up the mantle of the Junto and start their own Franklin Circle are encouraged to reach out to their local Free Library branch about meeting space and details. More information about starting your own Franklin Circle can be found here.