Trailblazer: Ben Franklin and The Library

Loading Events

Wednesday, March 30 at 5pm ET | 2pm PT, PBS Books is pleased to host a conversation with New York Times best-selling author Jane Yolen, author of The Leather Apron Club: Ben Franklin, His Son Billy, & America’s First Circulating Library.

Celebrating libraries, master storyteller Jane Yolen brings Benjamin Franklin and his son Billy story at Leather Apron Club alive. Learn about the first circulating library and hear from Jane Yolen about her work and her creative process.  The author will answer audience questions at the end of the conversation.

On April 4 at 8pm ET, Ken Burns’s four-hour documentary, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, will air on PBS stations across the country.  It explores the revolutionary life of one of the 18th century’s most consequential and compelling personalities, whose work and words unlocked the mystery of electricity and helped create the United States. “Write things worth reading,” he said in Poor Richard’s Almanack, “or do things worth the writing.” Benjamin Franklin did both. This program is offered in partnership with WETA and the PBS network.  #BenFranklinPBS

About the Author

“I am one of those writers who believe that one should not necessarily write what you know, but what you want to know.”

Jane Yolen was a gold star kid. She took piano lessons, studied ballet at Balanchine’s School of American Ballet, sang in the high school and college choirs was captain of the high school girls’ basketball team, and News Editor of her high school paper. Her first forays into writing included the production of a musical she wrote in the first grade about vegetables, and the publication of a newspaper for her apartment building at the age of 10. A veritably precocious child, Jane was born in New York City but during her childhood, her small family moved to California, then back to New York, and then to Connecticut. She graduated seventh in her high school class (although she believes that if she’d worked a little harder she may have been third) and attended Smith College, where she won poetry and journalism awards and again wrote the class musical.

After college Jane moved back to New York City where she worked as an editor and wrote during her lunch breaks and on the weekends. She considered herself a poet and journalist, but to her surprise she became a children’s book writer and sold her first book, Pirates in Petticoats on her 22nd birthday. Since then she has published around 420 books and received numerous awards, including a Golden Kite Award, National Book Award nomination, a Caldecott Medal for Owl Moon, and most recently, the Sydney Taylor Body-of-Work Award.

Jane has three children and six grandchildren. She lives in western Massachusetts, Mystic Ct. and has a house in Scotland.

Go to Top