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Anyone been to one of these? I understand they are all over the world dating back hundreds of years. They were started by the trade workers as a way of improving their education. The name is a bit misleading. The trades were considered mechanical back then. The trade workers collected books and developed a wealth of materials in collections. The Mechanics Institutes went on to become some of the first libraries.

http://www.mechanicsinstitute.org/history.html
 
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