Ben Franklin“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

  • Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin is indeed coming from the 18th century with his many sayings and into the Pioneer Library System’s 2017 Summer Reading Program. The event “Ben Franklin LIVE” welcomes all ages and will tour hometown libraries throughout June and July.

It is, in fact and of course, not THE Benjamin Franklin but a believable facsimile, played by Stephen Smith. Smith’s goal with the program is to “bring history alive,” and he does so through authentic costume and words of the statesman.

In the program, he will take the audience through stories from Franklin’s youth as an apprentice and printer through his days working in the Revolutionary War and the early years of the United States. His many famous sayings and writings and the real story about his kite will be featured parts of the presentation.

Smith has toured the Pioneer Library System in past summers and many other sites around the state with several of his alter egos, including Orville Wright, Okie Dokie and the wacky balloon-toting Professor B. Looney.

Smith has been a participant in the Oklahoma Humanities Council’s “History Alive” series. He has presented one-man shows and workshops across the country and also Canada and Mexico for more than 20 years and lives outside of Tulsa.

Sponsors for this year’s Summer Reading Program are the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation, Friends of the Library groups, Hitachi Computer Products of America Inc., the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Oklahoma Arts Council, Oklahoma College Savings Plan, Pioneer Library System, Pioneer Library System Foundation, SONIC, the Oklahoma Department of Libraries and The Oklahoman Newspapers in Education.