Yet another peg in the sand.
In an earlier short post Rafe referred to the Mechanics Institutes. Today we take our public library system for granted. Yet their existence owes much to two autodidacts, self taught men.
One made his money from the establishment of US Steel. The second was a farm labourer turned who became arguably the most influential Australian education minister of the twentieth century. Both were obsessed with the importance of education. In combination, they played a major role in the creation of Australia's public libraries.