The British Royal Mint has issued a commemorative 50-pence coin celebrating public libraries. It\'s available in silver and gold, and of course you can order online from RoyalMint.com. At around $40 in the US, the silver commemorative could be a great thank-you gift to a dedicated volunteer or outgoing board member, or perhaps to your favorite LISNews.com correspondent. Read on for a brief history of public libraries in the UK...\"Before  the provision of free libraries had depended wholly on the generosity of benefactors like Dick Whittington, but it was Edward Edwards, the first librarian of Manchester, who spearheaded the Public Libraries movement to allow working men to fulfil their desire for self education. Following the Act, councils were able to fund local libraries, \'street-corner universities\' as they have been described, and today the public library service lies at the heart of every community in the United Kingdom, underpinning education and enriching the quality of life. It is perhaps the biggest Cultural Revolution the nation has ever seen.\"