Here's the reasons:
1. Everything Is Free
In this economy, people can not always afford to buy books for pleasure, along with Kindles, Nooks, iPads and smart phones. Some people have sold their computers(or had their PCs or laptops stolen, not to mention their cell phones)and cut off internet access in their homes to save money. These people then go to the library to use the computers, looking at job listings, Facebook, and everything else. The few things that bug me is when parents bring their young children and can't keep them quiet or older kids and teens who occupy the computers to play games. Someone might need to check their bank statement or pay a bill, and some thirteen year old is screwing around with Farmville. Aside from the things that make me hostile, there's other free stuff at the library; namely, CDs and DVDs. The movies are usually old, but I rented Catfish from my library, a movie I never would have paid money for to rent(although I enjoyed it). The CDs are not usually recent releases, but you can find an old favorite and even rip it on to your computer(not legal, but everyone does it).
2. Libraries Like Readers and Writers
Libraries now offer to help readers download ebooks, and this includes free books. Many indie authors, including myself, have books to offer for free. I have yet to check if The Last Girl is available through my library's ebook system, but it might be worth checking out. Also, libraries offer books from independent publishers, including my publisher for the paperback of Karma House, James A. Rock and Co. It may have taken two years to arrive at my library, but it was no less a thrill.
3. Libraries Are Still The Best Place To Discover New Authors
I never would have read Terry Pratchett or Barbara Kingsolver if not for wandering in the library. As a kid, I found a lot of favorites at my elementary school library, including a book called Gypsy Courier(can anyone tell me the name of the author? The book was about a gypsy boy who helps a resistance group during WWII by delivering messages)and another called Casilda of the Rising Moon, about Saint Casilda. I wasn't even Catholic, but I found the story fascinating. In the days before Bookmobiles, we had R.I.F, Reading Is Fundamental. I read Summer of the Swans because R.I.F gave me a free copy.
4. Libraries Teach You To Respect Books
In the '80s, when I was growing up, I was taught that books were important because of the expense, not just what was on the page. The school librarian could spend weeks in the summer checking text books over for scribbles, using huge rubber erasers to remove roughly drawn hearts and other declarations of love, penises, boobs, and rock band logos, along with obscene limericks. Old chewing gum was the worst; the book would have to be thrown out, pages stuck together by a pink wad of Bazooka or Bubblicious. These little acts of vandalism would cost the school money, and school books were becoming more expensive. In the inner cities, kids had to share books that were falling apart, pages missing. I look back and realize how lucky I was. I discovered book stores by the time I was twelve, spending my allowance on popular authors, discovering Stephen King and Jackie Collins. Clive Barker's Books Of Blood. Lace by Shirley Conran. Flowers In The Attic, being passed around by the girls in my ninth grade biology class. By junior high, I learned that the popular kids did not hang out at the library, but I didn't care, I liked the quiet. I have to admit, sometimes I love animals and books more than people. My manager at K-Mart was kidding with me one night, because I have a tendency to take my book or magazine to the much-quieter training room to read instead of the noisy break room. I felt the same way about his comments as I did the popular kids in eighth grade-what do they know, anyway? Besides, the weather has been hot, and the library always has air-conditioning. :)