Whilst I have fond memories of using the library when a child (as a place to borrow books no less!), my library usage as an adult has changed. As a child and teenager I remember being in the library a lot and regularly checking out as many books as I was allowed. I think I remember moving up from 5 to 8 books at a time….!. I don’t remember returning any books unread or late, but that could just be a memory thing. It was kind of a big thing when we were allowed to move from the small local community library to the larger city library in town. Not only were we allowed to check out more books, but it was almost a “coming of age” rite in that, at a certain age we were allowed *to make our way home on our own* afterwards!
The Central City library in my city, is a relatively new building (September 2012), and cost nearly £200million. It’s big, it’s impressive, it’s a bit controversial (4 community libraries were closed because of it and the opening hours have already been slashed to lower costs). It’s a great landmark when giving directions from out of towners, gives “good press” and is a great talking point, if not a meeting point.
It has a cinema, auditorium, meeting rooms, author talks, BFI videos, TEDx presentations, multimedia events, cheese and wine events, sewing and knitting communities, kids activities etc, etc. See? Not everything is about checking books in and out.