I think I already discussed before (How old was that entry? One year, two years ago?) about the myth of libraries -- TV and teachers will tell us that if we need a book, we should visit our local library. But the fact is, it's physically impossible for any library (barring "digital libraries") to stock every single book in the world, much less every single book a person might be interested in reading.
As a kid, I wasn't your conventional reader. That is, I spent most of my growing years reading magazines instead of books (and I'm not regretting that fact). That's not to say I wasn't in the school library often--I was, but it's not because of the books. And neither was I alone in the library. In fact, it was frequently populated. But again, it's not because of the books. Of course when I entered college, the state of the university library wasn't any different. And I'll be brutally honest, here's the reasons why people were in the library (whether I was in grade school, high school, or college):
- The place has an air-conditioner. It's cool. It might not seem much to foreigners, but bear in mind that the Philippines is a tropical country that has been influenced by Western colonial mentality (we have skating rinks in our malls!).
- It's a good place to sleep, everything from sofas to tables. Oh, and air-conditioning too!
- It's a good place to chat, where bullies won't bother you and there's table and chairs which you can use.