When you are growing up, there are two institutional places that affect you most powerfully: the Church, which belongs to God and the public library, which belongs to you. The public library is a great equalizer. — Keith Richards
I grew up in the library. I read every single book on the children’s section floor before I was out of 6th grade and had to argue with the librarian to let me upstairs. Books were my friends and my solace. Books gave me the huge vocabulary that let me place so high on the standardized tests.
Go read the article in the link above, it’s depressing. One of the tech guys I follow went to a (sparsely attended) SXSW talk and tells us a little about it.
Two of my favorite people are librarians. Neither of them get to work in libraries anymore. My (30 year old) stepson is going to school to become a librarian. I am having difficulty understanding his thought processes about it. Not that I ever understand him, anyway, but library science in this day and age seems like a dead end.