RS - to make sure the kids had a fun time
This is an important distinction about library system executives, as compared to directors of other local gov't agencies (OSRS gold): Library administrators are passionate about their work. They didn't just study library science in school and find a position they were qualified for; they legitimately love what they do. And they love to hear from people who appreciate it.
They don't just love what they do, they love their communities. I had the opportunity to do some fun hands on activities at local libraries. The staff there loved to pitch in. They wanted to do everything possible to make sure the kids had a fun time.
To add to this , can you imagine if libraries didn't exist and someone proposed that we should loan out books and other media, passing the cost to the taxpayers?
The yells of socialism and various conspiracy theories would be instantaneous. No way in hell would it fly. Point being, use your local library and express your thanks for its existence!
I am investing into a collection of my own. However, I'm having a hard time deciding which books are worth owning vs how often I'd read them vs cost. Even at $5 per used hardcover, it'd be hard to spend that money with the library across the street if it weren't for my philosophy on owning things.
My recommendation: if it's a book you'd be willing, or even enthusiastic, to lend to a friend, it's worth buying. I'm not saying it'll stay on your shelf, due to the aforementioned willingness to lend it out, but that's been my metric.
If your system has a Friends of the Library bookstore, or even book sale, buy through them. That money then gets back into the library budget for more awesomeness!
We have a Friends of the Library bookstore + the library has a sale every 6 months or so where hardbacks are $1 and paperbacks are $.50
It's great. I buy them loan them out, give them to friends and then eventually donate them back for them to sell again.
I haven't run into this yet, but have read about it on the library websites. It's good to know. However, for the uninitiated it could be a little intimidating as most of the descriptions on how inter-library works makes it seem like it's geared more, if not exclusively, for rare, historical texts, or things that would be considered a big asset to a RS gold.
Interlibrary loan is a god send for expensive contemporary musical scores. I used to get them and copy the whole thing for me and my teacher. Sometimes, I can't even find them online for purchase, but I can link a World Cat page with the work I am looking for and the library gets it.