So funny. I am actually back in Connecticut, in my home town, studying for the bar exam, and I am using the public library almost every day for the first time in years.
I went to check and see if I could sign up for a card and they still had my original library card sign up form from when I was 8 years old. I got a new card free of charge
I have lived a couple different places, and it is truly dependant on the locale, unless you are in a large city, whether or not you use the library. Often mid sized cities that also have large universities have less comprehensive libraries- this was my experience in Providence at least. The library in my home town though is excellent, though the town is presently lobbying to have new structure built. The advantages, as Kent points out, are obvious. I don't mind buying books, especially since Amazon allows you to buy used, but there is something nice about being able to take 4 or 5 books out at a time that you are uncertain you will even like. You can sample and return without guilt. Also, our library has a large collection of audiobooks, which I really enjoy especially because I frequently make a lot of car trips on the weekend. ALSO, I owe blockbuster like a million bucks and I cancelled netflix, so as Koji said-- free DVDs. Our library has a cool collection of foreign films that has allowed me to sample some unusual stuff I would never have watched otherwise.
All in all- a good libarary is an awesome resource, unfortunately, whether or not you have one as good as mine...well I guess you'll just have to move here.