We were also being spared untold hours, make that years, of absolutely unnecessary and insulting boredom. Boredom is the big thing: that's what we were released from. School acclimates children to boredom so that as adults they can work long hours at jobs they will more than likely describe as uneventful, mind-numbing, soul-destroying, in other words, as boring. But school also inculcates children into boredom as an attitude, a habit, a way of being in the world. Boredom is more than a consequence of bad curriculum or poor teaching style, it's actually an ethos, one that lingers into adult life.
Nor can the experience of library life be recreated online. It's not just a matter of free books. A library is a different kind of social reality (of the three-dimensional kind), which by its very existence teaches a system of values beyond the fiscal.