Mike states: "It would really be great if libraries could set themselves up as guardians of an intellectual inheritance, but if no one cares about that inheritance, it's difficult to see how that helps very much."
In fact, most of us are dancing the line between "give 'em what they need" and "give 'em what they want." We try to do both, as well as we can. We know if we just had the classics, many of our libraries would become as little used as people think we are. We know if we just had popular media, we'd marginalize our own value.
But although our library circulates lots of DVDs, we're no competition for Blockbuster. We balance the limited copies of high demand titles with unique items you can't find elsewhere. But we fight the problem of perception.