Bureaucracies expand because the self-interest of bureaucrats is to keep their power. Apparently, public libraries are no different. Many libraries are desparate to seem relevant regardless of the lack of coherent or compelling rationale. Apparently, just getting people through the door is a compelling enough rationale. Is this the kind of tepid purpose that inspires librarians today? ("Take a look for inspiration!") Do librarians even want to be inspired anymore?
I find it hard to believe that anyone goes to work for a public library really expecting to raise the intelligence level of a community beyond the "--for dummies" level. Face it, public libraries are about recreation first, education second.