Now if I’m being honest, my opinion toward Zadie Smith is biased; I find her to be a wonderful writer, and more plainly just a wonderful person. So I decided to link to this piece, not that it’s about this country or even very recently published, but because I love it and I think it works for the US too:

“Well-run libraries are filled with people because what a good library offers cannot be easily found elsewhere: an indoor public space in which you do not have to buy anything in order to stay…A library is a different kind of social reality…which by its very existence teaches a system of values beyond the fiscal.”