I think it's a valuable community-based resource. If a kid forgets his book at school, the family can still come to the library up until 9pm so the student can do his reading, photocopy his assignment pages, whatever.
And they're very heavily used. I wonder if people consider them a homework last-resort (which they are in my mind), or if families who come to the library often just count on using them and so the kids always leave their books at school.
In either case, a woman and her son came to the desk this week and asked for the seventh grade history text book. No problem, I gave it to the boy, and they went off and photocopied what they needed. But when they brought the book back, the mom asked:
Patron: Do you have the workbook that goes with this?
Me: [checking the shelf] No, it looks like just that textbook.
Patron: Well, his older brother was in this class last year, and the teacher kept handing out homework assignments from a little workbook.
Me: Oh, sometimes textbooks come with teacher supplements, but those are only for the teacher.
Patron: I just thought that if you could get all the homework for us, I could have his older brother just do them all right now, so this one can just turn them in when they're due instead of having to work on them during vacations and weekends.
I'm not a parent, but if I ever become a parent, I never want to be this kind of parent.