I do not have any neighborhood public library memories. In elementary school we got marched to the library one time a week for 30 minutes. We were able to look for new books and/or renew ones we already had. Then we had to sit in complete silence at one of the tables until our time was up.
As a teacher I was instrumental in changing this for my school and my students. Each class still got to visit the library for their 30 minutes a week but you could also go anytime your teacher allowed you to.
There were all kinds of other checks and balances. For example: You would take one of the "Library Passes" and then sign out of the room with your name and the time. You would sign back in when you returned.
Each classroom had only 5 "Anytime Passes" so the library would not be taken over by sudden visits. In additon to the pass, your teacher also had to sign a slip that you handed in to the librarian, explaining what you were there for; take or return a book, do some research, look at magazines.
At the end of the day the librarian sent a "List of Attendees" so that your teacher was sure you showed up at the library. You could only take out two books at one time and if you had too many overdue experiences you were reduced to one and then no books at a time.
Just as I was retiring from teaching, libraries were becoming "Learning Centers" and computers began to play an important role in education. The Learning Centers didn't work well and were more like Computer Classrooms that happened to be held in the library. So your class got to visit the library one time a week for 30 minutes to have computer lessons. You could also take out or return a book. Sometimes the old concepts just don't go away.
Wonder what school libraries are like now a days with so many computers, and so many students computer literate, and google and wikipedia, etc.