In theory, the library is a great place (although possibly on its way to becoming obsolete). It encourages reading in that you get books for free. Totally free, no strings attached!
But if you think about it, who do we want to encourage to read most of all? Kids, right? Except libraries, in my opinion, are incredibly kid-unfriendly.
There was a time when I used to bring my preschooler to the library to read to her and spark a love of books. But I eventually stopped because I intensely disliked being shushed and yelled at the entire time I was there.
Did we deserve to be shushed? Yes, probably. I'm sorry, sir, that my child was a little loud while we were waiting on line to use the restroom. I was already telling her to quiet down though, so I'm not sure what you hoped to accomplish with your angry shush.
The moment that made me angriest was when I dared to take my child with me to pick out my own book. Now it is difficult for a small child to sit quietly while her mother is spending five minutes looking for a book, so I was relieved when she found quiet enjoyment by pushing the books into the rack. (You know how all the books are protruding out a bit? I used to like pushing them in too when I was a kid.)
Anyway, a woman who didn't even work at the library snapped at me for letting her do this. She said, "Now someone has to pull them all out again!" I was upset because:
1) Why was this any of her business?
2) If I had just looked at a couple of books in each of those rows, I would have done an equal amount of "damage."
3) Someone gets paid to fix this. We're stimulating the economy!
4) My kid was being quiet and had no idea she was doing anything wrong.
5) Why was this any of her business?
In summary, I really don't feel the libraries nurture children's love of books.