I recently came across this study published in 2010, "Perceptions of Public Libraries in Africa" completed by the organization EIFL and carried out by a Kenyan research agency. This was a very thorough study that was conducted in several African countries, which examined attitudes about libraries across a wide population spectrum through means of surveying (and some interviewing) of government officials, librarians, as well as users and non-users of the public library system.
What was surprising was that the majority of users and non-users alike both viewed libraries as being "very important" and "essential" despite their differences in the actual usage of the library (100% of librarians and government officials also viewed libraries as helpful in gaining literacy skills). When non-users were asked the reasons why they did not use the library, the main reason was "I'm too busy." Interestingly enough, illiteracy was not one of the main reasons why people claimed they did not use the libraries despite the high levels of illiteracy in many African countries. Perhaps this response of being "too busy" was because feelings of self-consciousness about being illiterate.
Other common complaints about public libraries by non-users were lack of interest in the materials at the library, dissatisfaction with range/quality of books, and not liking reading. Luckily FAVL libraries are very good about providing interesting, good quality materials that people would be more likely to read. This already addresses several of theses problems that are being faced in public libraries.