Back in the early 1990's, when I was a graduate student with an academic email account, we had a brief moment (starting in the late 80's) where the internet was filled with people who had training in how to research and enjoyed it and talked to each other about it. We also talked about silly things, and there has been online porn and trolls since long before the word "internet" was even invented, and the whole process was pretty exclusionary. At least the online community was small and not central to the life of a community.
Then there was AOL. AOL brought the internet to a lot of people who didn't have access via work or higher education. That's a good thing, but it did change research pretty quickly. In 1990 I started an email mailing list for a health issue which had a general name. Let's pretend it was about a specific circulatory condition and I named it "heart."
I had school children email me all the time saying things like "my report on the heart is due tomorrow, tell me everything about how the heart works." I got at least a couple of these every week (not all as urgent, but every one as vague). I would tell these children about the wonders of the library, a place with librarians who were not only trained in research techniques, and trained in how to teach them to children, but who got paid for their time.
They were all insulted. How dare I tell them how to do their research? Can't I just answer the question? Many wrote back to explain that their teacher had required them to reach out on the internet for information and that my email was on the list of potential sources.
I had a few conversations with teachers as well. Because seriously. Not only was I not paid for this but my expertise was in the very specific "circulatory" condition and not in how the heart worked (nor was there much medical information about the specific condition; this was a support group). If I were to answer, I'd have to go to the library and look it up myself.
Other companies sprang up and the internet got a lot bigger. I still got "do my homework for me" queries but not as many, as there were more people to ask. Then the world wide web got going and people didn't have to ask individuals for information, they could just read it on their website.
Libraries still exist and they're still fabulous. They have trained librarians who can find anything. These folks have masters degrees in library science; they aren't just scanning books for checkout. Every school has its own library and every community has a public one.
I'm in a well-funded semi-rural county in the United States. No, we don't have nearly enough money for schools and other public services, but compared to a lot of places, we're in good shape. In some more rural places, getting to a library is not easy. In a lot of places they're not open that many hours (until we passed a bond a couple years ago, even my local library was closed Sundays and Mondays and only had one day a week when it had hours past what it would take for someone to come after work).
A lot of people don't have cars and public transportation is slow or non-existent. Or the open library is quite a drive. Taking a couple hours out of a day to go to the library for a few minutes only to find that the book you need has to be requested from another branch so you have to come back...way more than a lot of folks can deal with.
And I'm only talking about the United States, or other countries with similar funding for libraries. Elsewhere, there may not be public libraries at all.
My family goes to the library every week. We have a nice one 2 miles from home. But even I do most of my research online. For quick questions, I Google. For more complex ones, I read multiple websites. I do use books but I mix that research up with the sites. Books can be out of date and also tend to be more general.
Now, I agree with you that too many people crowdsource instead of doing their own research. Maybe the library isn't the right place but there are websites for everything. They should at least do some basic searches before asking other people to do it for them.
I assume this recent question is the one led you to write. It's closed at least. I realize it's a trend, but there aren't that many questions like it.
So yes, the answer to all of these questions is: Go to the library, search for websites, if it's specialized try online journals, and ask people you know in person.
And if anyone else writes in with a broad question like the one above, having done no previous research, we should close it, comment if we feel like it, and move on.