I beg to disagree.
The largest collection of human knowledge ever assembled is right here on your desktop, and mine. I live in a rural area, and I can immediately look up pretty much anything that I'm interested in finding out, and get more information about it in more formats than were ever available to ANYONE in the 20th century or before, regardless of whether they were at a university or not.
There is absolutely no need to run to a library or purchase a book that may already be out of date.
Earlier today I watched a video demonstrating how a synchro-mesh transmission works. Never knew that before; never knew how a transmission worked at all, in fact. Now I do. Does that change my world view? Is it an earth-shattering accomplishment? No.
However, what I learn by reading and viewing thing online do enrich my life to a huge extent. How to write a computer program. How to waterproof a basement. When I'm reading a book (ebook) and come across a reference to Hadrian's Wall, I can immediately look it up and read more about that if I'm interested. And so on.
When provided with this huge pool of available knowledge, some folks use it to read about Brittany Spears. But that's not the only thing it's good for.
It's never been easier, cheaper and simpler to be an autodidact than it is today. You don't have to walk past your front door, unless you want to.