Not at all. When we travel the first thing my husband and I do in a new town is go to the Visitor Centre. Many times we have found out about wonderful things to see that we had no idea of and were not likely to without the visitor centre.
They are also a great place to get maps of a town. We have always found the visitor centre staff to be wonderful and ever ready to give directions or assistance.
At Hay Visitor Centre in NSW (a particulalry good one that provides showers as well as toilets, and a covered rest room with tables, chairs and a sink, a parents room and picnic tables) we discovered Booligal.
Booligal is a town of only 23 people north of Hay. The trip up was amazing, so much wildlife and then we had lunch in the little pub there and took a stroll along the Lachlan River. Without the Visitor Centre we would have missed this great day out.
On family holidays as children, our first port of call was always the local tourist information office or visitor centre. We would get up to date maps, leaflets about tourist attractions, information on events, tickets for concerts and cinema..... all the things you couldn't access in any other way before the internet! Nowadays, we tend to do a lot of research online before we go anywhere, so haven't been to a visitor centre in some years.
No, they can be very useful when you're a tourist, or even sometimes for locals. I lived in Brisbane for years but still found the Brisbane visitor information center very useful for info about the city I had never heard before.
I enjoy them and do not think them a waste of time. We usually learn so much more and see much more when we visit one. Definitely a great source of information. Talking to the people that work there appeals to me because they always seem to know interesting tidbits about the place that you may not hear about elsewhere.