Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Book Sale: "Friends of the Bellingham Library"

The Friends of the Bellingham Library are hosting their annual December Book Sale: Almost all books @ $1 per  book. The place was packed at opening. They were thousands of used books on display for sale and more in boxes in a closet waiting to replace them. I picked up my usual assortment of science, math, logic and children's book and a darn nice zippered purple tote bag ($7). Here'a a snap of the front of the tote:

While I was there, I noticed a clean cut young man with a scanning device on the top of a phone checking the bar codes on the books in the science and math section. He would scan a book, look at his device, and either keep the book or keep going.  A volunteer described to me how Canadian book sellers will come down and scan books to see if they have a competitive price for online sales. (Almost all  books today retailed for $1 or less.)

I have to admit, that this is a probably a brilliant way to make a living and contribute to our library.  But in doing so, booksellers are also profiting from volunteer donations some of which are overstock  from our public library and many of which have been donated by Village Books.  What should happen next is that the Friends should receive some help to work the same type of  racket: retailing the best books online for which they can generate a significant profit for our library.  This could be done on a continuing basis, since the Friends are always receiving donations of books.   It is probably a shame that we need non-profits to support our libraries and schools, but that's standard practice in almost every community in America now.  Canadians are propping up everything else in our county these days, including store retail, gasoline, hotel, grocery chain sales, hair stylists, restaurants, coffee houses and probably our new Regal Crown 16 movie theater which has it's grand opening next week. Might as well have the Canadians help save our libraries as well I suppose.

The Bellingham Friends Book Sale : get their early and often for the next few days...

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