Resellers commandeer book sale

By From page A6 | April 09, 2013

Friends of Davis Public Library appear to have three stated goals: raise funds to improve the library, encourage reading programs for children and promote the library as a cultural center. How those goals are achieved is being compromised by the sophisticated avarice of a few unfriendly of the library, the scanning bots.

I observed many bewildered and stunned faces of Friends of the Library at the bimonthly book sale last Friday. I was not alone and that was no consolation.

Every category of books was seized by a small army of book resellers with bar code scanners. With lightning speed, they scanned the UPC codes against an Amazon-type resale database to determine if the value of the book is at least three times the $2 or under price per book charged by the Friends. Bang, into the tub it goes.

Within the first 30 minutes of the first day of a three-day event, the majority of the books most favored by the public, as determined by the resale value on Amazon, were no longer available. They had successfully removed the most desirable books from the hands of the hundreds of Friends of the Library planning to attend this community service.

The service was over and the fast money was made, for resellers and the library. If this continues, there is little reason for most of the Friends of the Library to attend these pillaged book sales.

Why make it so hard on these resellers to compete with this disabled mass of Friends in their way? Just keep the first day for them and let the rest of us Luddites have the leftovers in peace. And why not have reseller vendor booths in the parking lot so we don’t have to go to Amazon to purchase these books that our generous neighbors donated for us to read at a friendly cost? They could even be charged for the booth space and make more money, which seems to be the most important, if not only, reason for the book sale.

Please bring some sense of sanity and civility and community back to the Friends of the Davis Library fundraising book sales.

Tom Carlton


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