Thanks to one biased letter to the editor, the Friends of Davis Public Library has now put a restriction on booksellers with scanners being allowed into their book sale when it opens.
First, I have been a bookseller for five years and have lived in Davis for the past two years. Second, please allow my rebuttal to Tom Carlton’s letter. He says, “Every category of books was seized by a small army of book resellers.” There are actually many more people without scanners at this sale than do have scanners, so he is exaggerating. We pay membership dues just like everyone else, and in fact, spend much more money because we buy a lot more books.
I would think the goal of this book sale would be to make money for the library, not cater to a few annoyed people who like to take their sweet time idling though the books and maybe spend $10. As booksellers, this is our job. This is how we make a living, and a restriction like this being put in place not only greatly reduces our ability to make a living, it makes us feel like second-class citizens being pushed “to the back of the line,” as it were.
We have just as much right to be at this sale when it opens as anyone. We are not pushy or rude, but we are working, so we are not as laid-back as others might be. It’s all about mutual respect, and it seems to me that Carlton just wants things to be his way, instead of looking at the big picture.
I do agree with Carlton that the first goal of the library is to “raise funds to improve the library.” By restricting the people who spend the most money at this sale, he will not accomplish this goal. Many of the resellers will stop coming to this sale, and as I was just told by one of the volunteers at the sale, “They just want the booksellers out of here.” Does that seem fair?