Friday, July 10, 2009

Support For Library Book Sales

Library book sales are one life's great opportunities. They're usually sponsored by friends' groups or other non-profit organizations who use them to raise money for programs and other special library events that enrich our communities. Almost invariably, they're operated by volunteers and depend entirely on donated books from library patrons for inventory, so nearly every dollar spent at a library book sale goes toward the library itself. You gotta love 'em!

Unfortunately, library book sales are also often poorly publicized. That's where a new online service comes into play. It's, a simple yet promising directory of library book stores and book sales recently launched to supply book lovers with an easy source of information on sales near them. The site is still in beta stage, so the volume of listings is in growth stage, but it looks like the service has great potential.

Listings are free, as is use of the site by book buyers looking for sales to attend. You can search for sites by state, zip code, and date, and also set up your own calendar to save sales you've spotted that you don't want to miss. It should be a boon to book lovers everywhere and hopefully help library supporters hold even more successful sales.

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the


Graham said...

Good information! In addition, there's the long-standing site Book Sale Finder

While these are great services, there is one minor "side-effect" with publicizing sales like this. Book dealers use these sites extensively. Most of these are welcomed with open-arms at our sales.

However, some of these know little about books - they simply want to scan the books with mobile barcode readers to see if they're worth selling online. If they're considerate, we welcome them too.

However, our patrons and volunteers are sometimes faced with those who rush into the sale when the doors open, pushing others out of the way, grabbing armfuls of books and piling them in a corner, where they scan them, taking those they want, and leaving the ones they don't piled up on the floor or thrown in a different section of the sale (all the books in our sales are carefully sorted - alphabetized in some cases - by volunteers).

Some sales ban the use of scanners; our sale certainly doesn't go that far, but we don't seem to have had as many problems with this as some other sales do.

Joe said...

Thanks Dave and Graham for the great info. My own tiny library was benefitted greatly from library sales.
Re. Graham's comment, isn't it sad how a few jerks can spoil a good time for everybody?

Anonymous said...

I have seen some sales where they have a pick it up and you buy it policy. This prevents the hoarding and mass stock piling in the corner.

Another method I have seen is the limit of 1 box per person. This adds less congestion to the sale which makes it more enjoyable for all.

A final method is only allowing what you can carry at all times (and no stock piling books in a corner with a friend/kid etc.