Saturday, May 17, 2008

Friends of the Library Bake Sale, Thoughts

Today and yesterday are the Book & Bake Sale for the library. This is run by the Friends of the Library. One of our retired librarians runs the book and bake sale. None of the currently employed librarians are supposed to work in the book sale because it would create a conflict of interest between the freinds which is a separate nonprofit entity and the library.

Currently working librarians are not supposed to be selling books on library property. Patrons would ask us whether we are selling our books if we sold the books in the book sale. Almost daily, we get the question do you sell your books here, can I buy this?

Our answer is no we don't sell the books. There is a good reason for this. People might deface property hoping that we might sell it. They might also try and claim they can buy the new books because we sell books. This happens anyways.

One of the reasons we get this question so much is that there is no big bookstore in our community. There is a small christian bookstore. Also, there is no comic book shop in our community. I think this is becoming more common in many communities.

Small bookstores are closing. Also Amazon, Ebay, and ABE (Advanced Book Exchange) are eating up a lot of the book market which would go to the smaller bookstores. You can order your book from home. With a search engine like you can search dozens of stores to find the title of a used book which you want.

The publishing industry seems oblivious to this change. I try and approach them to get authors to come to our library for events. They ask us to partner with the nonexistent local bookstore. On free comic book day, I was asked to partner with a nonexistent comic book shop. It can be frustrating at times.

I went downstairs a couple of times to wander through the tables of books. They were holding the bookfair in the community room. There were tables of old hardcovers and paperbacks which people were going through. I did not find a huge amount which I wanted. I found a copy of The Adventures of Cavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon which won the Pulitzer Prize for literature. I was going to buy it, but I decided instead to give it to another person who seemed interested in the title. I can always order a copy of it. There was also a stack of old star trek fan guides which were kind of interesting.

I bought my obligatory brownies and cup of coffee from the bake sale table and stood around for a few minutes talking to the older ladies running the sale. Hopefully, the bake sale will generate some funds for a few minor improvements. The Friends of the Library funds a decent amount of our library programming.

Then I went to lunch. There was a local politician who was at the diner where I sometimes go to lunch. He works for the local housing coalition and is on the Board of Ethics for the city. I said hello and suggested he might want to go to the booksale. He has wanted to meet The Friends of the Library for a while.


I was looking at and I saw a very interesting looking book, The Library At Night by Alberto Manguel. None of our libraries had it yet. I put in a request for it to be ordered. I rather like reading about libraries and bookstores.

In the coming weeks, I am going to also look for a book on how to write sonnets.


Anonymous said...

Friends is spelled f-r-i-e-n-d-s. Thanks.friends

Anonymous said...

We have a book sale rm. in my library all year long, we take donations plus add books that we have discarded from our collection, but we still get the occasional person who tries to buy one of our newer books, so I know what you're talking about. it seems that you are a small library and thank goodness for your friends, that is a wonderful thing, we have volunteers that help.

Book Calendar said...

Corrected friends.

We are actually a fairly large library. The problem is that we have been in a long decline budget and building wise. Over the years, our budget increases haven't matched inflation, so we need any extra we can get.