TechNewsWorld Covers the public library book sale as it moves to the web.
While public libraries are not putting away the card tables and the milk carton tills, they are increasingly eyeing the e-commerce used-book market to help nourish lean budgets. In a virtual world that thrives on competition, scarcity, and zealous idiosyncrasy, books that would sell for practically nothing at the library's tag sale can fetch anything from $15 to $500 online.
Since January, the Friends of the Boston Public Library has raised $10,000 selling 6,000 books online; libraries in Marblehead and Athol have also made the digital leap; and the Worcester Public Library has started putting some of its promising castoffs up for bid online. Nationally, eBay reports that a growing number of libraries and other nonprofit groups are drawn to the auction site's vast audience and market-driven prices; and Abebooks, a large online marketplace for used books, reports a tenfold surge in public library clients over the last three years.