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6784Re: A new MARCH idea...

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  • Herb Johnson
    Dec 27, 2007
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      > evan wrote:
      > >Guestbook, yes. Inventory, no -- only because I don't want to get
      > >as the guy who has to update it all the time. Ya know?
      "B. Degnan" <billdeg@...> wrote:
      > Does not matter to me. Does anyone have specific plans to set up a
      > system (timesharing/terminal) with what we have on site. I know
      that there
      > was talk.
      > Bill

      I have some notions about how other clubs, and public libraries, do
      book sales. Just my opinions and experiences. I won't post details,
      they are boring and arbitrary and really up to whoever takes charge.
      If anyone asks me privately, I can tell them more, but others know
      more about this stuff than I and my sources are obvious in context.

      Fundamental principle: any systems we come up with, for library or
      book sales, must be self-evident, require no training or explanation,
      just do what the last person did. Maybe a few lines of "do this" at
      best. I've taken hints from local organizations' book sales, I've seen
      plenty of them.

      For book sale recording, we can use a simple two-part paper reciept
      book. It self-copies a reciept; we keep a copy and give the original
      to the buyer. A lockbox with some cash to make change and to hold
      checks and payments. Include a simple ledger sheet in the box for "I
      opened the box this date, found $$$ dollars; I closed the box this
      date, it had $$$ dollars". Dirt simple, just follow what the last
      person did, just keep a trail on paper. I've seen this system, used it
      myself. Entirely adequate for our little corporation. Costs $4 per 50
      reciepts, plus a small book for the lockbox.

      The alternatives: Evan puts $20 a month into the lockbox to
      cover losses and to make change. Someone sells all our books for $1
      each. Or something like that: so why not keep track, follow other's

      How to organize the books on sale? Shelve books by title,
      alphabetically and use a list to find a book, or just browse. This is
      not the Library of Congress. Pricing information? Someone determines a
      price, and puts a **colored adhesive dot** on the inside cover of the
      book. The volunteer selling, only needs to have a list and know what
      the colors mean; and that reciept book. "Bins" to sort books will
      become piles of unsorted books, pretty fast.

      About that book list...I *strongly recommnend* a list of books for
      sale. The alledged pain of making a list is greatly exaggerated. It is
      merely tedious. I did it for the 11/20 boxes of books, so I know.

      List title, author, year published, ISBN number if any. The Web will
      find all the rest of the information, if anyone cares to look. Put it
      in a paper ledger book, kept at the book shelves. When we get more
      than 200 books, then we can use another method.

      If anyone wants a copy of the list, they can come by and make a
      photocopy. If you want it online, make a photocopy and put it online
      yourself, enjoy. Anyone on duty at InfoAge can read the ledger, no
      training needed, no typing skills. Oh, and no "inventory" - what is on
      the bookshelf IS the inventory, the list is never current or complete,
      someone might make a new ledger from time to time, some boring day at

      Library? Some variation of these schemes will work for a library.

      Libraries also have lending policies (no lending is a policy too).
      Policy is up to the MARCH Board, that's their job, full stop. Books if
      lent there must have some paperwork (who borrowed what, when) which
      is similar to the reciept scheme I mentioned. Book lists, are book
      lists. Only people well over 40 will recall paper card catalogs and
      paper card "books out/in" schemes at public libraries; those work
      reasonably well for small libraries today.

      Those who insist our computer club book library "must" be
      computerized, should keep in mind that automobile clubs do not use
      automobiles to travel from room to room in their museums. When we have
      200 books to lend, and a bunch of people bugging us about them, THEN
      someone can set up a better scheme.

      What's the best way to do all this? Remember the golden rule: "he who
      has the gold, makes the rules". Whoever takes charge, will likely
      decide. I hope they keep track and give us some clues; I've offered
      some suggestions accordingly, so the fun of all these books can be

      Herb Johnson
      paper computerist

      Herbert R. Johnson, New Jersey USA
      http://www.retrotechnology.com/herbs_stuff/ web site
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