Category Archives: Friends of the Library

Online Book Sales

Looking to upgrade from your normal library book sale? Check out some of these online e-sellers to sell your gently used donations or weeded materials:

 

Book seller General Info Fees and Commission
Ebay
  • Insertion fee—Free for up to 50 auction-style listings per month; $0.35 per item or $0.99+ for “buy it now” listings
  • Final (Closing) Fee: 12% (maximum fee $750)
Biblio

 

  • Specializes in rare & out-of-print books, partnership with independent booksellers
  • Sellers must maintain an inventory of at least 200 titles at all times
  • Sellers must process orders within 3 business days
  • 12% commission + payment processing fee ($40 max/$0.25 min), no monthly listing fee

OR

  • 8% commission + payment processing fee, flat monthly fee based on the number of books listed (fee is $10/month for 0-10,000 listings). If no orders are placed in a month, seller will receive a rebate of monthly fees that can be used to purchase books on Biblio.
Better World Books

 

  • Libraries collect and package weeded or donated books to send to Better World Books
  • They sell “sellable” books on 23 different online markets
  • Anything they can’t sell is recycled
  • No contracts or service agreements unless requested
  • No fees or commission from Better World Books
  • Libraries get paid a percentage commission based on sale price of their materials—commission is paid to libraries quarterly (rolls over to next quarter if less than $50.00)
  • Shipping fees are covered by Better World Books upfront.
Amazon
  • Sellers’ items appear in website product listings along with Amazon’s listing
  • Only items that match an existing listing in Amazon’s product catalog can be sold on Amazon Marketplace.
  • Sellers are notified by email when an item sells & the order is posted to your seller account
  • https://amzn.to/2VVqokq
  • No subscription fee
  • Referral Fee (Commission)—15% for books, music, video & DVD
  • Variable closing fee: $1.35 per item for books/video; $0.80 per item for music
  • Fixed Fee: $0.99 per item
  • Closing Fee: $1.80

 

Alibris

 

  • Items are listed on Alibris and its partner sites—Barnes & Noble, Amazon, ebay, Half, Books-a-Million, etc.
  • Seller enters an ISBN or UPC, the item’s condition, and selling price; the Alibris catalog system fills in the rest of the listing info
  • Application Fee: $19.99
  • Subscription: $19.99 annual fee plus $1.00/item
  • Commission: 15% commission on each item sold ($0.50 minimum, $60.00 maximum)
    • Commission is 20% or 15% + $0.25 (whichever is greater) if your item sells on one of their affiliate sites
  • Closing Fee: Assessed on the cost of shipping (not assessed if the item is shipped to the Alibris processing center) $1.60 standard shipping
AbeBooks

 

 
  • Subscription fee: Based on the amount of books listed
    • 0-500 books, subscription fee is $25.00/month (whether you sell anything or not)
  • Commission: 8% on the total item amount for each item sold
  • Payment service fee: If the seller has set up to accept credit card payments through AbeBooks, there is a payment service fee of 5.5% of the total item amount
AbeBooks Book BuyBack Program
  • Can sell just a few things at a time to AbeBooks, rather than setting yourself up as a seller
  • Enter ISBN, title, etc. to match your item to a listing in their catalog; their site will tell you how much they’ll pay you for the item
  • Accept buyback price, add to cart, and choose how you want to be paid
    • Options are by check or to a PayPal account
  • The site generates a shipping label for you to print out—they pay the shipping
 

Acquiring 501(c)(3) Status

Friends of the Library and Library Foundations are excellent groups to help raise money for your library. In order for these organizations to function optimally and to assist with the procurement of grants, it is encouraged for them to obtain a 501(c)(3) status. This means that they are viewed as a tax-exempt nonprofit organization that qualifies as a public charity under IRS Code, Section 501(c)(3). Please seek the aid of an attorney or CPA to assist in the process of obtaining 501(c)(3) status as laws and common practices are subject to change.

The process to achieve 501(c)(3) status can take over 6 months to complete. The IRS has created a guide outlining the Life Cycle of a Public Charity that can help lead you through this process. In order to achieve 501(c)(3) status, the group must do the following:

  1. Create an organizing document that contains the following provisions. More information and sample documents can be found here.
    • Limit the organization’s purpose to one of the exempt purposes listed in Section 501(c)(3) of the Code.
    • State that the organization cannot engage in activities that don’t advance the exempt purpose.
    • State that the assets of the organization (money, property, etc.), will be dedicated permanently to the exempt purpose listed.
  2. Establish a Board of Directors and create bylaws for the group.
  3. Once the organization is legally established (see page 9 of IRS Publication 4220), obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS online, by mail, or by phone (1-800-829-4933). Applying for an EIN triggers filing requirements, so do not complete this step until you are prepared to move forward with your other forms.
  4. File Articles of Incorporation for the group with the State of North Dakota as per NDCC 10-33. The paperwork can be found here. There is a $40 filing fee that must accompany the completed form. The ND Secretary of State Office and other state agencies created a guide to beginning and maintaining a nonprofit corporation in ND that can be found here.
  5. Submit the IRS Form 1023-EZ or Form 1023 depending on your eligibility. Eligibility can be determined using the worksheet in the 1023-EZ directions. Directions for the forms can be found here (1023-EZ) or here (1023).

**You may be exempt from this requirement if your organization has gross receipts in each taxable year that are normally not more than $5,000. Please see http://bit.ly/2REnkD0 for more details.**

  1. Before the group can solicit contributions, it may need to be registered as a charitable organization through the North Dakota Secretary of State’s office as per NDCC 50-22. That process can be found here.
  2. The organization will need to follow the tax-code for a 501(c)(3) during the time that their application is in processing. See the IRS page “Tax Law Compliance before Exempt Status is Recognized” for more information. All bank accounts, books, and records for the group need to be separate from the library’s records.

 

Once the group has acquired 501(c)(3) status, they will need to follow all state and federal filing guidelines to maintain that status. This includes the annual filing of Form 990 and other, unrelated income tax filings, state filings, charitable solicitations reporting, donation substantiation reporting, etc. Additionally, records should be kept for things such as executive compensation, transactions with board members, sources of revenue, accomplishments, expense allocations, details of investments, and organization structure. These things help assure that the group will maintain annual compliance. Most records of the 501(c)(3) group will be subject to public disclosure requirements.

 

Helpful Links:

Friends of the Library Resources:

Friends of the Library help support libraries in many ways including volunteer services, fund raising, programming, and advocating for their library. The following resources are helpful whether your library is starting a Friends group, restructuring, or looking to grow.

Resources:

Nebraska Public Libraries Friends and Foundations: https://bit.ly/2IqzT0d

Nebraska Public Libraries Friends of the Library Groups: https://bit.ly/2GpGGpa

United for Libraries Toolkits for Friends Groups and Foundations (use your library’s access credentials to log in): https://bit.ly/2wQNCw5

Sample Memorandum of Understanding from ALTAFF: https://bit.ly/2rPTG2I

Tool Kit for Building a Library Friends Group by Friends of Tennessee Libraries: https://bit.ly/2k41s4T

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction—Library Friends and Library Foundations: https://bit.ly/2wNDzYx

Connecticut State Library Roles and Responsibilities of Library Director, Board, and Friends: http://bit.ly/2RwMvah

 

Examples of Friends Bylaws:

Friends of the West Fargo Public Library: https://bit.ly/2yUoB3R

Friends of the Bismarck Public Library: https://bit.ly/2InJTLD

Starting a Friends of the Library Group

friend

Let’s face it – life is better when we have good friends to enjoy it with. Friends are always there to help us when we need a hand, and to support the many endeavors we may take on. In the same way, friends are a great asset to libraries. Many libraries have established Friends of the Library groups to support their activities and services. Friends groups exist to provide support to libraries in a variety of ways, from fundraising and volunteer services, to program support and advocating for the library in the community. Friends groups make a huge difference for libraries of all types, though they are most common in public libraries. If your library has an active, helpful friends group, good for you! It’s great to know that you have a built-in group of supporters who are ready to pitch in to help and to raise their voices in support of the library when the need arises.  If you’re interested in getting a friends group started at your library in North Dakota, we’re here to help!  Continue reading

Thank You for Being a Friend

Friends of the Library groups are a great benefit to libraries through their fundraising projects, volunteer support, and advocacy efforts in the community. Friends can be a voice for the library in the community, as well as extra brains and hands to help with programs, projects, and other efforts at the library. Whether your library is considering starting a friends group, or already has a thriving group of friends working on its behalf, you may find that your group needs a hand, information, or good advice from time to time.

United for Libraries

United for Libraries, ALA’s Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations, provides support for citizens who promote, advocate, and fundraise for libraries of all types. One of the  many great resources on their site is a collection of Friends and Foundation Fact Sheets. The Fact Sheets cover such topics as:

United For Libraries’ Fact Sheets can be a great help for friends groups and libraries as they work together to build a great working relationship and build support for the library in the community.