Possibly they don’t like it when people scan the book into their iPhones or whatever and then decide to get the book elsewhere? “Thanks for all that effort of finding the book I wanted; I’ll go buy it on Amazon for $2 less.”
I believe there are people who go to used book sales and, using a specialized device (that’s probably been developed as a smartphone app by now), scan books’ barcodes, which then automatically do a database lookup on an average price for the book on reseller markets. If selling price < resale price, they buy the book and resell it for a profit.
I’m really wondering if that’s the sort of scanner they mean, and how they could construe it to conflict with their non-profit community mission. It sounds like they’re unlikely to be undersold, so someone scanning for resale value is just a desirable customer.
If this practice of scanning used-book shelves is so popular than they’re clogging the aisles, that suggests that the local boosters should be cutting out these middlemen and raking in those profits directly for the library.
Just speculating, but could part of the mission of the non-profit community bookstore be to make reasonably-priced books available to members of the community, in addition to raising money for the library?
If they raise the prices to the level a bookstore in an upscale community might be able to command, would that cut out the people of more modest means who inhabit the local community? If arbitrageurs come in and wipe their shelves clean of any good values, leaving just the worthless trash on the shelves, would anyone from the community bother shopping there?
If their goal was solely to sell used books for a maximum price, rather than going to the trouble of running a retail book store, wouldn’t there be a more efficient way to move the books in bulk, either directly to the “scanners” or to the stores where the scanners were reselling their books?