Volunteer Book Buying Policy


The goals of the FOPAL book room and monthly sale are to raise funds to support the Palo Alto libraries and to recirculate books back to the community.  FOPAL is a tax-exempt 501.C.3 non-profit organization. As book-room volunteers, we are engaged in service to the community and we donate our time and energy toward these goals. One of the benefits of being a regular FOPAL volunteer is the privilege of buying a limited number of books between sales.  The reason for limiting the number of books is to ensure that this privilege is fair to both our volunteers and customers and that it respects the generosity of our donors.  We need the support of all three groups – volunteers, customers and donors – to assure successful sales.


This policy applies to all FOPAL volunteers, officers and directors at all locations in which donated books are sorted, stored or sold. It applies to books, videos, DVDs, sheet music, ephemera and any other materials sold in the book room.


  1. Volunteers may buy a limited number of books and materials during the month between sales at the regular book sale price, at the discretion of the Section or Book Sale manager. There is no specific guideline for the number of items that can be purchased, but the overall principle is to not interfere with the success of the sale.
  2. Books to be purchased must be (a) shelved and not in boxes, (b) priced by Section Manager and (c) priced at less than $8.00 or approved for sale by Section Manager.
  3. Volunteers may not buy or acquire books or other materials from the book room between sales with the intent to resell them or trade them.  Volunteers are permitted to resell / trade books that they buy as regular customers on sale days.
  4. Volunteers may not buy anything that they have priced themselves. Section managers or the Book Sale Manager may provide a price on request.
  5. Volunteers should not buy books on the top two shelves or books facing out the week before the sale. These books have been photographed and the pictures will be on our website as publicity.
  6. Volunteers should buy no more than two or three of the books in any particular subject area or featured special; e.g. William Faulkner novels, history of the Depression, Italian cookbooks. Any questions about purchases can be referred to the Section or Book Sale manager.
  7. Books of significant value or special or unusual interest must be offered to the public at a regular monthly sale at least once before being available for purchase by a volunteer. Any questions about a particular book can be referred to the Book Sale Manager.
  8. Volunteers are to record their purchases on the appropriate form in the sorting room desk drawer noting the following information: date of purchase, volunteer’s name, number of books purchased, total price paid and from which sale room books where purchased, (i.e. Main Room, Bargain Room.)


This policy shall be considered in effect upon its approval by a majority of the Book Sale Committee. Copies shall be posted and made available to all volunteers.

Approved by Book Sale Committee as amended 12/11/12