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March 13

9 am - 12:30 pm
Bargain Room Sale in K7 - New Location!

Be sure to check out our new K7 bargain room, with its incredible bargains.  All children's books are just 25 cents each, paperbacks are 50 cents, and hardcovers are $1.00.  See the map for the exact location of room K7.

11 am - 4 pm
Main Book Room Sale

You'll find books on every topic in the world among the 40,000 items we're offering, with prices way below what used book stores charge.  Paperbacks are 50 cents and up, and hardcovers are $1.00 and up.  You can pick up a ticket as early as 8 am to reserve your place in the line that forms prior to opening, but no ticket is needed to get in.

Featured sales books for March include:

Biography * Cookbooks
Fantasy * Fiction
Gardening * Mysteries
Hortus 3rd. Dictionary
"Life and Work of Sigmund Freud"
Reference Books * Sci-Fi
"Secrets of Successful Gambling"
K-5 Teacher Manuals & Workbooks
Travel * Vintage Gardening


Audio Tapes * Videos
And much, much more!

12:30 pm - 2 pm
Bargain Room Half Price Sale

During the middle of the day, all books in bargain room K7 are half-priced.  Be sure to come over after you visit the regular sale.

2 pm - 4 pm
Bargain Room $5 a Bag Sale

After 2 pm, all books in bargain room K7 are sold by the bag.  You can fill as many grocery bags as you want at $5 each.  We supply the grocery bags.

4000 Middlefield Road
Palo Alto
Near the northwest end of the Cubberley Community Center

Room locations

More information on the sales
Donate your old books

All proceeds go to help Palo Alto libraries.

Library Gets More Video Tapes and DVDs
In February, the Palo Alto libraries acquired 226 brand new videos and DVDs for you to check out and enjoy.  Click here to see the full list and which branch they are located at.  You can also place holds on the items via the web with your library card.

Help our Libraries When Buying from Amazon
Whenever you buy books, CDs, DVDs, computer hardware and software, and even toys from, 5% of what you pay to them can go to help Palo Alto Libraries.  This helps the libraries buy more books and provide more useful services back to you.  It's easy to direct 5% of your purchases to the library.  Just start each shopping session by clicking on the Amazon button at the top of our website.

We're always eager to hear your suggestions for ways to improve our book sale.  Please email them to us at or mention them to a volunteer at the sale.
Bargain Sale Moves to Room K7

We're very excited that the Palo Alto City Council voted just last week to support our book sale by providing us with more space at the Cubberley Community Center.  This will allow us to offer you even more books for sale and thus to raise more funds for Palo Alto libraries.

The new rooms are at the end of the K wing, just behind the dance studios that share the parking lot with us.  Please click here to see the exact location.

Our old bargain room in E5 will no longer be used, and we've already moved its contents and more bargain books over to room K7, which will be open this Saturday.  Room K6 will be open in time for our April sale.

In addition to the City Council, many volunteers and City officials over the last six months helped make it possible for us to obtain these new rooms and to rush in shelves and books in time for this Saturday's sale.  We'd like to thank them all:


Bill Fellman

Ellen Wyman

Emily Harrison

Marty Paddock

Richard James

Tom Wyman

Setup and Moving

Dane Fouts

Dave Rearic

Edwin El-Kareh

Foothill College Students

Gunn High School Key Club

Hershel Smith

Karen Bobonich

Marty Paddock

Paula Simpson, New Library Director

We're delighted to welcome Paula Simpson as Palo Alto's new Director of Libraries.  Paula formerly headed the Monterey Public Library and was chosen after a nationwide search to run Palo Alto's libraries, which have been without a permanent director since Mary Jo Levy retired in 2002.  Paula officially begins working for Palo Alto on March 22 and will be speaking at a public evening forum hosted by the Friends on April 29 at the Art Center Auditorium at 1313 Newell Road (time to be announced later).  Please be sure to put the date in your calendar.

Paula was appointed as the Library Director on March 1, when she addressed the City Council as follows:

Mr. Mayor and members of the City Council,

What an honor it is to stand here tonight as your new Director of Libraries for the City of Palo Alto.  I am so excited about this opportunity - to be part of the library team, and to become an active member of your community.

Contrary to what some might say about the demise of public libraries, what with the Internet and cafe bookstores and such, I believe libraries today are more important than ever.  Libraries open the door to books and learning for all.  They connect their communities with the knowledge and cultures of the world.

Your libraries are strong and vital ones, and I look forward to helping lead them to the next level.  And I'm really glad you confirmed my appointment, since I've already submitted my letter of resignation, and the movers are coming on Thursday!  Thank you once again, and I look forward to working with you.

Children's Library Project Officially Underway
The final approval for the renovation and expansion of the Children's Library came on Monday, March 1, when the Palo Alto City Council formally approved the agreement to go forward, using $980,000 in funding from the Friends of the Palo Alto Library and the Palo Alto Library Foundation and another million or so from the City of Palo Alto.  The next step is to choose the firm to design the new 1,600 square foot wing and the renovations to the exiting library and garden.  The Foundation and the Friends will each have representatives on the team that evaluate the design.  Construction is expected to begin before the end of this year, and the project should be completed by 2006.  Approximately 1,000 donors and volunteers from the Palo Alto community helped make this project possible.
February Sale Hits New Record

Last month's booksale on February 14 earned over $13,500, the highest ever for one day in our entire 45 year history.  These were truly heartwarming results for a sale that happened to fall on Valentine's Day.  We couldn't do it without our many customers, donors, and volunteers, plus all those tens of thousands of wonderful books looking for new homes.

What's a Tab?

If you've ever been in our line that forms prior to the 11 am opening of the main book sale room, you've probably heard a volunteer come by to ask if you're running a tab?  Not everyone knows what that means.  A "tab" is a slip of paper our cashiers use to keep a running total of your purchases, so that you can go through the cashier line as many times as you want but then only pay when you're all through.  This saves you a lot of time and means you'll only need to write one check or to pull out your pocketbook once.  Marty Paddock, our booksale manager, says, "the tabs really speed things up for everyone when some people are buying a large number of books."

In order to run a tab, please give the volunteer your name, address, and phone number.  The volunteer will then add you to the approved list of people, and then you can run a tab at each sale.

Your tab is kept in one building only, so you'll need to run a separate tab in the K wing from the one in the main booksale room. 

Questions about tabs?  Please e-mail them to

Library Answers Reference Questions Around the Clock
There's no need to wait until a library opens to ask a reference librarian a question.  You can instead ask your question at any time on any day from the Ask Now online live reference service, which is a consortium that Palo Alto and over 100 other California libraries.  The average session lasts about 15 minutes.  Often, the reference librarian will guide you to various websites that can help you, and then e-mail you a transcript with the web addresses in it so that you don't need to take notes.  Give it a try!
Children's Library Honors for Katy Obringer

Children's Library manager Katy Obringer retired last year, after many years of service to Palo Alto children.  To honor her, the Palo Alto Library Foundation and we presented the following to her and the City Council:


Whereas....once upon a time, long long ago, in a city called Palo Alto, there was a magical building with a secret garden,

whereas....this magical building was known far and wide as a special place for children of all ages,

whereas....within this building there was a librarian known for her warm smile, enthusiasm and graciousness,

and whereas....seated in front of a fireplace she read books, sang songs and told stories of magic, of enchantments and of worlds near and far,

now recognition of her generous spirit and love of children, Palo Alto Library Foundation and Friends of the Palo Alto Library hereby proclaim the dedication of the fireplace and hearth in Children’s Library in the name of Katy Obringer, long-time Children’s librarian.

This first day of March in the year 2004

This notice comes to you from the non-profit organization Friends of the Palo Alto Library.  While the Better Business Bureau recommends that no more than 35% of a charitable organization's expenses be for management and fundraising expenses, ours were only 2.4% for our 2002-2003 fiscal year.  In other words, about 98% of the money we raised went to help the Palo Alto libraries.  Visit our web site.  Become a member by joining online.

Be sure to receive your own free copy of this e-mail notice so that you'll know about all special upcoming books sales.  To sign up, just e-mail us.  We carefully protect the privacy of your e-mail address.  We will not share your e-mail address with any other organization and we will not use it for any purpose other than to send you these notices.  If you do not wish to receive these e-mail notices in the future, please reply with the words "Remove Me" in the subject line.