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May 8

9 am - 4 pm
Children's Book Sale in K6
Bargain Book Sale in K7

Explore many wonderful children's and extra-low bargain-priced books in our new sales rooms in the K wing.  In the children's room, paperbacks start at 50 cents and hardcovers at $1.00 (see map).  In the bargain room, all children's books are just 25 cents each, paperbacks are 50 cents, and hardcovers are $1.00.  As if that weren't low enough, bargain room books are half-priced after 12:30 pm, and then after 2 pm just $5 for each grocery bag you fill (we supply the bags).

11 am - 4 pm
Main Book Sale

You'll find books on every topic in the world among the tens of thousands of 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 at the main book sale room to reserve your place in the line that forms prior to the 11 am opening, but no ticket is needed to get in. 

Featured sales books for May include:

Beautiful Books for Mother's Day Gifts
Children's Books
Cats * Cookbooks
Harvard Classics
Large-format Art Books
Military History
"Opera News"
And much, much more!

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.

Friends Receive Another $20,000 for Technology

We'd like to thank the Palo Alto Cable Co-op for presenting us with an additional $20,000 in April for more online resources and modernized software for library users.  This brings the total Cable Co-op Legacy Grant awarded to our 9 Libraries Project to $422,000.  Two online resources funded by the grant are already available for your use right now from home, school, office, or at a library.  One is the entire New York Times from its first issue in 1851 up through 2001 and the other is the Opposing Viewpoints collection of articles that cover both sides of current controversies.  Just click on the links in this article and have your Palo Alto library card handy.  If you don't have a Palo Alto library card, any California resident can obtain one just by stopping in at a Palo Alto library branch.

Grant from Weekly Holiday Fund to Increase Tutoring

We're very happy to announce that the Friends of the Palo Alto Library was awarded a $4,000 grant from the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund to establish a new afternoon tutoring program at the Main Library for the 2004-2005 school year.  The Friends sponsor an afternoon tutor at the Mitchell Park Library, serving primarily students from the nearby Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School.  The Weekly's grant will allow us to fund one day a week for a similar tutor at the Main Library to serve students from Jordan Middle School, as well as others who come by.  We'd like to thank all the members of the Friends and of the library who helped us write and obtain this grant and the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund for their recognition of the importance of libraries to helping young people.

Library Closed for Training and Memorial Day

The Palo Alto City Library will be closed on Friday, May 14 until 2 pm for staff training and then again all day on May 31 for the Memorial Day holiday.

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.
Sale Overflows with New Donations

Now that we've expanded to our largest size ever at Cubberley, even more book donations are flowing in.  In April alone, we received about 16,000 donated items, which we quickly sorted and put out for this upcoming sale.  Our donations come from individuals, estates, and companies all over the area, as well as from the Palo Alto Library.  Many people drop off donations at their library branches, which accept up to one bag or box per day per person.  Other people bring books by the carload to our main book sale room at Cubberley.  We even had someone recently mail in books all the way from Quincy, Massachusetts.  While you're at the sale, take a peek at the sorting room just inside the main room's entrance and you'll see how big our behind-the-scenes donation processing has become.  Information on how to donate items to us.

Community Forum Brings Lots of Ideas for Library

(version with pictures) Last week's forum on "Taking Palo Alto's Library to the Next Level" brought together Palo Alto's new Library Director Paula Simpson and more than 60 people from all over our community.  After describing her background, Paula asked the group for suggestions as to how to improve the libraries.  This being Palo Alto, she got lots of ideas, including:

  • Keep lots of branches .. or have even more!

  • Expand evening hours

  • Expand morning hours

  • Expand weekend hours

  • Have more convenient places to plug in laptops to get Internet access and power

  • Continue having a friendly staff

  • Join Link+ to facilitate the exchange of books with other Bay Area libraries

  • Unify searches so that you can check the library, Google, Amazon, and online library resources all at once

  • Join collectives, such as the Santa Clara County Library system

  • Offer more resources to teens and young adults

  • Coordinate with school libraries to handle kids working on homework during afternoons

  • Have more books-on-tape at the Main Library

  • Put out tax forms, with a sign saying not to ask the librarians for assistance

  • Return to having tax forms available for copying

  • Increase collections

  • Get more space for the collections or be more efficient in using space

  • Let more people know about all the available resources

  • Expand the Downtown Library, both in size and hours

  • Have the Friends of the Palo Alto Library host more public events

  • Have more online periodicals and journals

  • Coordinate better with the schools

  • Promote books that relate to Art Center and school activities

  • Become a model for how libraries can cooperate with schools

  • Share facilities with the schools, such as having the public be able to use the Gunn library at night

  • Keep communicating with the schools

  • Have more computers and reference materials at the Downtown Library

  • Collaborate with others to get less-expensive online resources

  • Have little TVs with headsets so customers can watch or preview tapes

Paula then asked how the libraries could fund these improvements, which garnered:

  • Get City Council members to visit the libraries, so they'll be more supportive

  • Have the City Council choose whether to have neighborhood or centralized resources, so the libraries needn't debate this more

  • Have neighborhood libraries attract more children, so as to increase community support

  • Have a column in the Palo Alto Weekly that discusses new library resources

  • Tap companies in the Stanford Industrial Park for financial support and other resources

  • Use more volunteers in the library

  • Have a new bond measure

  • Hire a grant writer

  • Encourage more corporate philanthropy

  • Find solutions to criticisms of Measure D before asking for a new bond

  • Have a library-only bond measure

  • Include operating costs in new bond/tax measures

  • Emphasize the importance of libraries prior to the bond measure

  • Encourage the state to lower the threshold for bond passage

  • Ask wealthy donors to help out more

With so many active library supporters at the meeting, it was a very productive and energizing event.  We'd like to thank all the community members who attended as well as Paula, her staff, and the Friends' Events, Membership, and Publicity committees for all their efforts to make it happen.  Palo Alto Weekly article.

Library Loosens Limits
As of May 1, the Palo Alto library is lending videotapes for three weeks at a time, which is the same as for most other items.  Prior to May 1, you had to return or renew videotapes after just one week.  DVDs are still checked out for just one week, but may be renewed.

The library has also relaxed limits on the number of items you can check out.  While you can have only two DVDs and two books on CD at a time, you can borrow up to 999 of all other items.  That seems like enough to keep even the most avid library users happy.
Book Group Picks New Selections
The Friends sponsor a lively monthly book group that meets on the second Thursday of each month at 7:30 pm to 9 pm in the Fireside Room at the Lucy Stern Community Center.  The group has just chosen the books to read for the next year, which are sure to be fascinating.  Click on each book title below to read the Amazon review.  More information.
Date   Title and Author
May 13, 2004   Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides
June 10, 2004   The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
July 8, 2004   Empire Falls, by Richard Russo
August 12, 2004   Reading Lolita in Tehran, by Azar Nafisi
September 9, 2004   Ten Little Indians, by Sherman Alexie
October 14, 2004   Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and their Journey, by Isabel Fonseca
November ??, 2004   Old School, by Tobias Wolff
December 9, 2004   The Book of Salt, by Monique Truong
January 13, 2005   On Gold Mountain, by Lisa See
February 10, 2005   The Spiral Staircase: My Climb out of Darkness, by Karen Armstrong
March 10, 2005   The Anatomy of Hope, by Jerome Groopman
April 14, 2005   Pick the next 11 books

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.