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Saturday, April 9
10 am - 4 pm
Main Room opens at 11 am
Sunday, April 10
1 pm - 4 pm

Children's Books in K6
Bargain Books in K7

Room K6 in the K wing (see map) has children's books, including picture books, school age fiction, award winners and books for parents and teachers, many for under $1.  Room K7 next door is the bargain room, where children's books are just 25 cents each, paperbacks are 50 cents, and hardcovers are $1.00.  Pay just half of that in the bargain room after 12:30 pm on Saturday and all day on Sunday.  On Sunday, you can also buy grocery bags in the bargain room for $5 and fill them with books.

Main Book Room Sale
In our main room, prices are also way below what used book stores charge.  Paperbacks are 50 cents and up, and hardcovers are $1.00 and up.  This room opens at 11 am on Saturday (one hour after the other rooms), but you can reserve your place in the line that forms by picking up one or two tickets as early as 8 am.  No ticket is needed to get in.

Featured items for April

Biking, fishing, running & hiking
Cars, boats & planes
Ephemera (maps and pamphlets)
Gardening & Landscaping
Judaica (Hebrew/English)
Poetry, including Anthologies
Sunset Publications

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.

College Terrace
Holds Book Drive
The College Terrace neighborhood is holding a book drive at its Saturday, April 23 picnic to help raise funds for the library while celebrating Earth Day.  The picnic runs from 3:30 pm to dusk at the College Terrace branch.  Bring your used books to donate to the Friends of the Palo Alto Library and get a donation receipt.
Book Group Picks Next Year of Books
The Friends' book group meets on the second Thursday of every month in the Lucie Stern Community Center Fireside Room at 1305 Middlefield Road for an exciting evening of friendly conversation.  This month's meeting on April 14 at 7:30 pm will pick the books to be read and discussed for the next year.  It's a great chance to meet others in the group and hear about the upcoming books.  More information.
Libraries Display Student Art
Palo Alto's Main and Children's libraries are displaying artwork from St. Elizabeth Seton students through April 24.  Volunteers from the non-profit Art in Action helped students create works for this show.  Kindergarten through third grade works are on display at the Children's Library, while art from fourth through eighth graders are at the Main Library.

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.
Hidden Treasures in the Old Book Corner
Do you know about our "old book corner," located in the northeast corner of our main sale room?  You'll find there a 1910 Baedeker travel guide for Great Britain for $10, complete with foldout maps.  Old hardbound Shakespeare plays are $2 each.  There's a $20 three-volume reprint of the first Encyclopedia Britannica edition (from 1771) that simulates the bindings and aged paper of the original.  Surprisingly, the first of the three volumes covers only A to B, so perhaps the editors pared down their ambitions after discovering how much work an encyclopedia took.

Althea Andersen is the volunteer in charge of the corner, and she loves the smell of the old bindings.  So many old books have come in recently that Althea has filled up an extra cartful, which you'll find to your left as you enter the main sale room.  It includes a 1918 book by Nobel Prize-winner John Galsworthy about his spaniel, complete with sentimental black-and-white and color illustrations.  It's entitled Memoirs, and our price is $15.

Book Sale Springing Along

2005 is off to a great start for our book sale.  For the first three months of the year, our sales totaled $48,500.  Even though our Cubberley sale is open just one weekend each month, we sell and donate about 275,000 books a year, more than the average Palo Alto Library branch checks out.  Thank you all for helping make our sales so successful. 

Volunteers Make it Happen
Over 130 volunteers helped run our booksales and other activities during 2004, contributing an amazing 19,189 hours of their time.  That's the equivalent of almost ten fulltime people.  You've probably met many of the volunteers who cashier and assist customers at the sales, but many others sort, shelve, price, organize, and help promote the sale.  Volunteers also handle our accounting, membership, events, news, and advocacy activities.  We're all united by a love of libraries and a strong belief in helping our community.  If you are interested in volunteering at the booksale or in other ways, please contact us at or (650) 213-8755.
Update on Library Reorganization
Palo Alto's library is continuing with its plan to shrink the Downtown Library's public space, despite outcry from many community members.  Although no formal plans have yet been made public, we now estimate that administrative offices will take over about 2,600 square feet of Downtown Library space that would otherwise be for the public.  Meanwhile, only about 800 square feet of public space will be freed up at the Main Library by the staff relocation.  In other words, the move will generate a net loss of about 1,800 square feet of public library space.

The Board of the Friends of the Palo Alto Library questions whether the tradeoff makes sense.  Building new libraries costs around $500 a square foot, so the public library space lost by this reorganization is worth almost a million dollars.  In a town struggling with cramped libraries, why give up library space?

Meanwhile, the City Council recently asked the Library Advisory Commission to create a modern plan for Palo Alto's library branches.  The Commission may well recommend an entirely different way to use space at Downtown or Main, meaning that the two buildings will have to be modified a second time.  Just as streets in Palo Alto get dug up over and over again due to bad coordination, these extra modifications will be costly and inconvenient.

The library needs some extra space while the Children's Library is being rebuilt, but there is no reason why that should cause a permanent loss of public space at the Downtown Library.  Instead, a temporary building can house the Children's Library collection and programs for the two years or so and avoid disruption to the Downtown Library altogether.

Write the City Council at and express your opinion about the reorganization.  See also a diagram of how the proposed changes will affect the Downtown Library and a recent letter by Ellen Wyman in the Palo Alto Weekly.

April 21 Benefit for
Children's Library
Hear noted local authors Harold McGee and John Winthrop Haeger speak about food and wine, while sampling pinot noir, goat cheese crostini, and truffles.  Admission is $50 per person for the April 21 7:30 pm event at the Palo Alto Art Center Auditorium at 1313 Newell Road.  McGee is author of On Food & Cooking, The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, while Haeger has written North American Pinot Noir.  The authors will sign copies of books that you bring.  KQED Radio host Penny Nelson will participate as well.  This event is sponsored by the Palo Alto Library Foundation and the proceeds will benefit the Children's Library project.
What are Palo Altans Reading?
Are Palo Alto readers different from the rest of the country?  Below are the ten top-selling titles for Palo Alto and also for all of, as of Wednesday, April 6, 2005.  Click on any book title to learn more about it from Amazon.  If you opt to purchase the book from Amazon, the library gets about 5% as a donation through the Friends.  If you would rather check the book out, the codes under each book tell you which local libraries have it (PA for Palo Alto, MV for Mountain View, LA for Los Altos, MP for Menlo Park, and L+ for LinkPlus).  Click on a specific code to see whether that library has copies available.
Palo Alto Best-Sellers

1.The Da Vinci Code
by Dan Brown
2.Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right
by Al Franken
3.The South Beach Diet
by Arthur Agatston
4.The Life of Pi
by Yann Martel
5. Angels & Demons
by Dan Brown
6. A Short History of Nearly Everything
by Bill Bryson
7. The Five People You Meet in Heaven
by Mitch Albom
8. Dude, Where's My Country?
by Michael Moore
9. The Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth
by Clayton M. Christensen and Michael E. Raynor
10. The Secret Life of Bees
by Sue Kidd
at PA MP MV LA L+ Overall Best-Sellers

1. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
by J. K. Rowling
not yet published
2. The Attractor Factor: 5 Easy Steps for Creating Wealth (or Anything Else) from the Inside Out
by Joe Vitale
not in libraries yet
3. The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century
by Thomas L. Friedman
4. Winning
by Jack Welch, with Suzy Welch
at PA MP LA L+
5. The Mermaid Chair: A Novel
by Sue Monk Kidd
6. Memory and Identity: Conversations at the Dawn of a Millennium
by Pope John Paul II
at MP LA L+
7. The Kite Runner
by Khaled Hosseini
8. The Purpose-Driven Life
by Rick Warren
9.Pope John Paul II: In My Own Words
by Pope John Paul II
at L+
10. My Life So Far
by Jane Fonda

This notice comes to you from the non-profit organization Friends of the Palo Alto Library.  This e-mail uses 100% recycled computer bytes.  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 4.3% for our 2003-2004 fiscal year.  In other words, about 96% of the money we raised went to help Palo Alto Library users.  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.