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Saturday, January 8
10 am - 4 pm
Main Room opens at 11 am
Sunday, January 9
1 pm - 4 pm

Children's Books in K6
Bargain Books in K7

Books have been piling up from all the donations made at the end of 2004.  Room K6 has children's books, including picture books, school age fiction, award winners and books for parents and teachers, many for under $1.  Room K7 is the bargain room, where children's books are just 25 cents each, paperbacks are 50 cents, and hardcovers are $1.00.  Prices drop by half in the bargain room at 12:30 pm on Saturday and to just $5 for each grocery bag you fill (we supply the bags) at 2 pm.  These discounts also apply on Sunday.  Both rooms are in the K wing (see map).

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 January

Books on:
American Authors
Money & Investing
Science * Theater Arts
Vintage Children's Books
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.

Library Closes for New Catalog and
The Palo Alto City Library will be closed from Monday, January 10 through Wednesday, January 12 to install the new catalog and again on Monday, January 17 for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Closure Updates
The City Council is tentatively scheduled to vote on January 18 as to whether to apply $35,000 to reopen the Downtown Library on Saturdays.  The effort to restore those hours began back in June of last year (see previous coverage).  Meanwhile, the College Terrace branch will remain closed on Tuesdays indefinitely due to a staff absence.  That closure began on October 15.

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.
Sunday Sales to Continue through June

Thanks to the many customers and volunteers who have come in on the day after our traditional Saturday sales, we will continue those Sunday sales through at least June 2005.  Many say that they find Sundays a relaxing time to come, since there is much less crowding.  The Bargain Room offers the same low prices on Sundays as after 2 pm on Saturdays: 25 cents for paperbacks, 50 cents for hard cover books, or $5 for each grocery bag you fill with books.  Sunday hours will remain 1 pm to 4 pm.

Special Map Sale, Weather Permitting
Among the enormous number of donations we've received recently are about 400 maps, including ones from National Geographic and old gas company road maps.  If the rain holds off this weekend, we'll hold an outdoor clearance sale of these near the main booksale room.
Branch Closures Averted
Palo Alto's City Council met on December 13 to consider City Manager Frank Benest's recommendations to both close the College Terrace and Downtown library branches no later than June 2007 and to establish a new committee to plan and find funding for a "full-service" library somewhere in Palo Alto that might entail closing Main or reducing service at Mitchell Park. 

At the Council meeting, the Library Advisory Commission announced that it and the board of the Friends of the Palo Alto Library opposed the branch closures.  36 members of the public then spoke against closing the branches, while five others favored the closures, and two were ambivalent.

After much discussion, all nine City Council members voted to reject all four of the City Manager's recommendations, and thus in effect to keep all branches open.  In addition, they voted 7 to 2 to have the Library Advisory Commission, rather than a new committee, propose how to create an expanded library facility, perhaps at the Mitchell Park or Main library sites, and improve the current branch system to better meet community needs. 

In particular, Councilmember Jack Morton suggested expanding the crowded Mitchell Park branch.  That facility is about one third the size of the Main Library and yet checks out more items and has more visitors.  Amid the narrow aisles in the building, many books sit piled on carts because there are no shelves to hold them.  Long lines of people often wait for the Internet stations.  Back in November 2002, Palo Alto voters narrowly failed to give 2/3 approval to build a larger library and community center at Mitchell Park, so the Library Advisory Commission may try to craft a plan that garners more votes.

Many are also intrigued by how the branch library system might evolve.  In his recent guest opinion in the Palo Alto Weekly, Doug Moran described how more people are using the online catalog system to have books, DVDs, and other items they want delivered to the most convenient branch.  This means that expanding one library facility to house more items could also make more materials available to users of the other branches.

Meanwhile, challenges remain for the overall library system.  Palo Alto's city budget faces a several million dollar shortfall for the 2005-2006 year.  City Manager Benest told the San Jose Mercury in mid-December that libraries will need to share in these cuts, given that the savings from branch closure were rejected by the Council.  However, the Council had been told that closing the branches wouldn't have generated any savings, since the staff and library materials from closed branches would have been redistributed to the remaining ones and the buildings would have been used for other community purposes.

Library Catalog is Modernizing
A new library catalog will be available after January 12.  Among the new features are the ability to see book covers, reviews, and tables of contents for many items in the collection.  Other improvements will be phased in later this year, such as the ability to search among online databases and the catalog simultaneously.  The new catalog and library automation software is being installed on January 10 through 12, so all branches will be closed during that time.  You can return any items due on those days by January 13 and incur no overdue fines.  More information.
Palo Alto Library History on TV
Tom Wyman's talk about the history of Palo Alto's library will be broadcast later this month on local cable channels 27 and 28.  Tom, author of Palo Alto and Its Libraries, recounts how a single reading room in the Downtown area in 1893 evolved over the decades into our present day library system.  His talk includes many documents and photographs, especially of the Carnegie Library that once stood on the present Hamilton Avenue site of City Hall.  Check your cable listings for exact times, but we're told that the show will be on at Sundays at 2 pm on channel 27 and on Wednesdays at 8 or 9 pm on channel 28.
Booksale on Display
If you're feeling a bit nostalgic for our Cubberley booksale on the 29 days of the month when it isn't open, look for the exhibit about the sale in the display case in the Main Library.  Many interesting books are in the display, as are other items about the sale.  Reports that people have begun lining up for hours, waiting for the case to open, remain unverified, however!
Lots of Events at the Library
You'll always find interesting events in the library's online calendar.  For example, former Children's Librarian Katy Obringer is offering an evening of "silly stories" on Wednesday, January 5, at 7 pm at the Mitchell Park Library.  A new series of Monday storytimes for infants 6 to 18 months old and their caregivers begins on January 24 at 11 am, also at the Mitchell Park Library.  A variety of Bay Area storytellers will appear at the Annual Storytelling Festival at the Children's Library between 1 pm and 5 pm on January 30.
Board Members for 2005
Here is the 2005 board of directors of the Friends of the Palo Alto Library.  Directors are elected by our members to two-year terms at our annual meeting, and also by the board when a vacancy arises.

Wendy Akers-Ghose, Vice President

Betsy Allyn

Althea Andersen

Rudy Batties

John Burt

Gretchen Emmons, President Emeritus

Jeff Levinsky, President

Gerry Masteller

Bob Moss, Treasurer

Bob Otnes, Assistant Treasurer

Marty Paddock, Book Sale Manager

Gloria Reade

Jim Schmidt

Martha Schmidt, Secretary

Barbara Silberling

Patricia Sohl

Steve Staiger

Ellen Wyman, President Emeritus

This notice comes to you from the non-profit organization Friends of the Palo Alto Library.  No trees were felled in the making of this e-mail.  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.