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Saturday, March 12
10 am - 4 pm
Main Room opens at 11 am
Sunday, March 13
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 March

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day
with Irish Literature
plus Biography
Business * Classics
Current Events
Drama * Health
Military History
Philosophy * Psychology
Reference 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
The Palo Alto City Library will be closed on Sunday, March 27 for the Easter holiday.
College Terrace
to Reopen on Tuesdays
The College Terrace branch will reopen on Tuesdays, beginning on March 22.  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.
The March of Books

We are truly overflowing with books this month.  In just one recent day, we received a donation of 170 boxes of books (that's not a misprint) from an estate in Portola Valley.  Two volunteers had to make six separate car trips just to pick up all the boxes.  So please come and help us empty some of our shelves by shopping for books, books, and more books. 

Bag Sale On Sundays Only
Starting this month, the bargain room's $5 bag sale will be only on Sundays, when the room is open from 1 to 4 pm.  If you haven't tried the bag sale yet, it's a great way to get lots of books for pennies each.  You begin by purchasing a grocery bag from the cashier for $5 and then filling it to the brim with any books, records, magazines, videos, games, and other items in the bargain room.  If you put 40 paperbacks in a bag, for instance, you're paying less than 13 cents a book.  You can buy and fill as many bags as you want.  We're holding bag sales just on Sundays to help reduce the crowding in the bargain room on Saturdays.
Book Sale Continues to Grow
Since July of last year, our books sales have averaged over $15,600 a month.  That's up more than 50% from just two years ago, when we were so proud to earn about $10,000 a month.  Thanks go to all the thousands of donors and customers who keep helping out, as well as our hard-working crew of volunteers.
Public Not Apprised of Major Library Changes
On Monday, March 7, the City Council allocated about $352,000 to rearrange the Main and Downtown libraries in ways that could have significant long-term impacts on library users.  However, no plans for these changes have been released to the public, the Library Advisory Commission has not reviewed the project, and many important questions remain unanswered.  In response, the Board of the Friends of the Palo Alto Library will formally request that the City first provide for adequate public review and input.

The most controversial change is likely to be closing off almost all of the west side of the Downtown Library from the public and moving in administrative staff from the Main Library.  Based on information from previous floor plans and library proposals, it appears that this may actually reduce the net library space for the public between the two buildings.

Other changes are likely to be less controversial, such as creating temporary space at the Main Library to house part of the staff, books, and programs from the Children's Library, which itself will be undergoing a two year renovation and expansion.  The funds will also reconfigure the circulation desks at the Main and Downtown libraries to improve efficiencies and adjust the teen service area at Main.

None of the changes will occur for at least several months, which should leave time to post and distribute plans and hold public hearings.  Please see further editions of this newsletter or check our website at for updates.
Library Hold Policies Change
Placing holds on popular library materials via the Internet is so widespread that the library has decided to make some adjustments.  Normally, you have eight days to pick up an item that's on hold for you.  Because DVDs are in such high demand, the library now requires you to pick up DVDs on hold within just five days.  You can also place holds on just three DVDs and check out only two at a time.  Meanwhile, the maximum number of holds you can place on all items combined has risen to fifteen.  More information.
Electronic Books Available via Local Libraries
You can now download 616 electronic books and 366 audio books into your laptop, home computer, or even some PDAs and audio players (but not Palms or iPods) from the Palo Alto library.  The collection includes mysteries, science fiction, thrillers, health, business, and computer titles.  Click here to begin, using your Palo Alto library card.  You can check out up to five items, each for three weeks.  More information in Word format.  You can also use more than 4,466 online electronic books for free via the San Mateo County library system if you have their card, which you can get at no cost at the East Palo Alto or Menlo Park branches.
Tom Wyman Receives Council Thanks
Departing Library Advisory Commissioner Tom Wyman was presented a resolution of appreciation on February 14 by Palo Alto's City Council.  In response, Tom said:

Thank you for this Resolution.

Let me just simply say that libraries are all about serving people. Neighborhood libraries have long been an important part of the fabric of our community. They’re a part of what makes Palo Alto truly different and special.

We need to take care that we not lose our neighborhood branches in exchange for a less accessible so-called "state-of-the-art-library" which may actually serve fewer people than today’s combination library system. If we were to lose our branch libraries, Palo Alto would lose a special part of our community fabric and become like so many other municipalities that have little more than a single central library.

One additional point, as we move ahead to bring our library vision to reality, it is imperative that library users and the public be an INTEGRAL PART of the planning process. History tells us -- time and again -- that when a project does not have the buy-in and support of the community, it will founder at the polls when it comes time to seek public funding.

As we look ahead, folks, let us meet our library challenges together as a team.

Thank you for hearing me out.

New Gold Cards for Life Members
When you sign up for life membership in the Friends, you receive a special gold-colored Palo Alto library card.  The gold cards issued in the past will not work with the new self-check machines, so we've paid for new gold cards in the correct format.  If you have one of the older cards, you can get one in the new format by visiting any library branch.

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.