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August 12
10 am - 4 pm
Outdoor Sale starts at 8 am
Main Room opens at 11 am

August 13
1 pm - 4 pm

Featured topics for August:

Archeology • Classics
Fiction • The Great Books
Harvard Classics • Health
Medicine • Modern Literature
Mysteries • Political Science
The Sherwood Piano Course
Travel Videos • Shroud of Turin
U.S. Presidents
Books on Writing
Books in French

And over 50,000 other items

4000 Middlefield Road
Palo Alto
Northwest corner of the Cubberley Community Center

More information on the sales
Donate your old books

All proceeds go to help Palo Alto libraries.

Main Book Room Sale
In our Main Room, prices are way below what used book stores charge.  Paperbacks are 50 cents and up, and hardcovers are $1 and up.  Numbered tickets for the Main Room are given out beginning at 8 am on Saturday.  These reserve your place in the line that forms before the 11 am opening.  Each person may pick up one or two tickets.

Children's Books in K6
Room K6 in the K wing (see map) is entirely filled with children's books and toys.  You'll find picture books, school age fiction, award winners, non-English titles, and books for parents and teachers, many for under $1.  This room and the Bargain Room open at 10 am on Saturday.

Bargain Books in K7
Next door in K7 is the Bargain Room, where paperbacks are 50 cents, hardcovers are $1.00, and children's books are just 25 cents each.  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.

Logo Named
Congratulations to Chris LaRoche for suggesting EdJoo and Kate as the names of the two books in our logo.  Chris wins a $25 gift certificate for Hobee's Restaurant, whom we thank for their generous support of our sale.

EdJoo and Kate

Library Closes for Labor Day
Palo Alto's libraries will be closed on Monday, September 4 for Labor Day.  Even when the libraries are closed, you can still search the online catalog, submit reference desk questions, access many online resources, and get book recommendations.
Non-Profit Book Giveaway
Non-profit organizations and schools that need free books should come to the Bargain Room this month from 4 to 6 pm on Sunday, August 13.  Please bring grocery bags to put books into.  More information.

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 Great Outdoors
Thank goodness it will be sunny this weekend, as we received so many books this past month that we'll be selling many outdoors.  You'll find lots of $1 hardcover books and 50 cent paperbacks outside the Main Room (right by the ephemera area) beginning at 8 am on Saturday.  Many other books will be in the breezeway in front of the Bargain Room and in the patio behind it.
Why it's Called the Bargain Room
Now and then, rumors ripple among our customers and volunteers of some pretty spectacular finds at our sale.  One recent customer reportedly found a first edition of William S. Burroughs's Naked Lunch in the Bargain Room and sold it on eBay for $500.  But that's nothing compared to the rumored copy of a French photography book also bought in the Bargain Room and then resold to a buyer in France for an incredible $9,000.  Of course, no Bargain Room book costs over $1 and on Sundays you can stuff all you want into grocery bags for just $5 a bag.  So even books worth $500 or $9,000 may have cost just a few nickels each.  With over 54,000 books at the sale, more treasures are surely waiting to be found.
Peek at our Bookshelves
Click here to see some of the shelves at this weekend's sale
Click here to see what's on our shelves for this weekend's booksale.  These pictures are very popular and all the people viewing them give our web page server a good workout.  We generally take the snapshots on the Monday or Tuesday before the sale so as to show you as many new arrivals as possible, but yet more books will be on the shelves by the Saturday of the sale.
Members' Early Sale Will be in October
Here's a two-month advanced notice for October, when members of the Friends of the Palo Alto Library will be admitted early to the Main Room sale.  On Saturday, October 14, life members will get in at 9 am and can purchase up to 50 books during that hour.  At 10 am, the rest of our members will be admitted and everyone can buy the usual 12 books at a time.  At 11 am, the public will be admitted and the limit on 12 books at a time will expire at noon.

The tickets given out that month will be for the 10 am line, since most people who come early are members of the Friends.  Each member will get just one ticket, although members at the $25 through $250 levels get to bring in their families.

Regular membership in the Friends is only $15 ($10 for students and seniors, $25 for families) and is tax-deductible.  Members also receive a discount coupon for the sale, discounts at Books Inc. at the Stanford Shopping Center, and eligibility for the Stanford Federal Credit Union.  If you're not a member, avoid delay at the October sale by joining online right now.
Volunteers Keep Overhead Low
We want to thank all 155 volunteers who have helped out with the booksale and other Friends activities during the past fiscal year (July 2005 through June 2006).  Contributing some 23,886 hour in total, the volunteers pushed boxes of books around, sorted, priced, shelved, cashiered, assisted customers, cleaned up, publicized, tallied, and organized everything from our bookkeeping to parties.  Thanks to all these volunteers, we kept our overhead extremely low, with management and fundraising expenses well under 1%!
This past month, our regular volunteers were swamped by all the incoming book donations.  Luckily many local kids taking a Living Skills course in which they contribute 15 hours a month to local nonprofits came to help us out.  These students have worked hard, accomplishing much more than asked, and many put in more than the 15 hours.  You may see them around the sale staffing the extra book tables outside the Main Room and receiving book donations that come in during the sale.
Library Ballot Measure Progress
Palo Alto will vote in June 2008 on an enlarged Mitchell Park library, longer hours at smaller branches, and other improvements, according to current city plans.
As discussed by the Library Advisory Commission on July 27, the Mitchell Park library will remain at the east end of the park, although perhaps relocated slightly to facilitate dropoffs and automobile traffic. The new or expanded building might house 120,000 to 150,000 books and other items, up significantly from the present 79,000. Quiet and small-group study areas may be added, as will a flexible program room, while areas serving children and teens will likely be enlarged. The building might also include a small café and booksale area.
The City Council recently funded a $200,000 architectural study of the Mitchell Park library site, with results expected later this year.
Upgrades at the Main Library are also being considered, including adding quiet and group study areas and a humidity-controlled room for the historical collection.
As currently proposed, the Mitchell Park branch will stay open four more hours a week, matching the 62 hours that the Main Library presently offers. The Children’s Library will gain two hours a week, while the College Terrace and Downtown libraries will both add Sunday hours and remain open until 8 pm on two weekdays, for a gain of 11 hours each.
The city is also examining library efficiency, with the City Auditor expected to issue a report by spring of 2007 while the library staff work on their own recommendations. The City Council has additionally directed library staff to propose how to use a consultant to help Palo Alto use technology to provide greater access to other resources, such as the vast Link+ university/public library collection or possibly other consortia.
With the exception of the auditor’s report, the plan is expected to come before the City Council by this December to decide what to put on the ballot. To learn more or provide input, we recommend you read the latest version of the plan, attend the next Library Advisory Commission meeting on August 24 at 7 pm at City Hall, 250 Hamilton Ave, or email the commission at
An Older, Wiser Palo Alto?
The City of Palo Alto is projecting that most baby boomers who live here now won't want to move away, meaning that the city's population will get older over time.  To plan for this, the City is proactively asking boomers what services they'll want more of, including libraries ... something we just happen to be particularly partial to.  If you were born between 1946 and 1964, you can take the City's survey online or via forms available at the libraries.
Children's Library Work Continues
The front of the Children's Library under reconstructionThis dramatic shot shows the back wall of the Children's Library under reconstruction, as part of a two year renovation and expansion effort.  See more photographs of the recent activity.  Photo credit: Barbara Silberling.
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 under 1% for our 2005-2006 fiscal year.  In other words, over 99% 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.