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December 9
10 am - 4 pm
Main Room opens at 11 am

December 10
1 pm - 4 pm

Featured topics for December:

Asian Languages
Complete Star Trek Series 1-7
(on VHS tapes)
Biographies Books on Tape
Classics Health & Medicine
Fiction (trade paperbacks)
Foreign Languages
Mystery paperbacks
Science Technology
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.

Library Closed for Holidays
All Palo Alto's libraries will be closed for five days for the Christmas and New Years holidays: December 23 to 25, December 31, and January 1.  However, the College Terrace and Downtown branches will close for five additional days from December 26 to 30.  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, December 10.  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.
Wonderful Gift and Seasonal Items
Look for special tables of holiday and gift items in both the Main and Children's rooms at this weekend's sale.  You'll find lots of Christmas and Hanukkah books of stories, tales, poetry, recipes, and crafts plus holiday decorations, art, music, videos, and cards.  The special items are donated throughout the year but we save them up for our end-of-the-year sales.
When you buy your gifts at the Friend's book sale, you are also giving a gift to the city's libraries.  That's because all the booksale funds we raise go to help the City's five branches, adding new books, programs for children and the community, DVDs, online resources, and much, much more.
Window Shop on Your Computer
Click here to see some of the shelves at this weekend's sale
Check out our shelf preview pictures to see some of the tens of thousands of books for sale this weekend.
Great Donors Make Great Sales
We'd like to thank Faith Bell of Bell Books for helping us receive two truckloads of very desirable books this past month from an estate in San Jose.  These books were originally in a San Carlos bookstore that closed several decades ago.  Dating as far back as the 1890s, the books include an extraordinary number of first editions and also many signed copies from the 1930s and 1940s.  Our super volunteers pitched in to help transport all these books, which you'll find in our Main Room this weekend.
We also received a substantial collection of technical books via Stanford School of Engineering professor Milton Van Dyke, including many classics in applied sciences from the 1950's through 1970's.  You'll find these books in the Science and Engineering section in the Main Room.
Support the Libraries with Your Holiday Shopping
If you can't find something at our booksale and end up buying it at, you can still help our libraries.  Just start your Amazon sessions by clicking here or on the Amazon link on the top right of any of our web pages at  Amazon will donate a percentage of your purchases to us, which we give to the library.  You pay no surcharge!  It's a free way to help our libraries.
Council Considering Library Plan on December 11
After discussing the evolving library plan this past Monday, the City Council is weighing whether to poll in early 2007 to determine Palo Altans' willingness to pay for library building and service level improvements.  The Council expects to decide how to proceed at its meeting next Monday, December 11.
At the December 4 meeting, many supporters spoke in favor of improving the Mitchell Park Library.  Several options ranging from expanding the branch to replacing it have been created by the Group 4 architectural firm.  While the exact costs are still being worked out, council members noted that the vast majority of any taxes raised for the library will go to the Mitchell Park branch, possibly creating a north-vs.-south conflict.  In other words, while many in South Palo Alto would vote for the tax, people in North Palo Alto might not, jeopardizing obtaining the 2/3 majority needed for passage.  Council members were also concerned that voters might feel pressed to choose between funding libraries, schools, a public safety building, and various state measures, all scheduled for 2008 ballots.
You can learn more by reading the latest version of the library plan and background documents, staff comments on the plan and architectural proposals, recent Palo Alto Daily News and Palo Alto Weekly coverage, an editorial on building costs, our previous coverage, or by attending the  December 11 Council meeting at 7 pm at City Hall, 250 Hamilton Ave.  You can also email comments to the
New Children's Library Wing Underway

One major component of the current reconstruction and expansion of the Children's Library is the addition of a new wing beyond where the fireplace is.  Here you see the fireplace wall from the outside and the slab recently poured for the new wing.
The Children's Library is currently scheduled to reopen in September 2007.  In the meantime, see more photographs of the latest activity.  Photo credit: Barbara Silberling.

Dress Success Press
We're glad to hear that even a new Palo Alto boutique has benefited from our booksale.  According to a November 22 Palo Alto Weekly story, local designer Lisa Vian Hunter got some of her inspiration from "a recent $6 find -- a 1963 Vogue pattern book -- happily discovered at the Friends of the Palo Alto Library used-book monthly sale."  Her store, named Vian Hunter, opened just last month at 520 Bryant Street in downtown Palo Alto.
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.