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October 14
Main Room
9 am - 4 pm for life members
10 am - 4 pm for other members
11 am - 4 pm for non-members

Bargain Room
9:30 am - 4 pm
Children's Room
10 am - 4 pm

October 15
1 pm - 4 pm

Featured topics for October:

American Black Literature
Asian language books
Classics • Computers
Contemporary books in Hebrew
Cookbooks • Entomology
Erotic Art • Jamaica
Jane's Fighting Ships
(and 11 other Jane's titles)
Libraries and Collections
The Great Courses on Tape
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 10 am members-early line this month.  Each person may pick up only one ticket this month.
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 opens 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.  The Bargain Room opens at 9:30 am on Saturday this month.

Children's Room Features Special Picture Books
You'll find many fancy autographed and/or first edition picture books in the Children's Room this month.  Some of these are Caldecott and other award winners while other are popular newer titles.  Authors include Jan Brett, Maurice Sendak, Jack Prelutsky, Beverly Cleary, and Jon Scieszka.  These all come from a special collection of picture books recently donated to us.
Diane Jennings Named Library Director
After a nationwide search, Palo Alto librarian Diane Jennings was named in September as the City's new library director.  Diane has served twice as Palo Alto's interim library director, first in 2002-2004 and then again this year, and also for many years as the familiar head of the Main Library.
Diane has an undergraduate degree from Duke University, a masters in library science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and another masters in Political Science with an emphasis on Public Administration from Virginia Tech.  She began working for the Palo Alto City Library in 1986 when she and her husband came west for his doctoral studies at Stanford.
We congratulate Diane on her new (but familiar) position and wish her the best of success.
Recent Foreword newsletter profile
Palo Alto Weekly article
Children's Library Floor Poured
Palo Alto's multi-million dollar renovation and expansion of the Children's Library is making great strides.  As the picture below shows,
the cement floor has now been poured, so it's much easier to walk around inside the building.  The checkout area and staff areas on the west side of the building have been framed in, as have the nearby loading dock and the area for librarians in the new wing.
Workers found that dry rot near the loading dock had entirely eaten away a few wall studs, which will be repaired.  Meanwhile, the building's original single-paned windows will not be replaced, but instead will have their frames refinished.
The Children's Library is scheduled to reopen in 2007.  In the meantime, see more photographs of the latest activity.  Photo credit: Barbara Silberling.
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, October 15.  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.
Members Admitted Early at This Weekend's Sale
This month's booksale is the once-a-year chance for members of the Friends of the Palo Alto Library to be admitted early to the Main Room.  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, non-members will be admitted.  The limit on purchasing 12 books at a time will expire at noon.

Tickets for early arrivers will be handled differently this month.  The tickets given out will be for the 10 am line at the Main Room, since most people who come early are members of the Friends.  There will be no tickets for the 11 am line.  Each member will get just one ticket, although members at the $25 through $250 levels get to bring in their families.
The Bargain Room will open at 9:30 am on Saturday, rather than the usual 10 am, so that members can visit it at right at the start.   The Children's Room will have its usual hours of 10 am to 4 pm and all rooms are open on Sunday from 1 to 4 pm as always.
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 sale by joining online right now.
Huge Hewlett-Packard Donation
When Hewlett-Packard's scientific research library in Palo Alto decided to downsize a few months ago, it offered us a "large number of books" and publications.  That turned out to be almost 400 boxes of books and journals, which by extraordinary effort our volunteers brought over to our book sale and sorted through this past month.
Among the many interesting books are S. H. Kaisler's INTERLISP, the Language and Its Usage, N. J. Cutland's Computability: An Introduction to Recursive Function Theory, and Computability by George Tourlakis.  The many proceedings include the Asilomar Conference on Signals, Systems and Computers (SS&C), the International Joint Conference on Neural Networks (IJCNN), and the IEEE International Conference on Image Processing (ICIP).
Some of these items will be displayed on our regular science and computer shelves in the Main and Bargain rooms.  Others will be located on the specials tables and shelves where the Main Room checkout line forms.  We exhausted all of our space, so journals of lesser interest have been passed along already to a technical university in India.  We'd like to acknowledge Hewlett-Packard for providing this donation and the heroic effort of our volunteers in processing it.  This is a wonderful community-minded gift that we and our customers really appreciate.
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 thousands of the books for sale this weekend, including some of the technical books donated by Hewlett-Packard.
Farewell Megabooks
We're sorry to report that long-time Palo Alto bookstore Megabooks has closed its doors.  Located on University Avenue for many years, the store held its final sale in mid-September and then donated 384 boxes of books to our booksale, as well as some furniture and supplies.  It took a dozen of our volunteers to carry all the books off.  Our thanks to Megabooks and also to Faith Bell of Bell's Books for her assistance.
October 19 Annual Meeting Includes Mini-Booksale
Our Annual Meeting on Thursday, October 19 will include a mini-booksale inspired by the many countries that Los Angeles Times reporter Richard Paddock, the evening's speaker, has covered.  Richard served overseas in almost 50 countries, including Russia, Indonesia, and Iraq.  He covered such events as the killing of civilians by U.S. troops in Iraq, the Bali nightclub bombing, the resurgence of headhunting in Borneo, and the Indian Ocean tsunami.
Richard also explored remote parts of Asia and the South Pacific and wrote unusual feature stories, such as the use of giant stone money on the Micronesian island of Yap.  He will talk about the life of a foreign correspondent, the dangers of working as an American journalist overseas, and how the United States is viewed from abroad.
The annual meeting will also feature the yearly election of our board members and officers.  The nominees for 2007-2008 board seats are Rudy Batties, John Burt, Gretchen Emmons, Jeff Levinsky, Gerry Masteller, Enid Pearson, Gloria Reade, Steve Staiger, and Ellen Wyman.  The nominees for next year's officers are Betsy Allyn as President, Martha Schmidt as Vice President, Margarita Quihuis as Secretary, Jeff Levinsky as Treasurer, and John Burt as Assistant Treasurer.
The meeting includes refreshments, is free to the public, and begins at 7:30 pm at the Palo Alto Arts Center Auditorium at 1313 Newell Road.
Library Collection Improvements Studied
On September 28, Palo Alto's Library Advisory Commission reviewed the library collection policies and expenditures to consider what improvements to propose for an upcoming library ballot measure.  Palo Alto currently enjoys one of the largest collections and collection budgets in California among cities of our size.  Palo Altans also check out among the most items per capita in the state, for a total circulation of 1.3 million in the 2005-2006 fiscal year.  This was approximately the same as the previous year and close to our all-time record, even though the Children's Library closed in December 2005 for a two-year renovation and expansion and the loan period lengthened in July 2005 from three to four weeks, which generally lowers circulation.
During 2005-2006, the Mitchell Park branch checked out 525,105 items, up 8% from the previous year.  Combined, the Main Library and the nearby Children's Library circulated 613,271 items, declining 7% from the prior year perhaps because of the longer loan period and closure.  The smaller Downtown Library checked out 49,962 items, up 19% from the year before, while the College Terrace Library circulated 89,146 items, down by 7%.  In addition, 3,063 e-books were checked out over the Internet.
The library staff observed that if the quality is maintained a smaller collection can serve as well as a larger one.  As an example, Mitchell Park's collection of 79,165 items generated almost as many checkouts this past year as Main's and Children's combined but is only about half the size.
Books remain popular, accounting for about 60% of overall circulation, with DVDs and videos representing another 24%.  Music CDs, books on CD, and other items make up the remainder.
Library Director Diane Jennings noted that duplication in the collection isn't that different from cities with just one library, which also acquire multiple copies of high-demand titles.  The main impact of Palo Alto's multiple branches on collections is the purchase of extra copies of magazines, newspapers, and popular children's and teen paperback series.
The staff suggested a number of ways to improve the collection, but Commission members expressed concerns about costs, benefits, and how to apportion extra funds among branches.  The commissioners selected four top recommendations from among the options presented by staff: spend over $1 million to enlarge Mitchell Park's collection to 150,000 items if the building is expanded or replaced, provide $4,000 more each year to improve the variety of e-books, spend $3,300 annually to support a children's collection at Main after the Children's Library reopens, and buy $31,600 of additional materials a year for the College Terrace and Downtown branches.  Library staff will come back with more information on some of the other proposed options.
The Commission will hold three more meetings on its proposed library upgrades, which also include replacing or expanding the Mitchell Park library and extending hours at most branches.  The public is invited to attend the meetings, which are always held at 7 pm at City Hall, 250 Hamilton Ave, or to email comments to  The remaining meetings and topics are:
October 12 - new library technology
October 26 - capital expenditures and staffing
November 16 - final review before presentation to City Council
Palo Alto Reads Underway
Over 300 people attended the kickoff lecture by Palo Alto resident Firoozeh Dumas about her book Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America.  Many more events are upcoming in the library's Palo Alto Reads … Funny in Farsi community reading program, and all are free to the public:
October 15 - Teen/Parent book discussion on Funny in Farsi.  Persian treats and tea served. 3:30 pm, Mitchell Park Library.
October 19 - Friends of the Palo Alto Library Annual Meeting with guest speaker Richard C. Paddock, an Los Angeles Times journalist who had two recent Baghdad assignments.  7:30 pm, Palo Alto Art Center Auditorium.
October 20 - A Persian Excursion celebrating Middle Eastern cultures with poetry, dance and music.  Persian refreshments served.  7:30 pm, Main Library.
October 24 - Book Discussion Group - Funny in Farsi.  Bring your lunch.  Persian treats and tea.  Noon, Downtown Library.
October 25 - After School Special: Tales from the Arabian Nights for grades K-5. 3:30 pm, Main Library.
November 1 - Starlight Special: Roya Ansari presents Iran—Ancient Land, Civilization, People and Culture for ages 4 & up.  7:00 pm, Mitchell Park Library
November 4 - The Future of US/Iran Relations with Reza Aslan, NPR commentator and author of No God But God: the Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam.  7:00 pm, Cubberley Theater.
November 8 - Book Discussion Group: Funny in Farsi.  Persian treats and tea served.  7:30 pm, College Terrace Library.
You can read comments on the book and add your own at the Palo Alto Reads Blog and find more information at the Palo Alto Reads website.  Our thanks to the generous donors who contributed to this project.
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.