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September 9
10 am - 4 pm
Main Room opens at 11 am
September 10
1 pm - 4 pm

Featured topics for September:

Art Museum Books
Children's Newbery Award Winners
A Collection of Matchbooks
High School & College Yearbooks
Judaeica Special Collection
Maritime History
Sherlock Holmes Mysteries
Szechwan Cuisine • World War II

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 Classes Help you Search
Find what you want on the Internet faster by taking the new "Search Like a Pro" class at the Main Library.  Sessions of the free one-hour class will be held at 10 am on September 20, November 15, and December 6.  When you register online or via forms available at the libraries, please indicate what you want to learn more about.
You can also learn how to use the library's electronic catalog at a free class on either October 4 and 18, also from 10 to 11 am at the Main Library.
Extra Costs for Main Library
The City has announced that the cost of physical remodeling the Main Library may be about $225,000 instead of the projected $130,000.  The funds will pay to replace the large circulation desk by a small reference desk, relocate check-in activities into the rear of the building, and create a periodical reading area behind the present video section.  The remodeling is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Slate for Upcoming Election
At our Annual Meeting on October 19 (see Palo Alto Reads article in this issue), the yearly election of board members and officers will take place.  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.
A Chance to Catch Up?
Those who can never find time to read all the interesting books out there may actually be happy to hear that fewer books were published in the United States during 2005 than the preceding year.  According to estimates from bibliographic information provider Bowker, 172,000 new titles and editions came out last year, down 18,000 from the year before.
It's not that simple, however.  Across the Atlantic, publishers in Great Britain put out 206,000 new titles in 2005, an astonishing 45,000 more than in 2004.  So the total number of new English-language titles actually rose.
Worse, 2004 was a record year for U.S. publishers, so 2005's lowered output is still the second-best ever.  You'll never catch up!
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, September 10.  Please bring grocery bags to put books into.  More information.
Ramps Redone
Recent visitors to our Main Room sale may have noticed that the two entrance ramps had huge pieces of the surfaces chipped away.  Although just a few years old, the surface material was unable to take the heavy load of countless cartloads of donated books hauled into the room and disintegrated into dust.  This month, you'll find both ramps looking new and pristine, thanks to a recent major resurfacing.  No bets on how long the new surface lasts - some of those donations are very heavy!
Window Shop on Your Computer
Click here to see some of the shelves at this weekend's sale
If you haven't tried them yet, check out our shelf preview pictures to see some of the books that will be at this weekend's sale.  These pictures were taken this Monday and Tuesday and most of the books will be in the same shelf locations when you arrive at Saturday's sale.
Members' Early Sale Will be in October
Next month, on Saturday, October 14, members of the Friends of the Palo Alto Library will be admitted early to the Main Room sale.  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.
Update on Library Plan
The Library Advisory Commission is adding extra meetings to work on its proposed library upgrades, which currently include a new or expanded Mitchell Park library, longer hours at most branches, and an expanded collection.  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 upcoming meetings and topics are:
September 14 - partnerships between the library and Palo Alto schools
September 28 - library collection improvements
October 12 - new library technology
October 26 - the costs of the proposal
November 16 - final review before presentation to City Council
The City Council currently envisions that the public will be asked to vote on the proposals in June of 2008.  Because many of the improvements entail ongoing operating expenses that a construction bond cannot pay for, a recent City document instead projected using a library parcel tax to raise an estimated annual cost of $3.8 million, which works out to approximately $196 per parcel owner.  By contrast, the library/community center bond measure known as Measure D that failed in 2002 would have cost the median homeowner $80 a year.  Part of the difference comes from switching to a parcel tax, which generally taxes expensive properties the same as less-expensive ones, rather than using a construction bond, which taxes each property based on its value.
Palo Alto Reads
Make history this fall by joining the largest book club Palo Alto has ever seen: Palo Alto Reads … Funny in Farsi.  Everyone is invited to read the same great book at the same time - Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America by Palo Alto resident, Firoozeh Dumas.
Dumas was born in Abadan, Iran and moved to Whittier, California at the age of seven.  After a two-year stay, she and her family moved back to Iran and lived in Ahvaz and Tehran.  Two years later, they moved back to Whittier, then to Newport Beach.  Firoozeh then attended U.C. Berkeley where she met and married a Frenchman.
Palo Alto Reads will kick off Tuesday, October 10 at 7:30 pm with An Evening With Firoozeh Dumas at Palo Alto High School’s Haymarket Theater.  The event is presented by the Palo Alto City Library, the Friends of the Palo Alto Library, the Palo Alto Unified School District and the Palo Alto High PTSA.  Kepler’s Books will sell copies at the event.
The Library will subsequently host a month-long series of free public events around themes in the book:
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 LA 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.
Cheap Child Chiller
Hidden under the floor of the remodeled Children's Library will be forty pipes, each going forty stories underground and coming back up.  On warm days, water will be pumped down into the pipes, where it will be cooled by the deep groundwater below and then brought back up to the surface.  There, it will enter heat exchangers that cool the air inside the library and keep everyone comfortable.
According to City Project Engineer Debra Jacobs, this "ground source heat pump system" can reduce cooling costs by 25% to 30%, plus it is quieter, simpler, and more compact than other cooling methods.  Space was a special concern because the historic building had no suitable location for conventional equipment.  The same system will also help heat the building on cold days, since the underground water generally stays at about 55 degrees regardless of the season.
The Children's Library is scheduled to reopen in 2007.  In the meantime, see lots of other photographs of the latest activity.  Photo credit: Barbara Silberling.

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.
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.