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March 10
10 am - 4 pm
Main Room opens at 11 am

March 11
1 pm - 4 pm
Daylight Savings Time
begins on Sunday

Featured topics for March:

Asian Literature (translated)
Continental Congress Journals
Cookbooks Gardening
Hispanic Literature
Japanese Books
Japanese Gardening
Manga (Japanese comics)
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, and children's books are just 25 cents each.  The room also contains many LP records and 78s at $1 each.  All items are half off 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 special manga and Japanese books in the Bargain Room patio this month are priced separately.

Main Library Closures in March
The Main Library will be closed Thursday, March 8 through Sunday, March 11 and again later this month for remodeling.  The Downtown, College Terrace, and Mitchell Park libraries will be open during this time, and of course so will our weekend booksale!  The remodel will shrink the circulation desks to expand room for books and other materials, add a new magazine area, and bring the restrooms up to current accessibility standards.  More information.
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, March 11.  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.
Spring Forward This Sale Weekend
Daylight Savings Time begins this Sunday, which means you'll want to be sure to move your clock forward by one hour on Saturday night.  Otherwise, you'll arrive at our Sunday sale an hour late!
Huge Collection of Japanese Manga and Books
A bookstore in San Jose has donated about 3,000 new and used books in Japanese to us.  Most of these are manga, which is Japanese for "comic books."  You'll find these items for sale in the Main Room and in the Bargain Room patio, all priced at 50 cents for paperbacks and $1 for hard covers.  Please email any questions about the books to
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.
Get-Well Card for Marty Paddock
Today, our thoughts are with Marty Paddock, our Book Sale Manager.  Marty has been on medical sabbatical since December, and we all hope that she'll be back with us before long.  She has been the heart and soul of our book sales since she took over as manager in 2000.  We encourage everyone to let Marty know how much we care by signing her get-well card at the Main Room entrance during this weekend's sale.
Free Books at Booksale
Don't forget to check out the free books in the Main Room by the east exit door.  Among this month's titles are Madam Secretary by Madeleine Albright, Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt, and The Third Century by Joel Kotkin and Palo Alto Mayor Yoriko Kishimoto.  The free books are on a cart and please help yourself to them.
Almost 2/3 Support Library Ballot Measure
A poll taken last week of 600 Palo Altans finds 69% feel our libraries need at least some additional funding, but support for specific proposals fell just short of the 2/3 supermajority needed to pass a library ballot measure.
65% of those polled favored a $45 million proposal to build a new Mitchell Park Library and Community Center and to upgrade the Main and Downtown branches.  After hearing what this would cost on a per household basis along with likely pro and con ballot arguments, 62% then supported the measure.  David Metz, senior vice-president of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, & Associates, which conducted the poll, explained that a successful bond measure generally garners at least 70% support during polling and then loses a few points by election time.  He noted that 65% of Palo Alto voters in fact favored a $60 million library measure in an October 2001 poll but then only 62% voted for the $49 million Measure D the following year.
A second rule of thumb Metz offered is that at least 40% of those polled must express a definite intent to support a measure for it to later succeed.  For the present $45 million proposal, 34% of voters were in the definite yes category.  On the other hand, Metz emphasized that intense efforts to inform voters of the needs of the library system could raise support above the 2/3 threshold.
Several other possibilities received lower levels of support in last week's poll.  59% of voters would likely vote for a $35 million proposal that still improved all three library branches but not the Mitchell Park Community Center while only 43% favored just building a new Mitchell Park library at $25 million.  Paradoxically, when instead asked how much taxes they'd individually be willing to pay, voters preferred the least expensive proposal by 11% percentage points.  One explanation is that voters want to help all four facilities, but at the lower cost.
59% of voters polled supported a $95 million bond measure that provide the maximal library benefits plus a new public safety building to replace the police station presently adjoining City Hall.  50% of voters favored a $50 million public safety ballot measure by itself after hearing the per household cost and the pro and con arguments.  This suggests that the library proposals are slightly more popular than the public safety building, with support for the combination somewhere in between.
The poll also asked if voters would pay a $99 annual parcel tax to expand the library collection, increase library hours by 12%, add programs for children, teens, and parents, and improve maintenance.  53% of voters supported this tax, which would also require a 2/3 majority to pass.
When asked about specific enhancements for the library, the collection and resources for children rated highest, as they did in the library survey of 2006.  Specifically, 54% of those polled said that expanding children's reading areas in the library and space for books and other items to accommodate a larger collection were very or extremely important.  49% felt it was very or extremely important to upgrade the Main Library, with the similar statistic for the Mitchell Park and the Downtown branches at 48% and 43% respectively.  The poll's margin of error is 4%.
Metz recommended that the city consider postponing the ballot measures until November 2008 to provide more time to educate voters about the library and public safety needs.  The City Council will next discuss this issue on April 3.  See the articles in the Palo Alto Weekly and Palo Alto Daily News, the poll details and presentation to the Council, and our previous coverage.
Free Genealogy Class on March 28
Learn how to use the new genealogy online resources in the Palo Alto Library in a free hour-long course on Wednesday, March 28 at the Main Library at 1213 Newell Road.  You'll be able to look up your family and ancestors in over four billion online records in genealogical databases to find birth, death, marriage, census, immigration, and other records.  You may even find new relatives to add to your family tree.  The class will also discuss special genealogical resources that exist within Palo Alto.  Go to more information to RVSP.
Children's Library Progress

The new wing of the Children's Library is now enclosed and this picture shows how it looks from the Secret Garden.  See our month-by-month picture record of the Children's Library renovation and expansion.  The branch is currently scheduled to reopen in September 2007.

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.