Visit our web site 


October 13
10 am - 4 pm
Main Room opens at 11 am

October 14
1 pm - 4 pm

Featured topics for October:

Boating, Sailing, & Yachting
Contemporary Architecture
Ethnic cooking
Fantasy: Dragons and Vampires
Framed prints and wall hangings
Local Book Club selections
Selections on Russia/USSR
(from the Hilton Collection)
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.

Old Books - New Art
Here's one more use for used books: see how artist Brian Dettmer transforms them into intricate works of artMore examples.  Our thanks to Nancy Welch for this recommendation.
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 14.  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.
Booksale Offers Professor's Russia/Soviet Collection

This weekend's sale features an extraordinary collection of Russian and Soviet histories, biographies, travel guides and other books.  These items come from the estate of emeritus Stanford professor Ronald Hilton, who died this year at age 95.  His daughter reported that he taught himself Russian so well that he was once scolded for eating in the foreigner's section of a Soviet restaurant.  You'll find these books in our Main Room on a specials table close to the cashiers and the south wall.  Our thanks go to Professor Hilton's family for this very generous donation to the Friends.

Annual Meeting on October 18

Please attend our annual meeting on Thursday, October 18 at 7 pm at the Palo Alto Art Center Auditorium, located at 1313 Newell Road next to the Main Library.  Our special guest speaker will be Nancy Cassidy, a local singer and songwriter who has delighted audiences of all ages over the past 30 years with her warm and engaging voice and wide variety of songs.  Nancy will talk about how she became interested in her craft and more and more involved with singing, songwriting and performing.
The annual meeting will also feature the yearly election of our board members and officers. The nominees for 2008-2009 board seats are Betsy Allyn, Bob Otnes, Margarita Quihuis, Jim Schmidt, Martha Schmidt, Barbara Silberling, Caroline Spitz, and Tom Wyman.  The nominees for next year's officers are Betsy Allyn as President, Martha Schmidt as Vice President, Margarita Quihuis as Secretary, Enid Pearson as Treasurer, and John Burt as Assistant Treasurer.
The meeting includes refreshments and is free to the public.

Nancy Cassidy

Volunteers Set up Tens of Thousands of Books

Click here to see some of the shelves at this weekend's saleOur volunteers have been feverishly busy sorting, pricing, shelving, and cleaning up to get ready for this month's sale.  Over just the past three months, they've put in 5,883 hours (we counted!).  Check out right now some of the tens of thousands of books being readied for this weekend's sale by viewing our shelf preview pictures.

Members-Early Sale in November

Here's another reminder that this year's special early admission for members of the Friends will be at our November 10 booksale.  This annual event lets lifetime members enter our Main Room at 9 am and other members in at 10 am.  Non-members then can enter the Main Room at the usual 11 am.  There will be more information in our November issue.  Please note that members only get in early once a year.

Council Simplifies Plans for New Library

Palo Alto's City Council voted on October 1 to focus on just one proposed configuration for a new Mitchell Park library and community center, thereby reducing architectural costs and simplifying planning.
For the last year, the city has considered various design options for the site, which houses both a 9,500 sq ft. library and an 10,000 sq. ft. community center. One possibility was to build a new library first and replace the community center later. This would have placed the library closer to the park, which is less desirable than having it alongside Middlefield Road.
The council instead opted to replace both structures simultaneously, creating a single 51,000 square foot building with the library portion closer to Middlefield. The facility will also house the library’s technical services department, which processes new and damaged items, moving it from the Downtown Library to free up more space at that branch for the public.
Plans are also being developed to remodel the Main Library and add group study rooms and a small auditorium. The new Mitchell Park library and community center plus the Main and Downtown branch improvements were estimated last year to cost $45 million. The council is considering both a bond measure and seeking donors to raise the funds.
The council heard earlier that evening from a pair of political consultants who have studied the likelihood of passing a bond measure.  Based upon a poll of 600 residents in February and 21 likely voters who served on focus groups in late August, Jessica Reynolds of the Lew Edwards Group and Richard Bernard of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin & Associates concluded that support for the project likely falls short of the 2/3 supermajority required for a construction bond.  The poll showed that 62% of voters favored or leaned in favor of the project when given the total cost, pros, and cons, while 51% supported it when told how it might affect their property taxes.  A majority of focus group participants also supported the project.  Their top priority was additional space for collections and youth services, while "completing a series of improvements to all of Palo Alto's branch libraries" ranked highest among a series of 21 choices. Reynolds and Bernard also found that "participants had a significant level of concern about what they perceived as inefficiency, division, and a lack of responsiveness in City government" and stressed that providing detailed information and further engaging the public over a 12 to 18 month period could increase support.
Complicating the issue are new city public safety (police) building and Palo Alto Unified School District ballot measures also likely in 2008. The consultants recommended that the city consider putting the library/community center measure on a separate ballot from the public safety building.
Watch an online video of the Council discussion and read the Palo Alto Daily and Palo Alto Weekly coverage.

Library Audit Presented to Council

Palo Alto City Auditor Sharon Erickson's report on the libraries was praised at the September 10 City Council meeting and Library Director Diane Jennings said her staff expressed agreement with most of the recommendations.  For example, Cornelia van Aken, Palo Alto's new Assistant Library Director, will be looking at the auditor's proposal to try rescheduling staff to provide more open hours for the public.  The library has already implemented other recommendations to improve cash handling and is working on ways to reduce the number of checked-out items that aren't returned.
Jennings pointed out that the recently-completed Children's Library and planned improvements at the College Terrace branch were steps toward meeting the audit's finding that facilities needed improvement. Moreover, the proposed ballot measure would address the three other city libraries.  One aim of the audit was to assure voters that all appropriate efficiencies were in place prior to any election.
Erickson noted that her office did not come to a firm conclusion that Palo Alto's libraries were either under- or over-staffed.  Rather, she recommends annual staffing evaluations, as library services are changing dramatically faster than any other city department's.
Watch an online video of the Council discussion and read the audit and library staff response.

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.