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April 12
10 am - 4 pm
Main Room opens at 11 am

April 13
1 pm - 4 pm

Featured topics for April:

Child Psychology
Collectable Children's Books
Games and Puzzles
Hispanic America Report 1948-1964
Linguistics * Martial Arts
Science and Technology
Weaving / Quilting / Textiles
P. G. Wodehouse Humor
World Affairs Report 1970-1990
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.  You may pick up a ticket for yourself and for one other person.
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.

Library Closed Friday, April 18

Palo Alto's libraries will be closed on Friday, April 18 for staff development.  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, April 13.  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.
Cart Features Excellent Bargains
You'll find some great bargains this month on a special cart right as you enter the Main Room.  The cart features several shelves of books pulled from many sections and priced at healthy discounts below comparable offerings on the Internet.  You can always spot other books at our sale that have been price-checked on the Internet as they have an "i" next to the price or include a sheet showing the comparables.
Preview our Shelves
Click here to see some of the shelves at this weekend's saleGet a head start on this weekend's sale with our many shelf preview pictures from many different sections of our Main Room.
Library Offers Free Technical Books Online
Your Palo Alto library card now lets you instantly access almost 1,200 books about computers and technology for free.  Available online 24/7, the collection includes many recent titles from publishers such as O’Reilly, Addison-Wesley, Peachpit Press, and Prentice-Hall.  Click here to see a full list and check out any of the books.  Funded in part through an enrichment grant from the Friends of the Palo Alto Library, this online collection from Safari represents an incredible bargain for Palo Alto library users, as Safari charges individuals over $250 for one year of access.
Free Access to University Library Materials
Starting in 2009, you'll be able to check out millions of books from many California and Nevada university libraries for free, thanks to the Link+ program that the Palo Alto Library will join.  Unlike present interlibrary loans, which tend to be slow and cost $7.50 per checkout, you typically receive books through Link+ within a few days and pay nothing.  Click here to search through the amazing collection that Link+ offers, which is way beyond that of any public library.
Back in 2004, one of our board members was using Link+ via the Mountain View Library to research World War I and wondered why Palo Alto's library didn't offer the same service.  Various obstacles existed at the time, including technical incompatibilities between Palo Alto's catalog system and the one used by Link+.  Those problems have since been solved and in 2007 we pledged $120,000 to help fund and publicize a two-year Link+ pilot.  Palo Alto's City Council voted on March 17 to accept the gift and provide up to $110,000 more for the pilot.  A fast interlibrary loan system actually saves money by better sharing materials.  In 2005, we estimated it would cost Palo Alto a billion dollars to purchase and house a collection as large as Link+.
Link+ also allows you to access the collections of many other public libraries, including San Francisco, Berkeley, San Jose, and Sunnyvale.  This means that if all copies of a popular book or other item are checked out in Palo Alto, you may still be able to get a copy quickly.  If you can't wait to use Link+ until 2009, it is available for free to all California residents at the Mountain View and many other Bay Area libraries.  See brief Palo Alto Weekly article and library's detailed proposal.
College Terrace Library Developments
On April 7, Palo Alto's City Council voted to reclassify the College Terrace Library building as a Category 2 resource on the Palo Alto Historic Inventory, thereby designating it as a "Major Building" of regional importance.  Designed by noted Bay Area architect Charles K. Sumner, the facility was constructed in 1936 for $20,400 of WPA (Works Progress Administration) funds.  While the library portion of the building is relatively unchanged, the other half was originally a community center but then became a daycare facility in the mid-1970s.
The city plans next to rehabilitate the building beginning this fall, with the library and childcare facilities closing for one to two years.
With the Category 2 designation and planned rehabilitation, an additional 2,500 square feet could be added to the building.  Rather than do that, the city is likely to sell those expansion rights for use by a developer elsewhere in the city.  In 2005, a similar transfer of development rights of 2,500 square feet for the Children's Library earned $237,500 for the city's general fund and the city hopes to raise a similar amount from selling the College Terrace rights.  See Palo Alto Weekly and Palo Alto Daily News articles.
Library Bond Meetings
In preparation for a likely November 2008 bond measure to raise approximately $80 million for library improvements, the city is holding three public meetings:
* Tuesday, April 29 at 7 to 8:30 pm at the Main Library,
* Wednesday, April 30 from 7 to 8:30 pm at the Mitchell Park Community Center, and
* Saturday, May 10 from 10 to 11:30 am at the Mitchell Park Community Center.
The improvements consist of replacing the existing Mitchell Park Library and Community Center with a single 51,000 square foot building at the same site, remodeling and somewhat enlarging the Main Library, and reconfiguring and updating the Downtown Library.  See proposed designs.  The city is also producing a nine-minute informational video and will send two to four direct mail pieces to residents.
To address cost concerns, the city has sought input from local construction experts and expects to hear their report at a City Council study session on May 5 at 6 pm at City Hall, 250 Hamilton Avenue.  The city also plans to assess voter support for the bond measure via a poll and then review the results at the June 23 City Council meeting.
Free Class on Genealogy Resources
There's still time to sign up for the May 14 class on how to use the library's many genealogy resources.  The class will be held from 10:30 am to noon at the Main Library, 1213 Newell Road and you can reserve a spot online.
Someone in Finland: Pay Up!
It's every library user's nightmare: you forget to return a book and the fines mount.  But what if you want to return a book more than 100 years overdue, as recently happened at a library in Vantaa, a city in south Finland near Helsinki?  The 1902 bound volume contained an old library note listing overdue fines at 10 pennies a week.  No payment was included and the book was apparently checked out at a different library, since the branch it was returned to didn't exist a hundred years ago.  Not surprisingly, the library does not know yet who is responsible.  See Reuters story.
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 2006-2007 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.