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December 13
10 am - 4 pm
Main Room Opening
9 am for life members
10 am for other members
11 am for non-members
9 am for
$1 outdoor sale
(weather permitting)
December 14
1 pm - 4 pm
Bargain Room opens at 11 am
Specials in December:

Animal Rights • Astrology
Dolls and Teddy Bears
Fine Art and Art Techniques
Japanese Language Books & Graphic Novels
King Arthur/Camelot
Large/Coffee Table Books
Military History and Other Topics
Mysteries & Thrillers
Political Science
Science & Mathematics
Science Fiction • Western Religions
Over 50,000 items altogether!

4000 Middlefield Road
Palo Alto
NW corner of the Cubberley Community Center
(650) 213-8755

More information on the sales
Donate your old books

Marty's/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 to members of the Friends.  These reserve your place in the lines for the 9 am (life member) and 10 am (other member) openings.  Only one ticket is given out per person this month.  Non-members get in on Saturday at 11 am.
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.  On Sunday, the room opens at 11 am and all prices are half off.  Save even more on Sundays by buying grocery bags from us for $5 each and stuffing them with any items in the room.

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, December 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.

Members Early Sale This Saturday

This month's booksale is the once-a-year chance for members of the Friends of the Palo Alto Library to get in early to the Main Room and enjoy extra time to browse and shop.  Life members and their spouses enter at 9 am and can purchase up to 50 books during that hour.  At 10 am, the rest of our members are admitted and everyone can buy the usual 12 books at a time.  At 11 am, non-members are admitted.  The limit on purchasing 12 books at a time lasts until there is no longer a line waiting to enter.

Tickets for early arrivers are handled differently this month.  Tickets given out are for the 9 am and 10 am lines at the Main Room, since most people who come early are members of the Friends.  Each member will get just one ticket, although members at and above the $25 levels may bring in their families, consisting of one or two adults and children, while life members may bring in their spouses.  No tickets will be given out for the 11 am line. 
Other rooms will be open the same hours as in recent months.  On Saturday, the Bargain and Children's Room open at 10 am, while on Sunday, the Bargain Room opens at 11 am and the other two rooms at 1 pm.  All rooms close at 4 pm on both days.
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 by mail for the sale, a 10% discount at the Books Inc. at the Town and Country Village, and eligibility for the Stanford Federal Credit Union, which has a new convenient Downtown office.  If you're not already a paid-up member, avoid delay at the sale by joining online right now.
One additional note: to help keep our sales rooms accessible for all, we ask that you leave baby strollers outside during busy hours. Please ask a volunteer if you need assistance.

Preview Our Shelves

Click here to see some of the shelves at this weekend's saleCheck out some of the tens of thousands of books that will be on sale this weekend using our shelf preview pictures.

Libraries Close for Holiday Season

Palo Alto's Main, Mitchell Park, and Children's libraries will be closed on December 24-26 and January 1 for the holiday season, and will close early on December 31 at 6 pm.  Meanwhile, the Downtown and College Terrace libraries will be closed during all nine days of December 24 through January 1.  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.

Take the Library Satisfaction Survey

Let the Palo Alto library know what you think of its services and possible offerings by taking the quick online survey.  You can skip over portions that don't apply to you.

Library Gets New Laptops and Looks at Technology

Fourteen brand-new laptops are arriving for patrons to use in the Main and Mitchell Park libraries this month, replacing models purchased back in 2005 that were checked out on average more than 2,200 times.  The new laptops offer faster processing and slightly wider screens.  The laptops help when other computers for the public are all in use and allow patrons to work throughout the library buildings and patios.  The new laptops, plus the older ones and others at the College Terrace and Downtown libraries, are provided by the Cable Co-op Legacy Grant made in 2003 to the Friends of the Palo Alto Library.
The library is also developing a technology plan for the next two to three years in conjunction with consultant Lucien Kress of Kress Consulting.  He is currently collecting suggestions and ideas from library staff and administration, city information technology employees, and the city at large.  At a December 3 community forum attended by about a dozen members of the public and library staff, suggestions included:

  • Provide space, technology, and facilitation to community groups working on projects.
  • Provide image scanners for patron use.
  • Provide more laptop-friendly seating (with power and Internet connections).
  • Rotate collections between branches (especially DVDs and CDs).
  • Expedite LINK+ so you can get a book from any Bay Area library within 24 hours. (LINK+ is a free inter-library loan program that Palo Alto will be joining shortly)
  • Equip meeting rooms with computers and multimedia equipment such as projectors and interactive whiteboards.
  • Show LINK+ offerings automatically in catalog searches.

Other ideas from library staff and advisors include allowing patrons to submit reference questions via texting, a next-generation catalog combining features of Google and Amazon, and a "floating collection" that leaves items at the branch they're returned to.  Read more and submit comments at Kress's blog for the technology plan.

Give the Gift that Costs Nothing

One last reminder during this shopping season: at both Kepler's Books in Menlo Park and, a percentage of your purchase price can help the Palo Alto Libraries at no cost to you.  At Kepler's, just mention to the cashier that you want to support the Friends of the Palo Alto Library.  For, always start your shopping session by clicking here or on the Amazon link on the top right of any of our web pages at  Virtually all purchases you make at Amazon are eligible, not just books.  Over the years, we've raised thousands of dollars to help our libraries thanks to shoppers at Amazon and Kepler's.

Library Events Calendar Online

Palo Alto's libraries offer hundreds of events every year for children and adults.  Now you can review them all quickly in a new online event calendar.  The calendar also helps you make reservations for events requiring sign-up and offers alerts of upcoming events as they are announced.

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 2007-2008 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.