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February 9
10 am - 4 pm
Main Room opens at 11 am

February 10
1 pm - 4 pm

Featured topics for February:

African American / Black Studies
Gift Books for your Valentine
James Michener Fiction
Latino/Hispanic Authors
Russian Literature
Travels in Spain
Vegetarian Cooking
Web Design * Weddings
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 for President's Day

Palo Alto's libraries will be closed on Monday, February 18 for the President's Day Holiday.  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.

Books Inc. Moves Palo Alto Store

Members of the Friends of the Palo Alto Library receive a 10% discount at the bookstore Books Inc., which has just moved from Stanford Shopping Center to a 4000 square-foot store in Town and Country Village at El Camino and Embarcadero.  Books Inc. originally opened at Stanford back in 1957, so they're the oldest general-interest bookstore in Palo Alto!

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, February 10.  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.
Thousands of Music CDs at Weekend Sale

This weekend's sale features all kinds of wonderful music CDs, thanks to one of our prized donors.  Mostly in their original cases, the CDs range from chamber music to soul, from Windham Hill to reggae, from popular rock to political satire.  Our favorite group name spotted so far in the collection: "The Pet Shop Boys." This extraordinary collection of CDs is too big for one room, so look in the music sections in both the Main and Bargain rooms.

Important Changes at Main Room

Because of our severe space limitations and compelling issues of health and safety, we will only allow 185 customers into the Main Room at a time.  On Saturday, February 9, customers will be originally admitted in the order of their numbered tickets that are given out from 8 to 11 am.  Once inside, customers may take only 12 books off of shelves, after which they should purchase these and exit via the east door.  They may then join at the end of any remaining line at the north door and reenter in that order.  The limitation of 12 books at a time will continue past noon if a line remains outside.
When picking up numbered tickets, please note that you can take one for yourself and one other person.
We regret any inconvenience that may be caused by adjusting to these changes.  We hope you will understand it is for everyone's safety.  We'll have extra volunteers to monitor and help and wish to thank everyone for their patience.

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 shelf preview pictures from many different sections of our Main Room.

Library Bond Price Rises, Aims for November Ballot

Seeking more time to educate the public about library needs, a split City Council decided on Monday, February 4 to shift a potential $80 million Palo Alto library bond measure from a June 2008 date to the November 2008 election.
The Council unanimously confirmed that the bond would still cover 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 on our website.  Palo Alto's other two branch facilities will not be affected by the bond measure, as the Children's Library was updated last year and major repairs for the College Terrace branch are already being planned.
One reason councilmembers favored the later election date was that polling in early 2007 found that fewer than the necessary 2/3 of voters support the library/community center project.  Since then, the estimated cost of the project has risen from $45 million to approximately $80 million, partly because more costs were included.  Councilmembers discussed possible ways to lower the amount voters would need to approve, such as seeking $4 million from donors for the buildings' furniture, fixtures and equipment, as was done on a smaller scale for the Children's Library.  A more controversial option is to dedicate new city revenue over a number of years to repay some of the library and community center construction costs, which would in turn reduce the available funding for a new public safety building or other city services and be more expensive, according to city staff.  The four councilmembers at the subsequent Finance Committee meeting on February 5 split over whether to recommend a single ballot measure to raise $110 million for both the library/community center and public safety building projects that would require $41 million to come from other new city revenues.
The November 2008 date will also give the city more time to run a second poll to understand public reaction to the new cost estimates and funding alternatives.  Opinions on the council varied as to how much in new taxes voters are likely to approve and whether substantial city revenue should be locked into paying for a public safety building without voter approval.  The council is expected to discuss the funding issues more on February 11.
See four articles in local papers about the cost increases and ballot issues:
  PA library cost estimates soar to $80 million
  New price of renovations: $80 million
  Funding public-safety building splits committee
  Three libraries forwarded to November ballot

Palo Altans Rate Library Highly

81% of Palo Altans rate our overall libraries as good or excellent, according to the recently-released 2006-2007 City of Palo Alto Citizen Survey.  This annual survey of opinions about the city, conducted by Palo Alto's City Auditor, also found that 75% of residents feel the variety of library materials is good or excellent and 75% rate our neighborhood branch libraries as good or excellent.  All three of these numbers are up from the previous year.
Other cities in the United States that use the same survey also found generally high praise for libraries.  As a result, Palo Alto's high marks for its overall libraries ranked only in the 54th percentile.  However, these rankings are extremely volatile, since Palo Alto last year ranked higher even though its ratings were lower.
33% of survey respondents reported using the library or its services more than 12 times last year, while 79% did so at least once during the year.
The study indicates that library usage in Palo Alto is evolving.  Over the last 5 years, circulation has risen 14%, reference questions declined 35%, Internet sessions increased 52%, and online database searches rose by 192%.  In-library volunteers donated over 5,800 hours this past year, 45% more than five years ago.

Palo Alto Reads Events in February

Join Palo Alto and all Silicon Valley in reading Bo Caldwell's bestselling first novel, The Distant Land of My Father, and then visit the library's blog and attend the following free local events sponsored by the Friends of the Palo Alto Library:
February 11: The Distant Land of My Father book discussion, Mitchell Park Library, 3800 Middlefield Road, 7 pm
February 12: The Distant Land of My Father book discussion, Downtown Library, 270 Forest Avenue, noon
February 13: The Distant Land of My Father book discussion, College Terrace Library, 2300 Wellesley Avenue, 7 pm
February 17: Firebird Youth Chinese Orchestra, Mitchell Park Community Center, 3800 Middlefield Road, 7 pm
February 24: In Conversation with Bo Caldwell, author of The Distant Land of My Father, Palo Alto Art Center, 1313 Newell Road, 3 pm

New Ways to Get Information

Discover new ways to find useful information through library and other resources at free presentations over the next months.  All talks will be held from 10:30 am to noon at the Main Library, 1213 Newell Road.  You can reserve a spot online.  Upcoming topics are:
February 13: How to Help Your Child Succeed in School Using Library Tools
March 12: The Historic New York Times: Searching a Century of News
April 9: Health Matters: Online Tools for Medical Information
May 14: Genealogy Resources @ The Library (back by popular demand)
June 11: Traveling? Learn the Secrets of Researching Your Destination

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.