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

January 13
1 pm - 4 pm

Featured topics for January:

"The Age of Aquarius" (the 60s)
Andy Capp Paperbacks
"Canada and its Provinces"
(one of 875 copies circa 1913)
Humor • Libros en Español
Portugal • Romances
Spanish Civil War
Teacher's Guides
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.

Library Closed for Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

Palo Alto's libraries will be closed on Monday, January 21 for the Martin Luther King, Jr. 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.

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, January 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.
Weekend Booksale Overflows with End-of-Year Donations

Thanks to hundreds of donors, our shelves are as full as ever with exciting books, DVDs, CDs, records, and more.  We also have tables of more books from Stanford Professor Ron Hilton's extensive collection, including many excellent volumes on Portugal, the Spanish Civil War, and Spanish art, drama, history, literature, novels, and poetry.

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 thirteen different sections of our Main Room.  In 2007, our shelf pictures were looked at over a quarter-million times!

Palo Alto Reads Events in January and 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:
Friday, January 25: Memories of Wartime Shanghai, with Meimei Pan and Connie Young Yu, Main Library, 1213 Newell Road, 7 pm
All January: Growing up Asian in America exhibit at the Main Library, 1213 Newell Road
February 1: Red Panda Acrobats, Mitchell Park Community Center, 3800 Middlefield Road, 7 pm
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

Council to Review New Library Costs

Palo Alto's City Council plans to discuss new cost estimates for the Mitchell Park, Main, and Downtown library projects at its February 4 meeting at City Hall, although the date is tentative.
The proposed projects would replace the existing Mitchell Park Library and Community Center with a single 51,000 square foot building at the same site, remodel and somewhat enlarge the Main Library, and reconfigure and update the Downtown Library.  See proposed designs on our website.  Palo Alto's other two branches are not included in these proposals, as the Children's Library was updated last year and major repairs for the College Terrace branch are already being planned.
The city estimated in 2006 that the Downtown, Main, and Mitchell Park projects would cost $45 million and contemplated funding the projects with a 2008 bond measure.  A poll and follow-on study in 2007 suggested that Palo Alto voter support for the project likely falls short of the required 2/3 supermajority but was higher than for a bond to fund a new public safety building.  Subsequently, the Council directed city staff to investigate funding the public safety building without a ballot measure, perhaps by using existing city funds and new revenue sources to pay back a construction loan.  The Council is tentatively scheduled to discuss those options at the same February 4 meeting after a review by the city's Finance Committee on Tuesday, January 15.

2008 Officers and Board Members

The Friends of the Palo Alto Library has new officers and board members for 2008 based on the election held at last October's Annual Meeting. Our president again is Betsy Allyn, well-known to many as a cashier at our booksale.  Martha Schmidt is our vice-president, Margarita Quihuis is secretary, Enid Pearson is treasurer, and John Burt is assistant treasurer.
Carolyn Spitz, a retired HP project manager and booksale volunteer, is joining the Friends board. The other Friends board members in 2008 are Rudy Batties, Gretchen Emmons, Jeff Levinsky, Gerry Masteller, Bob Otnes, Jim Schmidt, Barbara Silberling, Steve Staiger, Ellen Wyman, and Tom Wyman.

Younger Adults Use Libraries More

According to a recent study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, American adults 30 and under use libraries more than older adults, defying expectations that greater computer fluency would lead to lower library usage.  The study found that 62% of 18-30 year-olds visited a library at least once a year, compared to 53% of adults overall and just 32% of those over 72.  Indeed, 61% of Internet users had also visited their library at least once during the year compared to 28% of non-Internet users. 
The study looked at other factors that correlate with higher library use.  The authors cite "convenience" as one factor, noting that 58% whose library is within two miles visited at least annually versus only 42% whose libraries were further away.  Educational level matters too, as 68% of college graduates had made at least one library visit over a year, compared to 44% of those with only a high school diploma.
Study participants were asked where they go for help in dealing with specific problems.  Just 13% cited libraries, with the Internet the highest at 58% and professional advisors such as doctors and lawyers at 53%.  However, for many without computers, the library is where they access the Internet.

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.