Visit our web site 


May 10
10 am - 4 pm
Main Room opens at 11 am

May 11
1 pm - 4 pm

Featured topics for May:

Books on Antiques
Detective Fiction
James Patterson Novels
Special Cart of High-Value Items
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 Monday, May 26

Palo Alto's libraries will be closed on Monday, May 26 for the Memorial 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.

Summer Reading Program Begins June 2

The Palo Alto Library's summer reading program begins in early June.  Kids of all ages can participate and attend events and parties.  Once you achieve your reading goal, you receive a free book and other awards, and may be eligible for grand prizes.  See more information for kids through 5th grade and teens.  The summer reading program is sponsored by the Friends of the Palo Alto Library.

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, May 11.  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.
"Sea and Key" Donations

We've received an enormous number of oceanography books, covering topics such as scuba diving, marine life, undersea exploration, treasure ships, Jacques Cousteau, and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography - namely, everything about the sea.  Look for these books at this weekend's sale in the Main Room on a special table and in the Nature section.
We also received a Wurlitzer Strad player piano with bench and approximately 130 piano rolls, which we are offering for $650, along with a complementary copy of Larry Givens' classic book Rebuilding the Player Piano.  Please see Althea Andersen outside the Main Room during the sale to make an appointment to view these items if you are interested.

Ed. note: please do not send in complaints regarding the lame headline for this article.  To our credit, we rejected "Boats and Notes", "Shoals and Rolls," "Sea Miner and C Minor," "Shads and Strads," "String Rays," and others best not made public.

Preview our Shelves

Click here to see some of the shelves at this weekend's saleBe sure to enjoy a leisurely virtual stroll through our sale with our shelf preview pictures.  Taken in just the last few days from many sections of our Main Room, the pictures show you a number of the interesting books available at this weekend's sale.

Palo Alto Libraries Lead the Pack

According to recently-released statistics from the California State Library, Palo Alto's libraries were first in per capita circulation and second in visits among similar-sized cities during 2006-2007.  Each Palo Altan checked out on average 23 items during that 12-month period, more than residents in any other California city of 50,000 to 70,000 population.  In fact, Palo Alto's per capita circulation topped that of Mountain View, Menlo Park, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, and almost all others localities in the state.
Palo Alto achieves its high usage despite a smaller collection than many other libraries.  We rank just #32 out of 179 California cities and counties in total materials per capita and #37 for books.  Fourteen other library systems spent more than Palo Alto's $96.28 per resident, including Burlingame, Berkeley, and tiny Carmel, which topped the list at $325.87.

Join and Save
Joining the Friends of the Palo Alto Library makes you eligible to bank at the Stanford Federal Credit Union - "Where the Stanford Community Banks!"  For more details, visit  You also receive a 10% discount on purchases at Books Inc.'s brand-new store in Town and Country Village and early admittance at our annual Members-Early sale.  Join online, at the booksale, or at any Palo Alto library.
Free May 14 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.
Library Bond Meeting on May 10
A third community meeting on a proposed $80 million package of changes to Palo Alto's libraries and a community center takes place this Saturday from 10 to 11:30 am at the Mitchell Park Community Center at 3700 Middlefield Road.  Several dozen residents attended two earlier meetings in late April at which city officials, Library Director Diane Jennings, and representatives from the architectural firm Group 4 explained their plan to replace the Mitchell Park library and adjacent community center and upgrade the Main and Downtown buildings.
Attendees at the April meetings asked many questions about the proposal.  In response to queries about cost and schedule, project personnel explained that they hope to minimize inconvenience by closing just one facility at a time, but also to rebuild at Mitchell Park quickly to avoid construction cost inflation.  Because the Mitchell Park project is complex, they anticipate improving the Downtown Library first, which is a much smaller effort and might begin by the end of 2009.  During that period, a modular building could house the downtown technical services staff.  The city would raze the Mitchell Park buildings next and build the new 51,000 square foot combined facility with the modular building nearby (possibly at the Cubberley Community Center) providing interim library services to the public.  Once the Mitchell Park project is completed, the modular building would relocate to serve as a temporary facility for the remodeling of the Main Library.  The smaller size of the modular might allow the city to reassign personnel from Main during this final stage and delay hiring the extra staff that the Mitchell Park library will eventually require.  By 2013 or 2014, the entire project would be completed.
To address cost concerns, the city has sought input from local construction experts and expects to hear their report at a City Council meeting rescheduled for May 19 at 7 pm at City Hall, 250 Hamilton Avenue.  The city also plans to mail two to four informational pieces to residents and poll to assess support for the bond measure, with the results to be discussed at the June 23 City Council meeting.  See recent articles in the Palo Alto Weekly and Palo Alto Daily News, the city's project website, and our quick views of the proposed designs.
Book Group Chooses Next Year of Reading
Here's what the Friends of the Palo Alto Library book group will be reading over the coming year.  The group meets from 7:30 to 9 pm on the second Thursday of every month at the Lucie Stern Community Center Fireside Room at 1305 Middlefield Road.  Click on any title to learn more it:
Date   Title and Author
May 8, 2008   Saturday by Ian McEwan
June 12   The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan
July 10   Half the Way Home by Adam Hochschild
August 14   Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
September 11   A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
October 9   Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
November 13   Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
December 11   Seeing by Jose Saramago
January 8, 2009   I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb
February 12   The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman
March 12   Our Story Begins by Tobias Wolff
April 9   Choose the next eleven books
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.