Friends of the Palo Alto Library Visit our web site 

Saturday July 9
Ephemera 8 am - 4 pm
Tent Sale 9 am - 4 pm
Bargain and Children's Rooms 10 am - 4 pm
Main Room Sale 11 am - 4 pm

Sunday July 10
All Rooms Open 11 am - 4 pm


Politics & Government
Science & Mathematics
Nature & Animals


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

More information on the sales
Donate your old books

Marty's (Main) Room
In our Main Room, prices are way below what used book stores charge. Hardcover books start at $1.00 and softcover books start at only 50 cents.

Due to the popularity of our sale and the fact that we can only have 160 customers in the room at any time a numbered ticket system (Main Room only) is in place and numbers are given out beginning at 8am on Saturday. Be sure to be in line in order of your number before the 11am opening. If you miss the time when your number is allowed to enter the Main Room you will forfeit your place in line. NOTE: If you plan on arriving to the sale after 11am you do NOT need to get a number.

Please note that due to crowding during the first two hours of the Book Sale, no strollers, rolling carts, etc. can be brought into the Main Room. This is for the safety of shoppers and volunteers alike. By 12:30 or so, the crowd thins out and shoppers are welcome to bring these items into the sale.

Children's Book Sale
The Children's Room has moved to the portable formerly occupied by the Jewish Community Center next to the soccer field. It is entirely filled with children's books and toys. You'll find picture books, school age fiction and non-fiction, award winners, non-English titles, CDs and DVDs, and books for parents and teachers, most for 50 cents or $1. Strollers are welcome in the Children's Room at any time.

Bargain Books in K-7
The Bargain Room is located in Rooms K-7 and K-6 of the Cubberley main campus, right next to the tennis courts. On Saturday, 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. Or, save even more on Sunday by buying grocery bags from us for $5 each and stuffing them with any items in the room. Buy 4 bags and get the 5th one FREE!

Remodeled Downtown Library Re-Opens July 16
The newly remodeled Downtown Branch Library will reopen on Saturday July 16. There will be free refreshments and family entertainment all day long beginning at 9:30am - 6pm. For more information please visit the Palo Alto Library web site.
Non-Profit Book Giveaway
Non-profit organizations, schools and teachers that need FREE books can come to the Bargain Room this month from 4 to 6 pm on Sunday, July 10. Please bring your own 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.

July Sale Notes

Donation activity was near an all-time high this month. Perhaps it was the publicity from the Blue Bin Controversy (see below) or the result of many of our local patrons doing some summer cleaning but whatever the reason we are always happy to receive such a bounty! Topping the list were two large and generous donations from Stanford University. The Graduate School of Business bestowed upon us a massive donation of books on business and other subjects, including many textbooks. Most will be found in the Business section but there were also many books on Sociology and Psychology which will be found in those respective sections.... The Hoover Institute came through with not one, but THREE large donations. Much of the material was on Political Science and Military (Defense) issues. It is an interesting mix of stuff from current issues such as terrorism and going back into the 1950s and 1960s when battling Communism was all the rage. Since a lot of this material was produced for a small audience it is stuff we rarely see. If these subjects are of interest, we'd highly recommend attending the sale.... Our History Section Manager wanted to mention that she's got a good selection of books on the African-American experience.... It's not too late to plant your garden. Lots of new books can be found in the Gardening section.... It was an unusually strong donation month for the Nature section with a nice variety of titles on Dogs and Cats.

Preview Our Shelves

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

FOPAL's Amazon Affiliate Status
Due to the new Internet Sales Tax bill signed into law by Governor Brown on July 1, FOPAL will no longer receive any income from supporters clicking through to Amazon from the link on our web site. You'll still get to the Amazon site, but FOPAL will not gain any benefit from it.

Children's Room Sale Keeps Getting Better
The popularity of our Children's Book Sale has grown since we moved to the "Annex". Sales have been strong and the feedback from our customers has been great. The stream of donated Children's Books has been very strong all month and there is some great stuff to be had. Don't forget to check the Children's Section in the Bargain Room too!

Blue Book Donation Bins Update
The blue book donation bins that have been showing up at Safeway and other locations around Northern California are the property of Thrift Recycling Management, a for-profit company ($27M sales for 2010) located in Lynnwood, WA whose main business is the sale of used books on Amazon and other online venues. TRM sells though nine different online entities, two of the largest being Owlsbooks and HippoBooks on Amazon. FOPAL has been fighting the placement of those bins in Palo Alto for two reasons. First, and foremost, any books donated into those bins will not in any way, shape, or form benefit Palo Alto, and secondly, we believe that the charity that is named on the blue bins, Reading Tree, was set up by TRM (verified) and is merely a front for TRM to solicit books for sale, while Reading Tree ends up "donating" unsellable books (most Children's Books are not suitable for selling online). Safeway has come under fire, most notably from a consortium of East Bay FOL groups, and has now offered local groups the books that are donated in the bins. FOPAL is currently working on an agreement with Safeway to manage the bins placed at Safeway locations in Palo Alto though a final agreement has not been reached. For the moment, anything donated to the bins at Safeway and non-Safeway locations will end up with TRM. We are still working to get the non-Safeway bins removed from Palo Alto.

Bring Your Donations!
Donations are accepted in the Main Room during our normal hours of 2pm - 4pm Tuesday through Saturday. Use the door on the right side of the building, next to the fire lane. If you need to bring books to us outside of those hours just call (650) 213-8755 and see if anyone is working in the book room and can accept your donation. We also accept donations during the Book Sale hours as well. Book and media donations can also be dropped off at the Main Library (limit of one bag or box per day, please). Note that the new College Terrace Library does not have the space to store donations so they ask that you please do not drop donations off there. Pickups can be arranged for large donations or if you are physically unable to bring your books to us. Please email or call (650) 213-8755 for more information or to leave a message after hours.
Bargain Room Bag Sale on Sunday
On Sunday the Bargain Room features our popular "bag sale". For $5.00 you purchase a large shopping bag from our cashier and then you can fill it up with anything inside the Bargain Room. We encourage creative bag packing to maximize value. For every 4 bags you buy, you get an additional bag FREE! If you don't want to buy a whole bag, all items are 50% off our Saturday prices -- so hardback books and media are only 50 cents, softcover books only 25 cents.
VOLUNTEER! We are looking for book-loving, community minded folks to work with us. Think about volunteering a few hours a month. Call (650) 213-8755 and leave your contact info or email for more information.... Look for some exciting changes to the FOPAL web site in the near future.... Remember, we do accept donations during the sale -- drop off a few and pick up some new ones.... Thank you to all who have brought shipping materials to us!.... If you sell on eBay you can donate a portion of your sale to FOPAL! We're now listed as one of the charities under "eBay Giving Works". Please contact us if you need more information.
NEW! Recycle Your Used Packing Materials At FOPAL

Looking for a place to recycle those packing materials? FOPAL can use them! As our online sales have grown we would be happy to accept your used bubble mailers, small boxes, bubble wrap, packing peanuts, and those bags of air and we'll reuse them. We cannot use large boxes or styrofoam blocks.

Think Ecologically! - Bring or Donate Your Own Bags

Due to the increasing reuse of grocery and other bags, we tend to run short at our sales and encourage you to bring your own cloth tote or paper bags to the sale. If you have any extra grocery or department store bags in good condition please bring them for your purchases at the sale. We would also gladly accept any extra bags you wish to donate.

Support Palo Alto's Libraries While You Shop
By shopping at Kepler's Books in Menlo Park 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.
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.