Friends of the Palo Alto Library Visit our web site 

Saturday January 12
Ephemera 8am - 4pm
Bargain and Children's Rooms 10am - 4pm
Main Room Sale 11am - 4pm
Tent Sale 9am - 4pm

Sunday January 13
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Bargain Room
Home & Crafts
Music & Dance
Transportation (Cars & Ships)


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 is located in 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 H-2
The Bargain Room has moved to Rooms H-2 and H-3 of the Cubberley main campus, between Marty's Room and Middlefield Road. 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!

Library Closings for Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday
All libraries will be closed Sunday and Monday, January 20 and 21, for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. Normal hours will resume on Tuesday, January 22.

You can find out about closings and other Palo Alto Library events on the Library's event calendar.
Non-Profit Book Giveaway
Non-profit organizations and schools are able to select books from among the thousands of books available in the Bargain Room on the Sunday evening following the sale from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. If you are associated with a non-profit organization or school that would like to receive books from us for free or for information on eligibility, hours, and the types of materials available, please contact Norma Burchard in advance by e-mail at or at (650) 494-1082. Several dozen organizations benefit from the monthly giveaways, including local hospitals, homeless programs, senior centers, schools, and jails, as well as libraries in rural areas and on reservations, and literacy projects in many other countries.
We're always eager to hear your suggestions for ways to improve our book sale. Please email us at or mention them to a volunteer at the sale.

For 2013 Build a Family Library

If you ask many book lovers, the most important piece of furniture in a room is the bookcase. A home library doesn't have to be elaborate or expensive to provide rich reading experiences. Fancy books aren't necessarily the best way to capture a one's imagination. But a good family library does involve time and space -- time to find materials that will interest all the readers in the family, and space to keep and enjoy them. Many families have found that setting aside a spot in the home for a family library helps them make reading a part of family life. Many main home libraries are located in the living room, which makes it a focal point in the house. I have one close friend that had her library made with built-in bookcases that house a variety of books in her dining room. In this case she is able to invite the family to dig into a book before or after dinner. For others sturdy bookcases, built-in shelves, and open magazine racks are excellent places to display and store reading material. An orange crate works well, too, and a floor-to-ceiling wall system with glass doors might be beautiful to behold, but would discourage a young reader who couldn't get to the books inside.

Many children also have their own bookcases in their bedrooms, and for many homes books can be found displayed in almost every room of the house. For these families reading materials are simply a part of everyday family life. For your primary library, find a spot that is comfortable, inviting and allows your children to reach for materials at any time. Or, create a kids reading corner with these things in mind: comfortable seating, storage for books and sufficient lighting. Children may want a place separate from the family library to keep books that have special meaning or value for them. By encouraging children to set aside their personal favorites, you are helping them express their affection for books, and showing them that you respect their reading.

FOPAL can help you fill your family library with a wonderful assortment of books and it won't cost you much at all. With regular trips to our monthly sales and by visiting each of our three sales rooms you can easily create a family library for 2013. Remember, just about anything goes in a family library. Paperback and hardcover books, a dictionary, an atlas, song books, magazines for parents and kids, newspapers, and even mail-order catalogs all have a place. Keep the ages and interests of family members in mind when selecting material, and get their suggestions. Make sure there is something for everyone at every reading level and enjoy! If you need suggestions for books while shopping FOPAL's book rooms look for a volunteer floor person and ask for their advice. Most of our volunteers are avid readers and would be eager to point you in the direction of books perfect for you and your family.

Preview Our Shelves

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

Bargain Room Grand Opening

To celebrate the opening of the new Bargain Room, the volunteers have gone above and beyond organizing, moving sections and creating sub-sections in many of our more popular areas. Please refer to the new floor maps created by our talented volunteer Doug Graham. This will be Doug's second time adjusting the floor maps; we owe Doug a big thank you! If you are shopping the Bargain Room Saturday morning you can personally offer a thank you to Doug as he'll be one of the cashiers. Also, we are currently using temporary shelf labels with the intention of making these labels more permanent once we've received feedback from you our customers. Please let us know what you think. Do you like subsections or is the joy of the Bargain Room the joy of the book hunt? We'll be asking Bargain Room customers when they check out to vote yea or nay for subsections.

For parking use the lots at the Cubberley north entrance near Middlefield Road, or the one in front of the FOPAL Main Room.

Waffles & Books, I smell FUN!

Click here to see some of the shelves at this weekend's sale Look for more grand opening temptations from the waffle lady Judy Vandoorne and her gourmet food truck Waffle Amore. Waffle Amore brings the taste of authentic Liege and Brussels waffles to the FOPAL book sale Saturday January 12th from 9am to 12:30pm. She'll be offering a variety of toppings, such as strawberries, bananas, whipped cream, Belgian Chocolate Hot Fudge, Maple Bacon Butter and other sweet and savory creations! To give you a sense of Judy's dedication to creating some of the finest waffles, Judy spent considerable time training in Belgium learning old-world techniques, working both at the manufacturer's headquarters, as well as a number of the local Farmer's Markets near Aalst, honing and refining her waffle-making skills along the way. She has even purchased a custom waffle oven and had it imported from Belgium to help craft an authentic waffle experience! I'm so excited to have Waffle Amore join in the Bargain Room grand opening celebration and Judy is excited too. Judy even plans on bringing books for donation. Look for Waffle Amour to be located in the parking lot near the Main Sale room, you won't be able to miss the smell of fresh waffles or the big yellow food truck. Check out her website at or like on Facebook at

FOPAL monthly book sale in three locations: Main Room, Children's Room & Bargain Room

Each month FOPAL receives approximately 40,000 new and used books. Our daily book sorting volunteers separate these donations into 75 sections, like Art, Biography, Drama, Fiction, Reference and Children's books.... Most books are sold for $1.50 and up in our Main Room. The Main Room, also called "Marty's Room" in memory of FOPAL's long-time Book Sale Manager Marty Paddock, is located at the end of the north entrance to the Cubberley Campus. This portable building next to the tennis courts is where you can make donations Monday through Saturday between 2pm and 4pm. On sale days the Main Room is open 11am-4pm.

The Children's Room receives books from the Main Room and most of its volunteers work together every Tuesday 1:30- 4:30pm, sorting, cleaning, pricing and shelving books. The Children's Room is located at the end of the south entrance to the Cubberley Campus. This portable building has its own parking lot and sits in front of the track and field. Here you'll find books for children of all ages as well as a large selection of books on parenting. Books sell in the Children's Room for 50 cents and up with most books priced at $1 to $3. The Children's Room is open on sales days Saturday 10am-4pm and Sunday 11am-4pm.

While I've mentioned the Bargain Room has recently moved, I want to remind everyone of this room's importance to FOPAL and the community. The Bargain Room holds approximately 18,000 books for each sale. Many of the books offered in this room have previously been on sale in the Main Room and equally as many books are new for each sale. The Bargain Room volunteers mostly keep their own schedules but a small group works together Friday mornings 10am-12pm shelving books, listening to music, chatting and singing. All books in the Bargain Room have fixed prices; a list of these prices is posted in several locations around the room. Book prices range from 25 cents to one dollar, and the Bargain Room also sells record albums, audio books and VHS tapes. On Saturday the room opens at 10am, and Sunday the room opens at 11am and all prices are half off. For more bargains in the Bargain Room, shop on Sunday by buying grocery bags for $5 each and stuffing them with any items in the room. Buy 4 bags and get the 5th one FREE! The Bargain Room also holds a non-profit book giveaway immediately after the sale (on Sunday 4-6pm, see the "Non-Profit Book Giveaway" notice elsewhere in this newsletter), and usually holds a community free night on the Monday night after the sale, from 6-8pm. Books from the Bargain Room are shipped abroad, and taken to schools, churches, the Palo Alto VA and San Jose jail!

Music Section Chiming In

FOPAL board member and longtime section manager Charlotte Epstein writes, "There are new selections on the Grateful Dead shelf as well as Truckin' with the Grateful Dead to Egypt on the Better Books shelf. Also on the Better Books shelf opera fans can look for the 3 volume set of Richard Wagner: the Man, His Mind, and His Music / The Perfect Wagnerite / Ring Resounding all together in a black slipcover. Ballet lovers can enjoy all the photographs in Baryshnikov at Work as well as other ballet books on the dance shelf. The popular songs shelf will let you learn all the words from Gilbert and Sullivan operas or review the amazing career of Andrew Lloyd Webber."

Home & Craft In the House

Nancy Welch, textile, jewelry, paper, assemblage artist and FOPAL volunteer has been looking forward to getting the word out regarding her section Home & Crafts. Nancy writes "To welcome in the New Year the Craft section has a whole shelf of NEW (meaning you can be the very first to own them) books." I looked over one of these new books highlighting the metalsmithing and jewelry programs offers by Penland School of Crafts. Penland School of Craft is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and is a national center for craft education dedicated to helping people live creative lives. Sign me up, traveling and crafts, two of my favorite things. Check out the Home & Craft section for your next vacation or stay-cation inspiration.

Friends Bookstore in Downtown Library

If you cannot attend the book sale, please drop by the Friends Bookstore located inside the Downtown Library and open during library hours. It is restocked regularly with a unique selection of books for all ages and interests.

FOPAL Volunteers Rock!
Here's a big THANK YOU to the dozens of FOPAL volunteers who make this sale possible. It's in part because of our amazing volunteers that the FOPAL book sales are a great success. While attending the sale offer a "Thank You" to the volunteers you see. If you'd like to become a FOPAL volunteer please email or call 650-494-1266.
FOPAL Book Sale Notices Now on Twitter
You can now follow us on Twitter @fopalbooks. We'll post Sale notices and will reveal the Sunday 50% off section via our Twitter feed.
Bring Your Donations!
Donations are accepted in the Main Room during our normal hours of 2pm - 4pm Monday 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 Mitchell Park and Main Libraries (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.
Special Handling for Special Donations
Got an unusual donation? If there are things you'd like to donate to us that are rare, fragile or unusual and require special attention contact or call (650) 213-8755 and leave a message for Jerry Stone.
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.