Friends of the Palo Alto Library Visit our web site 

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

Sunday March 10
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Spring / Holidays
Children's Room
Home & Craft


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 Easter Holiday
All libraries will be closed Sunday March 31 for the Easter holiday. Normal hours will resume on Monday April 1.

You can find out about closings and other Palo Alto Library events on the Library's event calendar.
FOPAL Book Group Annual Reading Selections

The FOPAL Book Group will be meeting to make its annual selection of books for 2013-2014 on April 11. Please see the Book Group's web site for more information.

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.

Spring Forward This Sale Weekend

Daylight Saving Time begins this Sunday, which means you'll want to be sure to move your clock forward by one hour on Saturday night. Otherwise, you'll arrive at our Sunday sale an hour late! Incidentally, the correct term is daylight saving time, not daylight savings time. If you had it wrong, don't feel bad. More people Google the incorrect phrase than the correct one!

The New Number Policy for FOPAL Sale Goers Continues

A new number policy and procedure for Saturday Main Room Book sale customers began last month. FOPAL is now opting for handing out single use tickets, offering one ticket to each person. We are now asking that all Saturday morning sale goers coming as couples or groups, to all come together to pick their entrance tickets as we are no longer offering two tickets to any one individual. Longtime volunteer Verna Graham has created single use tickets for us again this month. These new paper tickets are numbered, have the month on them and are a different color each month. Thanks again Verna for creating the monthly sale day fliers, numbered tickets and for cashiering in the Bargain Room! It is FOPAL's hope that our customers will appreciate our efforts to develop a fair number policy and hand out procedure. If you have any thoughts or concerns please feel free to express them by emailing FOPAL at

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.

As our webmaster prepares this for posting he has found that our hosting provider has declared a maintenance window on the web server that serves our site and it extends through most of Thursday March 7. If the shelf preview pictures don't work, please be patient and try again later.

Great Asian Gardening Books

Amongst the many FOPAL volunteers we have a number of avid gardeners. Some toll in their own yards while others work a community plot in Palo Alto. Ann Justice is one of these seasoned gardeners and manager of the Gardening section. Ann wants to share a special selection of books the Gardening section received.

"The Gardening section this month has over 30 titles on Japanese and Chinese gardens ranging from books with beautiful color photos of outstanding gardens to practical how-to guides on the design and planning, creating, and maintaining such gardens. For those of you who like your gardens in miniature in pots, there are numerous guides to creating bonsai trees and shrubs. We've also got books on selecting bamboo varieties and designing your garden using feng shui principles."

If you are thinking about creating your own Asian Garden, consider a field trip to the Hakone Gardens in Saratoga. I ventured there this past weekend and felt inspired and in awe. Maybe I can't include the three tiered waterfall I saw, but I can imagine incorporating a dried vine trellis in my tiny side yard. Blooming brilliance!

Spring / Holiday Books, Cards...

Both the Main Room and the Children's Room have a special display of Easter and Passover books. Many books are traditional and others are full of bunnies, baby chicks and colored eggs. Look for these books displayed near the cashiers, you can't miss them.

In the Children's Room you'll find treasured favorites. Little Golden Books have been entertaining young readers for decades. Now, with our affordable collection you can enjoy many of your favorites found all in one place and for only 50 cents to $1.50! Beautifully bound you can choose from Peter Cottontail Is On His Way, The Golden Bunny or The Golden Egg Book. And, for Passover look for titles like: The Matzah Man, But This Night is Different or Passover Magic. All have lovely illustrations and are like new. Any of these spring holiday books would be a great way to end the day and send little ones off to lullaby land.

Outside the Main Room in the Ephemera sale, as well as inside in the Spring / Holiday display is where you'll find an exceptional greeting card selection. FOPAL's countess of cards Marda Buchholz wants to mention "In addition to regular greeting cards being offered for sale, there are Easter, Passover, and April Fools cards available outside plus some Easter cards in the Holiday section inside." Thanks Marda for helping FOPAL customers connect in a traditional fashion, through greeting cards!

Mentioning Religion

Jerry Stone, FOPAL's on-line sales guru, continues to peruse the shelves in our Main Room looking for unusual books that have recently been donated. Here's what Jerry says he found this month. "Religion has a great selection of books on Sufism, the mystical branch of Islam. Many translations of classic texts as well as a lot of books by contemporary Sufi teachers such as Meher Baba and Idries Shah." Thanks Jerry for keeping up the great work you do managing the on-line sales for FOPAL and keeping a keen eye out for interesting books that might otherwise get overlooked.

Philosophy for March

Got Plato? Well we do!

Nigel Jones, section manager for the Philosophy section, wondered, would the Philosophy section receive as many interesting books as it did last month? The answer is yes! Nigel reports "There are 20 different editions of Plato in every shape and size available this month - a perfect opportunity to fill in any gaps in your collection. Other philosophers are also well represented including: Aristotle (3), Emerson (4), More (4), Mill (4), and Nietzsche (2 excellent volumes). However, March is really Anthology Month with an extraordinary selection focusing on various different approaches to philosophical thought: collected essays on specific philosophers, on specific philosophic topics, and on specific philosophic schools. For instance look for - Copleston, History of Philosophy, (5 volumes). And, as we saw last month China is also represented: Mao (4), Confucian related (3), Mencius, and Mo Tzu. And, of course look for the Great Moderns - Bill Moyer and Homer Simpson!"

A final reminder from the Philosophy section manager, "Bargain books - don't forget to look for more options in the Bargain Room."

Large Print Books Now in H2/3!

What does Wikipedia have to say about Large Print books? "Large Print book publishing in English began in 1964 in Leicester, England when Frederick Thorpe, a retired book and magazine distributor, decided to meet the needs of elderly poor-sighted readers by reprinting older classic books in editions about twice the physical size of the original book. The type inside was enlarged to about twice the size of the original printing.... These editions met the need but were difficult for frail elderly readers to handle because they were oversize.

In 1969 Thorpe's company, Ulverscroft, began to retype set the books in 16 point type and print them in normal-sized bindings, again with color-coded plain jackets. This change greatly increased the acceptance of Large Print in public libraries. Thorpe himself became a Large Print ambassador, traveling around the English-speaking world promoting the acquisition of Large Print books for seniors."

FOPAL's Large Print Books will now be found in the Bargain Room H2/3.

FOPAL, NCL & PAMP Sunday Sunday!!!

This Sunday March 10th, 8:30am FOPAL will be featured front and center at the (PAMP) Palo Alto Menlo Park Parents Annual Rummage Sale. If you are like me you've heard of PAMP but may not be familiar with their Annual Rummage Sale. Well hold on to your bunny's said to draw 500+ customers from all over the Peninsula! Now that's a sale FOPAL wants to be a part of. With a generous offer from PAMP, Children's Room volunteer help and the National Charity League, FOPAL will have a table at the entrance of the rummage sale located in the Cubberley Pavilion. Stop by and say hi!

Click here to see some of the shelves at this weekend's saleGeneral info:
PAMP's Annual Rummage Sale!
Sunday, March 10th, 2013
Doors open at 8:30a for Members!
9am - 12pm open to the public for FREE
Cubberley Community Center
4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto

Reference - More than Dictionaries

So who do you think you are? With the help of genealogy you too can research your family origins and discover who you really are. Tyler Vinciguerra, section manager for Reference, wants you to check out the shelf of genealogy books she's featuring this month. For those that haven't heard of genealogy, it's the pursuit of family history. Why would you want to know this? Well, there tends to be several motivations behind the interest in knowing one's roots; including the desire to carve out a place for one's family in the larger historical picture, a sense of responsibility to preserve the past for future generations, and a sense of self-satisfaction in accurate storytelling. Genealogists use oral traditions, historical records, genetic analysis, and other records to obtain information about a family and to demonstrate kinship and pedigrees of its members. The results are often displayed in charts or written as narratives.

Consider starting your family tree with the help of one of our books on Genealogy, then head over to our travel section to pick up a great guide to your family's country (or countries) of origin. I'm ready to get started...Italy, France, Germany and Croatia here I come!

Home & Craft

Here's what the section manager for Home & Craft had to say about what's exciting about this popular area. "Beware the ides of March and honor St. Patrick's day by 'Greening up' your house and banishing those snakes from your closet by checking out the helpful books (donated by Leprechauns I'm sure) on de-cluttering and organizing in the Home and Craft section feature of the month."

This ties in nicely to what we could be working on for the Chinese New Year, the year of the water snake. Now, I know the Snake gets a bad rap in "the West." But overall it's a great sign, a positive one. Advancement of new ideas, great works of literature, art and philosophy are due at least in part to Snake energy. It's also the one most closely associated with mysticism, reflection and introspection. This is a time to ask the important questions. To go deep, what's it all about? What's going on, in our personal lives and in the world? Also, it's the perfect time to get you space in order, clear the clutter, donating your extra stuff to FOPAL, so you are ready for what this year has to offer. Gung Hey Fat Choy!

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.
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.