Friends of the Palo Alto Library Edjoo and Kate Visit our web site 

June and July FOPAL Sales Cancelled

There will be no July sale. We remain closed for donations. We hope to begin accepting donations soon and to have a sale in August.

Our President, Nancy Cohen, has a few words below about how the sale is likely to be different in August.

Library News and Information

The Library's Summer Reading Program is happening! And it starts July 1st. Find out more at the Library's web site: <>

FOPAL grants help support the Palo Alto libraries and through the libraries we are supporting communities beyond the boundaries of Palo Alto. Anyone with a California address can get a library card. Currently there is an online registration form to receive a temporary card. A permanent card can be obtained at any Palo Alto library branch when the libraries reopen. Find out more at the Library's web site: <>

The Library has an overview of its online offerings at its eLibrary page: <> Many of these offerings are available to Library card holders, and the Library has also worked to make it easier for new card holders to get access to some of these. Read about it on the Library's web site: <>

There are a few things on the event calendar for June, July, and August. They're virtual events enabled by the Internet and typically require prior registration. You can find Palo Alto Library events on the Library's event calendar: <>

A Few Words From FOPAL's President

A number of us have been very busy on two fronts: Working out Cubberley space issues with the City and planning how we will reopen FOPAL, whenever that may be.

As most of you probably saw in the Palo Alto Weekly, the City and the School District (SD) have verbal agreement on a new lease commencing July 1. The City will return to the SD most of the classroom space on School District's 27 acre parcel, retaining playing fields and some other portions. The City has been working very hard to find space on the City’s 8 acres for tenants on SD property, in many cases causing existing tenants on City property to give up some space. FOPAL will keep both of its mobile buildings, Main Room and Children's Room/Annex.

The Santa Clara County order allows retail establishments to open on June 5 with certain restrictions. We are studying those and awaiting news about opening of Cubberley. Then we will reopen our buildings, first to volunteers, then donors and finally a sale.

We have developed most of the protocols necessary for volunteers to return to work in as safe an environment as feasible. Janette is working on a system for volunteers to have assigned shifts in each room to facilitate social distancing. Volunteers should enter buildings only at the agreed shift time. Volunteers will arrive wearing face coverings and will continue to wear them when in a FOPAL facility. Before entering each day, volunteers will review the health screening form that is attached to this protocol. If answering yes to any of those questions, stay or go home and inform Janette that you are unable to work at FOPAL. Consult your own medical professional. If you receive a COVID diagnosis, follow CDC instructions to stay home for 10 days after start of symptoms and three days after cessation of symptoms. Hopefully anyone who has been at FOPAL who receives such a diagnosis will inform Janette so other notifications may be made without naming the ill individual. Anyone becoming ill while at FOPAL should leave immediately and request assistance if necessary. If you have had close contact with a person diagnosed with Covid DO NOT ENTER. Call your doctor or 211 for instructions on how long you must be in quarantine. We are depending on you to keep your fellow volunteers safe.

When entering a FOPAL building, enter your name and other information on the contact tracing sign-in form just inside the door. This might be used at a later date if a COVID diagnosis of anyone entering a building is received. FOPAL would inform others who signed in during the same period that they may have been exposed.

When at FOPAL remember to stay at least six feet away from anyone else. Wherever you are working, do so in a way to keep a six-foot distance from others. Remember to wash or sanitize hands frequently. The buildings will be cleaned with added precautions and more frequently. Gloves and sanitizer will be available for your use. Greet each other from a distance.

Use gloves when using any items that are also used by others. Use paper towel sprayed with sanitizer to clean items that may be contaminated. Please wipe down areas that will be used by others. The sorting room keyboards will have plastic covers; wipe down the covers after use.

No food or water will be available at FOPAL. Please bring your own water. If you need food during your shift, bring it with you and eat it outdoors or in your car if possible.

Anyone entering FOPAL buildings must follow the self-screening and contact tracing protocols above. The self-screening form will be posted outside.

The first task upon returning will be to clear out clutter so that outside cleaners will be better able to clean the premises. Section managers in the Main Room will be responsible for the area around their sections.

The Sorting Room will have just one or two sorters at any one time and possibly one or two people using the computers. There are new computers in the sorting room, all-in-one machines that take up less space. The area is clean. Please try to keep it that way. Keyboard covers are on order. Feel free occasionally to remove and clean those covers. Cleaning supplies and gloves will be on the former food table in the main room, near the sinks in the Children's and Bargain Rooms.

There may be incoming donations in the corridor outside the sorting room. A sorter can make sure they are in bankers boxes and ready to enter the Sorting Room. That person can also be the transporter from the Sorting Room to sections.

Donations will not begin until at least a week after volunteers return. Donors will not enter the Sorting Room. One or both of our electric carts will be at the foot of the ramp outside the Sorting Room. A volunteer will direct donors to put donations (once inside a bankers box) on a cart and make available pre-signed receipts. When a cart is full it will go to the Courtyard behind the Bargain Room and remain in quarantine for a few days. Donations will be received Tuesday through Saturday from 1-4 pm. There will be a limit of six bags or boxes for any one donation until we have more capacity. We will not have pickups during this period. People with large donations will need to call Janette in advance and make arrangements to drop off the donation at a location where we have space. No ephemera, electronics or art will be accepted.

Our assumption right now is that the first sale will be August 8 and 9. In order to limit people in the sale rooms, that first sale will be for members only in the Main Room on Saturday from 9 to 4 and in the Children's Room from 10-4 both with advance sign-up for time slots. There will be no Membership renewals/purchases at the sale. Bargain Room will be closed on Saturday. There will be no sales to other than members on Saturday. Life Members and Sponsors may purchase up to 100 books in the Main Room. Other members may purchase up to 25 books in the Main Room per membership except Family Members may purchase up to 25 items for each of two adult members at a time.

On Sunday from 11-4 there will be a bag sale in the Bargain Room for any customers with advance sign-up as to a time. The Main and Children’s rooms will be open on Sunday from 11 to 4 with advance time slot sign ups.

We are exploring the use of an electronic sign-up sheet on the website for customers to pick a half hour slot (except for hour slots for the first two hours for life members and sponsors in the Main Room). They will be allowed to shop for about 25 minutes and then exit the building to reach the cashiers at the foot of the ramp. In this way there will be time to check for membership, give people an entering time expectation without coming early for a number and waiting in line, and limit the number of people in the buildings. Some antiseptic cleaning will be done inside the building before the next tranche will be admitted.

Under current regulations, the number of volunteers/customers in each room at any one time will be limited to:


For all buildings, customers will enter one door and exit another. Cashiers will be outside. Some clearing of an aisle inside the entrance doors is underway for the Bargain Room and the Children's Room.

There will be no ephemera, art or dollar sales as we begin.

The usual post sale free nights in the Bargain Room - Sunday night 4pm-6pm for nonprofits and Monday for all from 6pm-8pm - will take place.


We're always eager to hear your suggestions for ways to improve our book sale. Please email us at

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. Visit our web site. Become a member by joining online.

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