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

Saturday May 14
Bargain Room 9:30am - 4pm
Children's Room 10am - 4pm
Main Room Sale 11am - 4pm

Sunday May 15
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Music / Guitar Cart
Science & Technology
Education / Language


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

Maps and Directions
More information on the sales
Donate your used books, DVDs, &c

Marty's (Main) Room
In our Main Room, prices are way below what used book stores charge. Hardcover books start at $2.00 and softcover books start at only $1.00.

No numbered tickets this month! (Another reminder that yes, we are still in a pandemic!)

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 next to the soccer field near Greendell School. 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 is located in 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 50 cents each. The room also contains many records, CDs, and DVDs 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 green FOPAL reusable bags from us for $3/ea (or bring your own grocery-size reusable bag) and stuffing them with any items in the room for $5/bag. Fill four bags at $5/bag and fill a fifth bag FREE! (We no longer receive sufficient used paper grocery bags along with donations for this purpose.)

News from the Library, by E-mail and RSS

The Library would like you to know that they've expanded their open hours and are celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and you can read their latest newsletter here.

If you have ever given the Library your e-mail address, like this newsletter editor did when he signed up for a Palo Alto Library card, you have probably noticed that they are sending you one to a few e-mails per month since the start of the pandemic.

If you haven't been getting these e-mails, and are curious, there's an archive of them here. This archive page also has a "join our mailing list" link.

If you prefer this sort of thing in your RSS reader instead of your e-mail, you can get the RSS feed here. (This may open in your RSS reader instead of in your browser.)

The City may also be sending you "Uplift Local" e-mails once a week or so. There is an archive of those e-mails here.

And if like yr hmbl newsletter editor you have not been paying attention and are wondering what is open and how much the Library has a Current Library Services page.

May Sale is Overflowing with New Donations

We gladly accept donations, no appointment needed, most weeks Monday-Saturday 3-5pm at our Main Room! Donations are paused the week preceding the sale, which for May means we are closed to donations from Sunday, May 8 to Sunday, May 15. In April alone, we received about 40,000 donated items, which we quickly sorted and put out for this upcoming sale. Our donations come from individuals, estates, and companies all over the area. Many people bring books by carload to our Main book sale room at Cubberley. Donors are greeted at FOPAL by a volunteer Donation Monitor and asked to place donations in FOPAL's banker boxes and then move the books/boxes up the ramp to FOPAL's Sorting Room. Sorting Room volunteers help direct donors as to where to place the boxes and offer a receipt and a thank-you. There will be a limit of six bags/boxes per donation. While you're at the sale, take a peek at the sorting room just inside the Main Room's entrance and you'll see how big our behind-the-scenes donation processing has become.

What's Special for May?

Top of the list of new stuff this month was a fabulous donation of books on Music and sheet music. Music history buffs will likely find something of interest. Books are located in the Music section and the sheet music as well on the bottom shelf. Red Carts next to the Photography section have a great selection of wonderful books of photos of guitars at great prices. Speaking of Photography, the Photography section is overflowing this month and has a large quantity of "Giftable Art Books" in the bays. More Sets have been processed from a backlog, and the overflow is offered in the "Specials" area just to your right as you enter the Main Room. Nice decorative Sets from an estate donation are priced to sell as well as several sets from the April sale are priced down. Lots of Science & Technology was dropped off this month. There are much like-new and recent, plus a lot of well-used science books in excellent shape in the Bargain Room. Science & Technology is stocked full of everything from popular science, science history, space programs, and books on physics, biology, and lots of math. For May look for additional Science & Technology books in the small end cap usually occupied by cookbooks, across from the Art section. The Education/Language section is busting with new terrific donations. Look for an impressive selection of books leftover from the April sale and many recent offerings donated this month from a personal collection filling the shelves.

Music/Guitar Cart

Our Music and Photography section manager, George Chaltas, wants you to know that the Music section "is now freshly curated with more titles of Pop, Jazz, and reference books"; and also that there is a red cart near the Photography section with "a great selection of wonderful books of photos of guitars at great prices."

Science & Technology

"Science: This month we have an end cap shelf next to Cooking for some higher value books. We continue to get donations of some interesting specialized books from corporate technical libraries and some generous professors. We have accumulated a shelf full of modern EE handbooks. Also, we have detailed shelf pictures available at The bargain room is again bulging with decent quality science & technology books." -Edwin El-Kareh

Sheet Music

"Sheet Music: We have gotten a flood of sheet music from several generous local musicians. More items than we can stuff on our now full shelves. As space becomes available after this sale we will restock with the remainder of the donations (especially harp, guitar and organ music). Sheet music titles and that we do not normally see are in this donation. Also, we have detailed shelf pictures available at lower down on the page after the science shelves. The Bargain Room also now has a larger selection of sheet music available." -Edwin El-Kareh

Fiction Boutique

"Dear Book Friends,
Welcome back to a tempting selection of recently published novels... in both hardcover and paperback! Choose books for family and friends, and for yourself, of course.
Marian Knox
P.S. Don't forget your book club!"

Children's Room

"Donations have filled all our sections in May! Beginning Readers will find books on science, nature, and history, in addition to stories for a quick read. The Parenting section offers advice for families with infants, toddlers, tweens, and teens, to make everyone's life more manageable. There are some terrific DVDs including Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings collections. In Religion, you'll find a selection of books for Shavuot, celebrated in early June. Our Activity section has games and jigsaw puzzles for all ages. The science/math/literacy table overflows with textbooks and workbooks to help students retain skills over the summer and learn new skills, too. And there is truly a plethora of graphic novels, from Peanuts to Bone to Star Wars and Tintin. In Non-fiction, several sets of duplicates are tagged as "overstock specials" at much-reduced prices. School-age Fiction offers many gift-quality books about wizards, fairies, dragons, and dinosaurs; the fantasy shelves are bursting. There are beautiful American Girl sets and series, a complete paperback boxed set of Harry Potter, and pop-up books of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts. The young adult shelves include many recently published best-sellers, including a signed copy of Angie Thomas's latest book, On the Come Up. Check out the Board Books section for enriching, colorful, and tantalizing early childhood books. For example, My First Tool Box presents a movable cutout of a tool on every page, for small hands to manipulate. Is That Your Monster? invites young readers to slide their hands (if they dare) into a pocket, for a playful tactile experience. There is also a beautifully crafted, like-new pop-up book of The Wizard of Oz, by the talented Robert Sabuda. The shelves of Giftable Picture Books are full of award winners, Dr. Seuss, and a variety of other beautiful books; don't miss the lovely poetry collections. And one of the best things about the Children's Room? The prices! They range from 50 cents to just a few dollars -- you won't find a better source for affordable treasures." -Carolyn Davidson


"Browse the Judaica section for books on the Jewish religion including editions of the Torah and other basic texts, Kabbalah, Jewish history, the Holocaust, memoirs, Israel, Jewish Women, the Jewish American Experience and other related subjects.

"New this month - Outwitting History: The Amazing Adventures of a Man Who Rescued a Million Yiddish Books; Martin Buber: A Life of Faith and Dissent; A Special Legacy: An Oral History of Soviet Jewish Emigres to the United States; Archives from Elephantine: The Life of an Ancient Jewish Military Colony; Paper Love: Searching for the Girl My Grandfather Left Behind.

"Various volumes of the Talmud each priced at $4.00

"Most fiction with Jewish themes will be found in Modern Literature/Classics or Current Fiction. Books entirely in Hebrew are shelved in the European Languages section." -Charlotte Epstein section manager for Judaica

Self-Help Psychology

"Featured books this month include: Figuring Out People; Dopamine; How to Change; Breakfast with Seneca; Happiness Becomes You; Hold me Tight; The Practical Guide to Men; The 5 Personality Patterns; Rules of Estrangement; Dream Diary; Mind Over Mood; Getting Past Your Past; Lost Connections. There are multiple copies of some popular books like: Five Love Languages; Full Catastrophe Living; Whole New Mind. There is a special on the 2020 book Brave Not Perfect: show this message to get all 5 for $10). There are still a few NLP books and of course many other interesting finds. Enjoy browsing and take advantage of the great prices." -Marnie


"Books in the Computer section are mostly divided into interest categories: Security and Hacking, Algorithms, Graphics, Web Dev, and so on. These categories swell and shrink with the interests of our donors. This month we have a lot of Opinion, Analysis, and History including biographies, histories, and critical works, even a book on how to kick the Twitter habit." -David Cortesi

Home & Crafts

"Capture the essence of your summer days with alphabets, embellishments, die-cuts, stickers...what are these? You may ask. Why they're scrapbook essentials. If you are drowning under a sea of school papers and projects, then why not work with your child to make a scrapbook out of them? Or you may be inspired to use your selvages to make a quilt. It's fun! Home & Crafts section managers say 'Summer is the perfect time for Quilting and Scrapbooking. The Home and Crafts section is brimming with inspiration for both activities.'" -Janette & Virginia


We have made it past Drop-off Donations 3.0 and have returned to accepting donations without the need to make an appointment.


We are closed for donations from Sunday May 8 through Sunday May 15 to prepare the Main Room for this weekend's sale. Please hold your donations until Monday May 16.

Please read our donation guidelines before you bring materials to us.

All that said, our normal hours for drop-off donations are Monday through Saturday, 3pm-5pm. (But not the week before the sale.)


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

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