Support the Library

The Palo Alto Library benefits from the combination of the superb Friends of the Palo Alto Library and an extremely generous public constituency. Through this support, the library is able to provide programming for all ages, enrich our collections and furnish our new facilities.  

Stones stacked on each other on the beach.

Ways to Support the Library

  • Join the Friends of the the Palo Alto Library. The Friends of the Palo Alto Library supports Palo Alto’s libraries and its users through advocacy, volunteerism, contributions, and book sales.  The Friends fund many vital library needs, such as expansion and renovation of the Children’s Library, new books, computers and printers, children’s summer reading programs, and online resources.
  • Donate books and other items to the Friends of the Palo Alto Library. Donated books, videos, CDs, and records go to their monthly sales and redistribution efforts to other non-profit organizations. Your donations provide others with very low-cost access to reading materials, decrease the burden on our landfills, and yield a tax deduction for you as well. For donation policy and other details, check out our FAQ on how do i donate to the library.
  • Donating your time is another way to help!  Our libraries use volunteers in a variety of ways and across all locations. To get started, check out the how do I volunteer at the library FAQ.
  • Finally, you can drop your donation into one of the Friends' donation boxes at any library location.  Every penny helps!

If you have any questions or problems, contact the Library.

Ways the Library Uses Donated Materials

Collection Development

The Library welcomes input from the community concerning the collection. The Library strives to provide a diverse collection to meet the educational, informational, and recreational needs of its clientele.

The Library staff consider these and other factors in selecting materials, whether the materials are from donation or acquisition:

  • Popular interest or demand
  • Reputation and significance of the author, artist or producer
  • Price
  • Age-level suitability
  • Relevance to the community
  • Physical durability
  • Availability

Besides donation, you can also fill out a Purchase Suggestion form to contribute to our collection development effort.

Monthly Book Sale

As the library receives large amounts of donated material, those materials that do not meet the selection criteria for adding to the library collection are given to the Friends, who then offer them for sale to the public. 

The monthly book sale at:

Cubberley Community Center
the second Saturday and Sunday of each month
11 am - 4 pm

Donated materials, as well as items withdrawn from the library's collection, are available at very reasonable prices. These popular sales earn over $15,000 per month; net proceeds are donated to the Library by the Friends of the Palo Alto Library.