Friends of the Palo Alto Public Library
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November 26, 2012
Friends of the Palo Alto Library (the CORRECT name of the nonprofit) has existed for 30 years. Starting small, FOPAL has grown to include approx. 150 volunteers. The objectives of FOPAL include receiving donated books, sorting for subject (biography, history, gardening, etc.), pricing, and shelving books for the MONTHLY used book sale. In the past 6 years FOPAL has raised well over $1 million. The average for the past 3 years ranges from $250,000 to $325,000. The money is used in various grants to the city public library system (5 separate locations in our city). FOPAL helps the library buy books, DVDs, and other media for its collection. FOPAL also provides funds to support library reading groups, summer reading projects for children, software applications such as LINK+, and more. FOPAL has one paid Book Sale Manager. I've volunteered at FOPAL for 5-6 years myself. Personally, one of the surprising benefits for me has been the amount I've learned about books, publishing, first editions, etc. FOPAL has a subcategory for "high-value" books ($20 and up) which we sell on Amazon. Most of the books in our monthly sales are priced quite reasonably: $1 to $4 for hardbacks, 50 cents to $2 for paperbacks (depending on condition).
Would you volunteer for this group again?
For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?
Did the organization use your time wisely?
Would you recommend this group to a friend?
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
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