What We Do

Who We Are

We are an all-volunteer organization dedicated to supporting the Menlo Park Library. We do this primarily by reselling donated books and other items. The proceeds go to the Library's resources, facilities, programs and events. 
 
We have been operating in our current form since 1962. See Our History to learn about how we started and our subsequent development.
 
Under our Bylaws, our purposes are:
 
(a) To maintain an association of people interested in enriching the resources of the Menlo Park Library as a constantly growing source of education and culture;
(b) To raise funds to support the Menlo Park Library and its projects through the sale and recirculation of donated books and other related items;
(c) To act as a conduit for donations and memorial gifts that provide materials for the library and support a program of activities open to the community; and
(d) To foster community awareness of Menlo Park Library activities and of the needs and activities of this organization.

What We Do

We turn donated books and other items into dollars that contribute to the Menlo Park Library's resources, facilities, programs and events.
 
We process over 200,000 donated books and other items each year. We re-sell most of these and almost all of the proceeds go to the Library.
 
We re-sell donated books and items principally in four ways:
  • through our bookstore in the lobby of the Main Library;
  • through our on-site book sales at the Main Library;
  • through our Amazon sales throughout the world year-round online; and
  • through occasional sales of high-value books through auction houses.
We also give away some of our donated books and other items. They are available on carts which are put out each Wednesday (weather permitting) in the courtyard in front of the Main Library.
 

Where We Operate

Our operations are conducted at the Main Library located at 800 Alma Street, Menlo Park. Our volunteers sort and price donated books in a downstairs room. Our bookstore is in the lobby and our book sales take place both downstairs and in the courtyard. See Directions to the Main Library.

Where Our Money Comes From

We are entirely self-funded through:
  • the proceeds of re-selling donated items;
  • membership dues; and
  • monetary contributions.
Additional detail about the sources of our funds is contained in our federal tax filings (see Important Documents).

Where Our Money Goes

Almost all the money we raise is contributed to the Library, with a very small amount used to cover our expenses. Our contributions to the Library are based on an annual request from the Library.
 
This money supplements the funding provided by the City of Menlo Park and enhances the Library's ability to provide a full range of services that benefit the community.
 
The Library uses some of the funds we provide to support its programs and events, including:
  • the adult literacy program (Project Read) at the Main Library and the Belle Haven Branch;
  • children's programming and services (such as the Summer Reading program) at both locations;
  • adult reading programming at the Main Library; and
  • community events (such as musical performances and lectures).
In addition, our funding is used for the Library's resources and equipment, such as:
  • the collection of printed, recorded and on-line materials;
  • databases and e-books; and
  • miscellaneous equipment needed in day-to-day operations.
We also contribute to a Library Fund that enhances the work environment for the staff.
 
From time to time our funds are also used for special one-off  purposes. For example:
  •  we donated the stained glass window at the Main Library's entrance (see Our History);
  •  we contributed to the renovation of the Children's Department at the Main Library; and
  •  we financed the Main Library's purchase of automated material handling equipment to streamline the processing of items returned by Library patrons.
Additional detail about the uses of our funds is contained in our federal tax filings (see Important Documents).
 
Further information about the Library's community events, including those we support, can be found at Library | City of Menlo Park - Official Website.

The Importance Of Our Volunteers

Other than occasional use of consultants for limited projects, our work is carried out entirely through a dedicated group of volunteers. We rely on them to handle all aspects of our operations.
 
We often have opportunities for additional volunteers and invite you to consider us as a worthwhile focus of your volunteering activities. Please see Volunteers to learn more about volunteering opportunities.

Dependence On Donated Items

We would be unable to support the Library and the community without a continuous supply of books and other donated items.
 
Please see Books And Other Items for information regarding what items we accept and how to get them to us. Thank you!

Our Members And Donors

We welcome new members as well as membership renewals. For our various levels of annual membership as well as lifetime memberships, please see Become a Member.
 
We also welcome Monetary Contributions.
 
Thank you!