Even though we all know what a library isTrue regardless of size of library, its city or county
TREMENDOUSVALUE IN SYSTEM MEMBERSHIP—really allows local library to be the window on the world of information, well beyond one one library, regardless of size, to meet the needs of all library users
And by extension, for you
----- Meeting Notes (12/4/13 13:26) -----Lobbying by a paid professional on behalf of a group or cause. We have a paid lobbyist whose contract is paid by MLA, MEMO, regional pub lib and multitype directors
They tackled the first goal with gusto. Fundraising efforts ranged widely. Tactics included a letter campaign, petitions in the media, and donation jars in prominent places within the library. In total, they raised well over $5,000, enough to restore the summer hours – with some left over to put towards badly needed new furniture, to boot!They also spearheaded a grassroots public relation campaign, of sorts, to get the larger community (by and large fans of the library, even if not formally ‘Friends’) to voice their displeasure with the new status quo. Prominent among other efforts, they produced an informational flyer and mailed it to over 250 area households and businesses. In it, they made clear what the expenditures reduction meant for the library. The Friends encouraged recipients to forward on the information widely – and the community’s response surpassed nearly all expectations.
It is all about the story—people want to know what the money will be used for—will it grow the collection of early literacy books. Will it expand offerings to seniors through technology help/brain development activities. Will it furnish a teen area of the library. Going into the “general fund” just isn’t as appealing to people. Even thought they get that libraries need operating funds, they want ot see their money have a visible impact.
More ideas this afternoon!Grants really matter with telling the story
Cambridge Friends are an excellent example—they knew what they needed, knew people believed in the library, and asked for money
Friends can have their own social media presence to keep members and potential members informed about activities.
Difference between Friends volunteers and those who volunteer in the library. May be different depending on the library.
Find volunteers for the library as needed—greeters, shelf-readers, B
Depending on the library and union rules, not all jobs can be done by volunteers. Volunteers can supplement not replace paid staff. Sustaining a library and its services with volunteers is extremely difficult.
Gaol—fundraising, programming, PROnly 3 little words but a big undertaking—dates, times, locations, volunteer job listing, finding volunteers, security as needed, refreshments, parking, and on and on
Book sales are number 1 with a bullet when it comes to Friends’ eventsRemember you can add on to other organizations events--
You can’t succeed without library support and interest.
Director/staff responsible for running the library, making day-to-day decisions, implementing Board-adopted policiesBoard has budget responsibility policy-making, staffing planningFriends are a separate, complementary organization to the Library. Not policy making, not running the library
MALF can help with startup grants. Will other local groups offer $$ and support.Can the Friends photocopy, fax, use meeting rooms, have priority for scheduling?Create a budget for its activities\DO THE PAPERWORK
Establish a reporting schedulePost meeting minutes for library staff and publicNO one likes to be surprised
Don’t waste people’s time—have an agenda, stick to it, but still let members be heardmeetings so members can discuss events they want to undertake and where they can brainstorm ideas and agree by consensus
And have some small jobs—not everyone can stay all day, or devote hours to an event. But maybe they can put stamps on postcards or manage email rsvps. Or distribute flyersyou need to be careful not to lose people who are willing to help in limited waysDevelop a recruitment plan.
Attend Friends Day at MLAConnect with other Friends in your region
An often overlooked step, esp in groups with longtime leadership that hasn’t changed much. Static organizations do not attract new members.
OCLC is a worldwide library cooperative, owned, governed and sustained by members since 1967. Our public purpose is a statement of commitment to each other—that we will work together to improve access to the information held in libraries around the globe and find ways to reduce costs for libraries through collaboration.
And where everyone’s contribution is the reason for the success
Building on strong Friends groups is way to find new FriendsThat’s why I wanted to talk about the foundation of friends—getting and keeping the house in order is the first step to finding new friends
Keep in mind Individuals are not groupsOBVIOUSLY GENERALIZATIONS—not everyone will have the same values/motivations in a group, but generally will hold true
Snapshot of who and what motivates us
Silent generation & boomers went through school with the rule “do your own work”This generation grew up with group work & collaboration and gaming—which looks for guides to success, not leaders or “experts”
Leave it up to you to decide if you want to recruit from this group. Often its own Junior Friends group (baaad name) with its own purpose to advise on teen services, assist with summer reading, etc. Fergus Falls has Library Ninjas
What’s going on with your Friends?
All of these will have an impact on who and how you recruit.
No one can answer these questions for you—it is step one for recruitment, though, to really understand these pieces
Knowing why you want new members gives you a place to start planningOther reasons?
Lots of competition among service groups—Lions, Scouts, 4-H, Rotary, and so on—for this demographic. What makes you more appealing than those groups?
Be thoughtful about recruitingIt won’t just happen
Set recruitment goals based on what the Friends need. Not that you would turn away those that don’t match, but be thoughtful and directed in recruiting
Remember—every other service group, scout troop, church is recruiting from these same groups. What do you have to offer
Keep in mind what motivates the various target groups—as Boomers, we may Tailor your marketing to the groups you want to reach
Once you have recruited some younger members, ask them to serve on the recruitment committee or offer ideas on where to recruit
Communicate how they want to hear your message
Young adults use the Internet for all things. They will research your group before considering joining. Friends need up-to-date social media presence not only for current members, but potential members. Pinterest—set up a board for community to pin ideas of a new library or new services
Maybe library has book groups for specific interests. Be sure your programs have broad appeal. Are there social gatherings/meetings at the library. Where do your target groups go—coffee shops, playgrounds, modern version of the “idlers’ club” in town.
From bigger towns, but can be scaled to almost any community. The key is—what niche can the library fill for various groups and how to get them involved. These are all aimed at the elusive “emerging adult” who aren’t necessarily joiners, but do want to be part of a community of like-minded people for fun and learning.
Lots more programs with catchy/provocative titles Trash Book Club, Broke-Ass Holidays
Tried online sales, but need rare/unusal books
Doing all the same stuff Friends do, but with the tone and twists that appeals to their target audience
USE THEIR PERSONAL NETWORKS TO GROW FRIENDSHigh trust level from library and board. Doesn’t have to be staff—find enthusiastic community members to do it as FriendsThere is a whole lot more to Alt+Library—re-inventing the PL in some ways for their generation
Friends programming ideas. Not a separate Friends group, but work with Friends on events/fundraising
Get the target group thinking OPPL
Divide their programming into these 4 categories—would work for just about everythingDo something—book sale, field trip, community work
Library has a liquor license! Big on socializing, food, drinkMembership development tool
We need to accept this and make it OK in the Friends culture to let it be different.
East Central Regional Library
December 5, 2013
Part 1. Building Friends
Friends Role in Strong Libraries
Part 2. Finding New
Who Are the Friends
Get Ready to Recruit
Ideas from other places
All Libraries are the same
ALL LIBRARIES ARE
"Libraries are society's
workhorses, making available what is
good and worthy and open to all who
need information, reassurance or a kick
in the imagination. A town without a
library is irredeemably impoverished."
Bill Peschel, Author
Common Library Features
• Organized Collections
• Cooperation/collaboration with other libraries
• The community
• The governance structure
• System membership
• Size of staff, collections
• Available resources
ALL LIBRARIES WANT TO SERVE
THEIR COMMUNITY IN THE BEST
What makes Minnesota libraries
• Local support
• State support for cooperation
• System membership
• Sharing resources
• Willingness to work as a group to improve services
• Strong Friends
What’s Ahead for MN Libraries
• Demographic shifts
– Many “seniors”
– Many under 15s
– Not so many in the middle range
• Fewer Taxpayers, greater demand
• Fewer to volunteer, more opportunities
• Demands for meeting spaces
• Demands for wireless
• Demand lessening for access to desktop computers
• More programming
• Technology changes mean patron training
• Resources of all types—print, electronic, new formats
• More hours
• Mobile access
• Trained staff to teach info access
Libraries will need
• To create adaptable tech-friendly spaces.
• To build for the future.
• Diverse & nimble staff that can quickly adapt to change.
• More resources & increased efficiency to meet
• What will be the impact of more ebooks on book
sales as fundraisers?
• How will Friends keep up with library trends?
• What are Friends’ contributions to libraries’ future?
Why Do We Need Friends?
To help improve the library
To have organized library supporters
To promote connections to the community
To raise money
To maintain a source of library volunteers
To meet a specific goal—building, remodel, special
Event Planning &
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF
Advocacy means communication, as an
individual or group, with decision makers
and others in support of or opposition to
Value of Friends as Advocates
• You are not paid staff of the library.
• You are strong customers/supporters of the
• You see the public library from the user’s viewpoint.
• You are active in the community, understand the
power structure, & are connected to other local
groups and civic organizations.
Friends’ Role as Advocates
• Library advocacy must be tied to the library’s
mission, goals, & ongoing public relations program.
• Successful advocacy combines lobbying activities
with marketing & public relations skills to tell the
How To Advocate
• Work with the your director to implement the
library’s advocacy plan.
• Help identify supporters that can tell the library’s
• Help develop a message that is short but powerful
and can be easily remembered and identified with
Where to Advocate
• At every opportunity, talk to people about the library’s
role in the community.
• Approach decision-makers in person, by telephone, by
fax, by letter, or by e-mail asking for his/her support for
the library’s program in the community & throughout
the library systems.
• Attend local budget hearings to show support.
• Attend MLA/MEMO Library Legislative Day.
Saving the Library Budget
Cambridge Friends’ successful advocacy program
• Part 1—Short-term fundraising
• Part 2—Grassroots PR
Advocacy is year round, not just at
budget time or in a crisis.
WORDS TO REMEMBER
The process of soliciting and gathering voluntary
contributions as money or other resources by
requesting donations from individuals
businesses, charitable organizations or
• Fundraise to support library’s mission & vision.
• Tell the story of why the money is needed.
• Friends may be able to apply for funds libraries cannot.
• Decide how to spend money after conferring with
Director & Board.
Goals of Friends’ Fundraising
Capital campaigns for building, remodeling
Supplement library’s budget
Ways to Fundraise
Grants from foundations, government
agencies, other sources
• Corporate sponsorship
Donors don’t give to institutions. They
invest in ideas and people in whom they
Successful fundraising speaks to an
identified need in the community.
WORDS TO REMEMBER
Increase public awareness of the library
and its services.
Friends’ Role in PR
• Tell the library’s story to family, neighbors, others.
• Partner with the library at various events, such as displays
or with conjunction with other organizations.
• Keep library & Friends in public eye with
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or other social media.
• Represent library at other groups you belong to.
How to Represent the Library
• Know what’s going on at the Library.
• Keep Friends social media up-to-date.
• Have a library success story or two to tell.
• Promote library programming.
Friends who tell the library’s story keep people
thinking about the library in positive ways.
WORDS TO REMEMBER
A person who freely offers to take part in
an enterprise or to undertake a task
without seeking any rewards.
• Volunteer in the organization as officer or board
• Volunteer at library events.
• Volunteer at community events as library
• Recruit other volunteers of all ages for Friends & library.
Recruitment & Retention
• Clearly define volunteers’ roles.
• Be clear about what volunteers can & cannot do.
• Keep volunteers informed & active.
• Provide feedback.
• Have specific event in mind, let them know exactly
how they can help, how much time their task will
• Plan well in advance.
• Thank your volunteers in the library’s newsletter
and at your Friends meeting.
Volunteers don't get paid, not because they're
worthless, but because they're priceless. Make sure
yours know they are appreciated.
WORDS TO REMEMBER
Event Planning & Special
Event planning is the process of creating a
festival, ceremony, competition, party, or other special
event. Event planning includes identifying all the
elements of the event, creating a budget, &
implementing the plan to meet its goals.
• Determine goals of event in keeping with the Library’s
goals & mission.
• Create the “Plan”.
• Find collaborators.
• Day-of work battle plan
Types of Events
• Book Sale
• Literary Festival
• Author Readings
• Auctions—Silent or otherwise
• Legacy Programming
• Plan events well ahead of time.
• Be ambitious , but realistic about what volunteers
• Use relationships with other groups to find
volunteers & attendees.
The first step to planning an event is
determining its purpose.
WORDS TO REMEMBER
The Ten Commandments
for building a successful Friends
1. Library Support
• Library Director must be in favor of a Friends group.
• Library staff must be willing to work with Friends.
• The Board or other governing body must recognize
2. Understand the Partners’ Roles
• Each partner must understand its role
• Be sure new members & staff understand the roles.
• Evaluate roles as things move forward.
3. Stay Organized
• A committed core group is needed to start things &
keep them going.
• Have mission/vision statements, by-laws, meeting
schedule, committees, officers.
• Have plan for officer succession, committee
management, & other pieces.
• Hold regular Board meetings to keep business on track.
4. Manage Resources
• Friends must have resources to support its
• The Library must agree on which of its resources
the Friends can use.
• Friends have separate accounting & finances
should be audited regularly.
• Friends must communicate their plans & activities to
Director & Board.
• Library must keep Friends informed of its plans, too.
• Both keep the community informed via social
media, newsletters, web, flyers…
6. Manage Time Commitment
• Time matters: Everyone must understand the time
• Plan & hold effective meetings.
• It takes time to be a success.
7. Nurture Relationships
• A good relationship should be established between
the Friends Board & the Library Board.
• Work to develop relationships with other community
• Work with other Friends groups in the region.
8. Focus on the Friends’ Volunteers
• Have job descriptions for all jobs big & small.
• Write policies.
• Be welcoming to everyone & value people’s ideas.
• Show appreciation informally & formally.
9. Be Willing to Learn & Share
• Attend trainings for Friends.
• Be active in larger Friends community.
• Share what you have learned.
• Apply for the Evy Nordley award!
10. Evaluate & Evolve
• Evaluate success of events.
• Evaluate the Friends organization.
• Evolve & change as needed for continued growth.
11. Stay Informed About Libraries
• OCLC Research Reports
• From Awareness to Funding: A study of library support in
• Libraries in the U.S.: A Snapshot of Priorities & Perspectives
• Perceptions of Libraries, 2010: Context and Community
Pew Internet & American Life Project: Libraries
– Younger Americans’ Reading & Library
– Library Services in the Digital Age
– The rise of e-reading
• Aimed at Twin Cities library staff
• News & information about all types of libraries
• MN, National, & International
• Every other Monday via e-mail
Marks of Success
• Great support from your Library Board & staff
• Willing volunteers
• Attendance at events
• A feeling of accomplishment
• Recognition in the community
The most successful groups are those where
everyone feels their contribution is important to
the group’s success.
WORDS TO REMEMBER
born between 1925-1945
• Range of lifestyles from fully engaged to deep
• Values: loyalty, self-sacrifice, faith in institutions &
• Engagement is motivated by
– Loyalty to key issue or group
– Joint work ethic
born between 1946-1962
• Fully engaged. Carrying most of the
social, economic, & political responsibility.
• Values: entitlement, skepticism about
• Engagement is motivated by
– Sense of making a difference
– Change the world
– Be part of the action
born between 1963-1980
• Early-mid-career, family responsibilities, beginning
to take leadership roles
• Values: independence, self-reliance, informality, fun.
Little loyalty to institutions or organizations
• Engagement motivated by
– Want to be valued by the organization for independent
thinking & individual contribution
– Maintain work/life balance
Gen Y or Millennials
born between 1981-2002
• Just starting out. “Emerging adults” starting jobs.
• Values: Work/life balance, confidence, social
commitment, “connected”, networking/collaboration,
– Make a difference with their peers
– Recognition for new ideas & expertise
– Opportunities for civic engagement & collaboration
Generation Z or Net Generation
24/7 approach to life
Likely to have diverse friends
Realistic about the future
Programming for “Hipsters”
• Started with book club
• Exercise with catchy titles-Zombie Aerobics
• Raw Foods
• Herbal Mixology
• Speed dating for booklovers
Grew from connections made at programs
Focus on fundraising & advocacy
5 board members
Meetings at coffee shop
Alt+Friends ask friends to join
Social Media to Connect
• Meetup to promote/publicize events
• Web site/Blog
• No book sales
• Craft event every month
• Business partnerships
• 20-30s care about politics
• City Council appearance
• Participate in the “Big Friends” political education
• Get their “action alerts”
Why it works
• Enthusiastic staff that are same age as audience
• Imaginative programming where audience is
• Major support from library administration & Board
• Support from big Friends
• Planning & thoughtful execution
Oak Park Public Library
• Late Nights at the Library
genre X is a twenties and thirties book discussion group facilitated by the Oak Park Public
Library. The group meets every fourth Tuesday at 8:00 pm at Molly Malone's (Upstairs) on
Madison in Forest Park.
After Hours at the Library
• Fundraising events
• Aimed at adults, not families (usually)
• All ages, but focus on young adults
• Ticketed events
• Learning about something
• Learning how to do something
• Opportunities to meet people share an experience
• Opportunities to do something
Why It Works
• Membership development tool
• Perks for members
• Changes perceptions of libraries
• Aimed at young adults
If they are younger than you & they join, they will do it with
enthusiasm and commitment.
They won’t do it the way you would or as “it has always
Get used to it.
WORDS TO REMEMBER
Library Friends: Building Relationships, Making Connections. Dr. Charles Hanson, Kettering University
Library.. ALA 2013. http://ala13.ala.org/files/ala13/HansonPresentation%206-28-2013.pdf
A Little Help from our Friends. Presentation by Dorothy Macnaughton, President, Friends of Canadian Libraries.
Minnesota Library Futures Initiative http://mnlfi2025.org
Perceptions of Libraries, 2010. OCLC.
All OCLC Reports http://www.oclc.org/en-US/reports.html
Pew Internet & American Life Project: Libraries http://libraries.pewinternet.org/
We Are the Champions: 20s-30s Library Advocacy
Late nights at the library
Ann Walker Smalley
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