What Friends DoWhat Friends Do
Role of the Friends
Organizing your Friends groupOrganizing your Friends group
Your FriendsYour Friends
Increase public awareness of the library and
Raise funds, over and above the library’s
Sponsor programmingSponsor programming
Provide support for library programs or
special eventsspecial events
Establish a good volunteer base
When the Friends consider their role theirWhen the Friends consider their role, their
objectives and how they will accomplish
them, they need to consider how thethem, they need to consider how the
Friends organization fits in with the
library’s mandate and strategic plan.
Friends partner with the library,
undertaking complementary activities.
The Friends can pursue opportunities for
advocacy activities and fundraising that
the library can’tthe library can’t.
The Steering Committee and, later, the
Friends President, should communicate
l l ith th Lib Di t /CEOregularly with the Library Director/CEO or
The Friends are an independentThe Friends are an independent
organization, with their own Board,
Constitution and By Laws.Constitution and By Laws.
The Friends Board is not a governance
The Library Board is a governance Board,
responsible for monitoring the library’s
b d ffi li i d ibudget, staffing, policies and strategic
A good relationship should be establishedA good relationship should be established
between the Friends Board and the Library
Many Friends organizations have a Library
Board member (Ex officio) on their Board.
While the Steering Committee is setting up
a Friends group, the Library Board
t ti ill k th i B drepresentative will keep their Board
Library Trustees and staff should beLibrary Trustees and staff should be
welcoming and appreciative of Friends’
volunteers, as they are not only giving a, y y g g
great deal of time, they are also promoting
the library in the community.
Friends of Libraries U.S.A. Fact Sheets
(under Resources)( )
(on FOLUSA web site – www.folusa.org)
Role of the Friends Board
Role of the Library Trustees
Southern Ontario Library Service –
Initiating a Friends of the Library Group
◦ sample agenda
In the library and other prominent
l ti d ti ti t tt tlocations, advertise a meeting to attract
interested people who are regular library
users, who care about the library and whouse s, o ca e about t e b a y a d o
might have some time to give to support
You may also want to enlist the help ofYou may also want to enlist the help of
Library Board Trustees and staff who could
hand out invitations to the meeting tog
people they know who have a vested
interest in the library.
If the library has a newsletter, advertize the
first meeting well in advance.
Put a notice of the meeting on the library’s
b itweb site.
Use free media opportunities (public service
In all advertising, emphasize how the
proposed Friends group wants to help theproposed Friends group wants to help the
library and needs people who really care
about their library.
If a Library staff person or a Library Board
T t h di th f ti fTrustee are spearheading the formation of a
Friends group, they can make the
necessary arrangements to book a meetingecessa y a a ge e ts to boo a eet g
room, arrange for chairs, etc.
Otherwise, a key volunteer can take on this
Always have refreshments. If the
primary organizer knows a volunteer baker,p y g ,
enlist their help. If you are expecting a
larger crowd of people, Timbits work well.
At the first organizing meeting, at least one
Library Board Trustee and one library staff
person should be present to speak about
the need for a Friends group to answerthe need for a Friends group, to answer
questions and offer support.
You could invite someone who is a memberYou could invite someone who is a member
of a local Friends group in your area or a
member of Friends of Canadian Libraries to
provide information at this meeting.
The primary organizer can draw up a simple
d t k th ti t kagenda to keep the meeting on track.
Explain what Friends groups can do for
Di th diff b t F i dDiscuss the difference between Friends
and the Library Board
Brainstorm ideas about the types of
activities your Friends group might
agreement by consensusg y
Election of Steering Committee
Other positions, such as a Volunteer
Coordinator or Fundraising Chair,
depending on the number of volunteers
Ex-officio Library Board Trustee
Ex-officio Library staff liaison
R h l k ifi iRequest that people ask specific questions,
particularly of the library representatives,
bearing in mind that it will take time for thebearing in mind that it will take time for the
Friends group to undertake larger projects
or to provide funding for more expensive
Find out if the library needs advocates in
the near future or if there are some smaller
items the Friends could fund.
This will be a preliminary planning meeting
where a Steering Committee will be formed.
Additional volunteers could plan the first
If the pool of volunteers is quite small, that
group may choose to be the Steeringgroup may choose to be the Steering
Committee and hold off on any other event