When you hear the phrase, “Friend of the Library”, do you think of a person or a group of people or both? A library’s Friend group is one that supports the library (academic or public or other). That’s it. It’s that simple. But where it’s not simple, is in all the details.
The Friends of the Library group first needs a mission. Here are some mission samples (from the United for Libraries website):
- To support and cooperate with the Library in developing, maintaining, and enhancing facilities, resources, and services for the public.
- To support the freedom to read as expressed in the American Library Association Bill of Rights.
- To highlight the library’s role in enhancing the University as a top-ranked institution in the state and nation.
- To seek support for the library through monetary gifts and gifts of materials such as books, manuscripts, and art.
- To provide additional money for library materials, equipment, and/or services from funds received through payment of dues for various types of memberships.
After finding its mission, the group needs a lot more to succeed. Groups need active members, bylaws, tax-exempt status, membership dues structure, branding/logo design, a communications plan, and a programming committee – just to name a few.
If your library needs guidance, information, and training to start or reinvigorate your Friends group, I can assist. Contact me and we can discuss how to make your Friends group the best it can be.