Friends of Libraries Section Events

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FLS Webinars
FLS Regional Workshops
FLS Friends Group Meet-Ups
Host an FLS Regional Workshop
FLS Programs at the NYLA Annual Conference, including links for Workshop Resources
Visit the FLS Publications page to view all of our newsletters.

FLS Sponsored Webinars

Current:

FLS Focus on Friends Webinar Series

The Friends of Libraries Section is sponsoring a three-part webinar series, Focus on Friends, to supplement its offerings included in the 2020 NYLA Annual Conference. Each one-hour professional development session will cover a topic of interest to all library civic leaders (library trustees, officers of Friends groups and library foundations, and volunteer advocates) as well as library administrators and staff members. Guest speakers will present on a specific topic followed by a question and answer session.

Online registration is now open. This webinar is free for FLS members to attend (some restrictions apply). Registration is required.  
Click here for an overview of the series, or click on the links below for each webinar.

The series includes:

Engaging Millennials as Friends Volunteers - watch the archived presentation.
Presented on September 23, 2020

Effective, Efficient Boards and Board Meetings - watch the archived presentation.
Presented on January 12, 2021

Friendly Partnerships Strengthen Communities
Thursday, March 11, 2021, 2 – 3 p.m. EST

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Archived:

There is no charge to view an archived webinar. Click the link to go to the webinar resource page.

FLS Focus on Friends Webinar Series

The Friends of Libraries Section sponsored a three-part webinar series, Focus on Friends, to supplement its offerings for the 2020 NYLA Virtual Conference. Each one-hour professional development session covers a topic of interest to all library civic leaders (library trustees, officers of Friends groups and library foundations, and volunteer advocates) as well as library administrators and staff members. Guest speakers present on a specific topic followed by a question and answer session.

The series includes:

Engaging Millennials as Friends Volunteers - watch the archived presentation.
Presented on September 23, 2020

Effective, Efficient Boards and Board Meetings - watch the archived presentation.
Presented on January 12, 2021

Friendly Partnerships Strengthen Communities
Thursday, March 11, 2021, 2 – 3 p.m. EST

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Charitable Planned Giving as a Fund-raising Tool

View the webinar and accompanying resource material here. (Presentation date: June 9, 2020)

Scroll down the page to read the description and learning objectives, view the webinar, see the presenter bios, and access handouts.

Learn how legacy gifts can build an endowment fund to provide sustained income for the library over time.  Review promotional tactics to raise awareness about these types of gifts and how to acknowledge and engage these special donors.  Come discuss the elements of effective and coordinated fundraising strategies—setting goals, devising written plans, budgeting, creating a database, dynamic execution, and evaluation—that will result in relationships with people who are ready to make an investment in the library’s future. 

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Connecting With Today's Volunteers to Transform the Friends of the Library:
Expectations, Engagement, and Impact

View the webinar and accompanying resource material here. (Presentation date: September 25, 2019)

Scroll down the page to read the description and learning objectives, view the webinar, see the presenter bios, and access handouts.

Learn how legacy gifts can build an endowment fund to provide sustained income for the library over time.  Review promotional tactics to raise awareness about these types of gifts and how to acknowledge and engage these special donors.  Come discuss the elements of effective and coordinated fundraising strategies—setting goals, devising written plans, budgeting, creating a database, dynamic execution, and evaluation—that will result in relationships with people who are ready to make an investment in the library’s future. 

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Administrative Teams: A New Approach for Friends Leadership

View the webinar and accompanying resource material here. (Presentation date: March 19, 2019)

Scroll down the page to read the description and learning objectives, view the webinar, see the presenter bios, and access handouts.

Looking for an alternative to the traditional Friends of the Library leadership model?  Today’s volunteers need flexibility in their involvement in community organizations.  Coming from their work world, these volunteers want to provide input into how a task is completed, focusing on tangible results.  Officer positions in most Friends organizations have so many duties that they are full-time jobs.  It is unrealistic to recruit volunteers willing to devote the number of hours needed to provide careful oversight to such an important support group focused on the community library.

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Best Practices for Management of Friends Boards

View the webinar and accompanying resource material here. (Presentation date: March 20, 2018)
This was the first webinar sponsored by FLS.

Scroll down the page to read the description and learning objectives, view the webinar, see the presenter bios, and access handouts.

Regardless of the size of a Friends group, if the organization has achieved 501(c)(3) status, there are specific accountabilities the Friends officers must meet to keep the organization legally viable.  In this review of nonprofit boards’ legal and fiduciary duties, an attorney from the Pro Bono Partnership will explain ways to provide the best oversight possible for the organization, keeping Friends groups functioning effectively and using their charitable resources appropriately in support of their library.  Recent changes to the New York Nonprofit Revitalization Act of 2013 affect the day-to-day operations of the Friends, including transacting business by the Board, conflict of interest policies, and more.  Learn what documents should be kept in your board book, how technology can and cannot be used to conduct board business, and practical strategies for more effective meetings.

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FLS Sponsored Workshops

Getting Started: Creating and Supporting a Friends Group for Your Library

Due to the coronavirus outbreak this workshop has been postponed. It will be rescheduled at a later date.

Getting Started: Creating and Supporting a Friends Group for Your Library, originally scheduled for March 25, 2020, new date TBD
cosponsored by the Finger Lakes Library System

Keep It Growing! Strengthening Your Friends of the Library Group

No regional workshops are scheduled at this time.

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FLS Friends Group Meet-Ups

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015 - Vestal Public Library, May 28

FLS Hosts First Annual "Meet-up" for Friends of Libraries Groups

Friends representing libraries from Central NY and the Southern Tier gathered with the FLS Board for a very successful meet-up discussion of "all things Friends!" 

standing left to right
Judy Strauss, Jordan Bramley Library (Jordan NY)
Audrey Kearney, Marcellus Free Library
Paulette Quinn, Marcellus Free Library
Virginia Okrasinski, Cady Library (Nichols NY)

seated L-R
Anne Andrianos, Onondaga Free Library
Pauline Satterly, Groton Public Library

Ten representatives of Friends of the Library groups from eight public libraries in three public library systems gathered to talk with the members of the Friends of Libraries Section's Executive Board at the Vestal Public Library on May 28.  A total of 22 people brought varying levels of experience to the table where ideas were shared to help strengthen the work of Friends in libraries large and small.

Before the meeting, Friends suggested topics they were interested to discuss with the FLS Board and other Friends groups.  Representatives brought handouts from their libraries to share including membership brochures, fliers of regional meetings, bookstore and book sales promotional pieces, and newsletters.  One topic raised included suggestions of successful strategies to recruit volunteers who might become Friends officers and ways to broaden the involvement of rank-and-file members in Friends activities which could assist in developing leadership for the group.

Book sales are always a perennial interest of Friends, but the meet-up honed in on new and exciting ideas for publicity which ranged from successes using banners and lawn signs to social media.  NYLA's Administrative Support Services for Friends of Libraries Groups was described as an alternative to groups applying for their own 501(c)(3) status.  Questions were raised about ways the groups who support association libraries could operate with separate financial accounts from their libraries if they did not have nonprofit status.

National Friends of Libraries Week in October was mentioned as a way to highlight the "good works" of Friends.  Friends' support of advocacy efforts on behalf of the library, such as reminder telephone calls for budget votes, is important to all groups.  Large scale book sales are a tangible way to involve the community and get the library's message out to library supporters who are willing to volunteer their assistance for the sales.

The Nonprofit Revitalization Act of NYS was referred to in the context of Friends groups needing to review their bylaws, being aware of new restrictions on handling business electronically between scheduled meetings, and adopting necessary policies (e.g., Conflict of Interest).  The FLS Board shared the plans for workshops on "Friends Day" at the library association's annual conference in Lake Placid in October, encouraged submissions for the FLS Dan Casey Advocacy Award, and explained the benefits of personal and organizational memberships in the New York Library Association.

The meet-up was a lively exchange of "best practices" and tips to keep Friends groups growing strong to continue their valuable work.  If you are interested to have the assistance of the FLS Board in holding a meet-up in your area of New York State, please contact FLS President Lisa Wemett at lisawemett@frontiernet.net.  We'd be glad to help.

Thanks to all of you who came to share and learn.  We couldn't have done it without you!

Finger Lakes Library System
Apalachin Library Association - Janet Thomas
Cady Library, Nichols - Virginia Okrasinski
Groton Public Library - Pauline Satterly

Four County Library System
Broome County Public Library - Linda Foody
Vestal Public Library - Jim Holley

Onondaga County Public Library
Jordan Bramley Free Library - Judy Strauss
Marcellus Free Library - Paulette Quinn, Audrey Kearney
Onondaga Free Library - Anne Andrianos 

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Host an FLS Regional Workshop

FLS has developed two in-person workshops that Friends organizations, libraries, or library systems can sponsor in their region.

Getting Started: Creating and Supporting a Friends Group for Your Library
Is your library thinking about starting a Friends of the Library group and you are unsure where to begin? Does your system want to encourage member libraries to establish Friends groups to expand their advocacy base? Learn the benefits of gathering community volunteers to support your library’s programs and services. We’ll utilize a checklist to develop your group: recruiting helpers for a steering committee, determining the Friends’ mission, expanding membership, and growing the leadership to maintain an active organization.

Keep It Growing! Strengthening Your Friends of the Library Group
Continuing to develop your library’s Friends group is vital to sustaining the organization
long-term. Get tips on membership recruitment and volunteer engagement. Networking within your community and constantly sharing your message will revitalize your core supporters and help to maintain the group’s crucial advocacy work for the library.

The workshops can be hosted by an individual library, Friends of the library group, or library system that is a member of NYLA and FLS. Sessions can be co-hosted with a regional Friends support group.

Each workshop is two-hours long and includes the presentation, a question and answer segment, and sharing among the participants.

Click here for detailed information on hosting an FLS workshop.

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FLS Programs at the NYLA Annual Conference

2020    2019     2018     2017     2016     2015     2014

2020 - NYLA Virtual Conference
November 5th - 6th, 2020

Best Practices for a Friends Operated Bookstore
Sponsored by the Friends of Libraries Section and co-sponsored by the Library Trustees Association Section.

Both seasonal and ongoing book sales run by volunteers continue to be the #1 fundraiser to support libraries' extra needs. But what about a year-round retail shop or materials sold online? Don't think your Friends group could scale up to this kind of in-library bookstore?  The Book Shop's longtime manager will share his best strategies for gathering and processing donations. You will also hear how SSPL Friends report accomplishments within the organization that will help your own book sale efforts improve over time. Find out how to organize teams to sort, price, and manage the physical inventory for your book sale operations, whatever their size.
Program speaker Jeff Budge, Manager of The Book Bag Shop (operated by the Friends of the SSPL) at the Saratoga Springs Public Library

A PDF file of PowerPoint slides for Best Practices for a Friends Operated Bookstore is available here.

Mr. Budge provided the following materialss referenced during his pre-recorded session (three separate packets). 

Volunteer Forms
Volunteer Application 2018 (3 pages)
Background Check
Consent Form for Background Check (Volunteer Application Part 2) (11 pages)
Welcome Letter 2019
Volunteer Code of Conduct & Guidelines (3 pages)
No Volunteer Openings Letter
No Longer a Volunteer Letter
Time Sheet Friends Bookshop Manager
Volunteer Work Report

Volunteer Training Materials and Position Descriptions
Friends Bookshop Desk Manual 2020 (11 pages)
Friends Bookshop Sorting Room & Shop Duties Manual (9 pages)
Volunteer Duties – Cashier
Volunteer Duties – Sorting Room

Book Store Operations, Sales Tax, and Donations
25 cent Sale & Shop Volunteer Sign-Up Sheet
25 cent Sale Customer Count Sheet
25 cent Accounting
Amazon Return address labels
Bookmark: Remaining 2018 Sales
Close-Out Sheet (cash register)
Daily COVID Questionnaire
Daily Transaction & XFlash Sheet
Dealer Slip 2012
Reserve Book Form
Weekly Deposit Report Sheet
Sales Tax: April Monthly Tax Sheet
Sales Tax: Blank Monthly Tax Sheet
Donations Receipt
Donation Schedule Sheet

2019 NYLA Annual Conference
November 13 - 16, Saratoga Springs, NY

Click here for the three pages of the FLS June issue of Friends News and Notes with details on these offerings and registration information specific to Friends.

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2018 NYLA Annual Conference
November 7 - 10, Rochester, NY

Engage Your Community by Communicating Your Impact

Slide Notes

NYPL Press Release

SBA Press Release

Human Library Media Advisory

FFRPL Annual Appeal FINAL (Draft)

Fall Back Comedy Fest Press Release

FLS Annual Membership Meeting and FLS Friend-Raiser Luncheon: Let's Market Our Libraries

Luncheon - Marketing - Joy Testa Cinquino

FLS 2018 Annual Membership Meeting

FLS Annual Report 2017-2018

Agenda Annual Membership Meeting 2018

Friends, Directors, and Trustees Make a Difference Together

Working Together: Roles & Responsibilities Guidelines

A Primer on Friends Operating Agreements; Memorandum of Understanding

Guidelines for Expenditures of Funds

Fundraising Without Book Sales

Fund-Raising Irondequoit Friends

Fund-Raising Seymour

Fashion Show Handout

Trunk Treasures Handout

The Friendly Café Meet-Up

Agenda

Minutes

RCLS Friends Resources

Wall Art: Brought to You by the Friends

Arnett Artwork

Arnett Slideshow Tehan

Plattsburgh Library Mural

Read the conference wrao-up in the December 2018 FLS newsletter.

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2017 NYLA Annual Conference
November 8 - 11, Saratoga Springs, NY

Choose Your Local Resources for Successful Fundraisers

Mining Local Resources for Long-term Success
Limericks by H.V.S.

Bringing Friends Back From the Brink

Handout 1
Handout 2
Handout 3

Best Practices for Management of Friends Boards
This program was brought back as an FLS Webinar. View the webinar and accompanying resource material here

Friends & Trustees Building Community When Disaster Strikes

Handout

Friends Choose Their Own Leadership
This program was brought back as an FLS Webinar. View the webinar and accompanying resource material here.

Read the conference wrao-up in the December 2017 FLS newsletter.

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2016 NYLA Annual Conference
November 3 - 5, Saratoga Springs, NY

Friends Grow Friends Online

Friends of Libraries Showcase/Membership Meeting

Read the conference wrao-up in the December 2016 FLS newsletter.

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2015 NYLA Annual Conference
October 21 - 24, Lake Placid, NY

Painting in Plein Air

Friends and Foundations, A Merger

Accounting for Non Profits

Read the conference wrao-up in the December 2015 FLS newsletter.

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2014 NYLA Annual Conference
November 5 - 8, Saratoga Springs, NY

New York Library Association Annual Conference: “Open Libraries, Open Minds” 

New in 2014: The Empire Friends Roundtable (now Friends of Libraries Section) provided several joint sessions on nonprofit law and library finances with the Library Trustees Association (www.librarytrustees.org).  The Public Libraries Section (PLS) also co-sponsored the nonprofit law session.  EFR co-sponsored PLS’s program, “Walk Your Precinct and Activate Your Library Advocates,” with John Chrastka, Executive Director of EveryLibrary (www.everylibrary.org). 

See the descriptions below with links to our speakers’ slide presentations and handouts.

Thank you to our fellow Friends, library trustees, and legal professionals who volunteered to share their ideas and best practices, ones that we know you will want to implement back home.

Get By With a Little Legal Help for Your Friends

Speakers: Courtney Darts, Senior Staff Attorney, and Judy Siegel, Staff Attorney
Pro Bono Partnership, www.probonopartner.org.  “Volunteer Lawyers Strengthening Nonprofits and Our Communities.”  (914) 328-0674.  To apply for their services, click on “Request Legal Assistance” on their Web page.

What does it mean to be a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization?  Our speakers from the Pro Bono Partnership provide free legal service to nonprofit groups in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.  They provided definitions (nomenclature) of New York State law for non-for-profit groups and tax exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code.  Discussion points included forming a not-for-profit corporation, qualifying for tax exemptions, fiduciary duties, and the governance and accountability of nonprofit boards.  The New York Nonprofit Revitalization Act of 2013 was covered along with charitable registration, fund-raising, documentation of contributions, and managing volunteers.  Other online resources are cited in the end of their presentation.
Slide presentation: Get By With a Little Legal Help For Your Friends
Handouts:
Responsibilities of the Board of Directors of a Nonprofit Organization
What Must a Tax-Exempt Organization Do to Acknowledge Donations?
New York State Department of Taxation Publication 843: A Guide to Sales Tax in NYS for Exempt Organizations

Friends-Operated Bookstores

Speakers: Bonnie Shannon, Book Sales Chair for The Friends of the Kinderhook Memorial Library; Bruce Swenson, Bookstore Manager and Vice President of The Friends of Middletown Thrall Library

Our session focused on “brick and mortar” bookstores run completely by volunteers to raise funds to support their libraries’ extra needs.  Bonnie discussed the Friends decision to open a storefront operation in 2013 after many years of successful booksales.  She covered their considerations, the planning process, and cautionary tips in the start-up of a new store.  The Friends of Middletown Thrall Library support the public library situated in the renovated Erie Railroad Station in the heart of downtown.  Their used bookstore, started in 1989, is now located in the former freight house just steps from the library’s entrance.  Their operation offers donated materials for sale three days a week, earning more than $60,000 annually to support the library’s collections, programs, and equipment needs.
Handout:
Friends of the Kinderhook Memorial Library Book Shop

Joint Offerings with the Library Trustees Association

Both volunteers for the Friends of the Library groups and community members who serve on the library’s Board of Trustees have much in common in helping libraries survive and thrive.  The following two programs highlighted the importance of assisting libraries in reaching their long-term goals and objectives with a constant funding stream over time.  Together Friends and trustees can become strong allies and advocates for our libraries as they work toward the common goals of financial stability and sustainability.

Fund-raising with Annual Appeals

Speakers: Leah LeFera, former Library Director, Canajoharie Library and Arkell Museum; Kathy Naftaly, Director, and Lynn Shanks, Development Director, Crandall Public Library, Glens Falls.

Yearly campaigns that directly solicit funds from the community are a vital part of a library’s financial plan to supplement public funding.  Friends groups working alongside the Board of Trustees and staff administrators can reap benefits for all involved.  Canajoharie is an association library that is one of the least funded libraries in New York State.  The Crandall Public Library raised $32,000 in their 2013 annual appeal.  In a combined slide presentation, both libraries covered the “nuts and bolts” of appeals with examples of their mailings, raising funds online, tracking donors, and saying “thank you” in a variety of ways.
Slide presentation: Fund-raising Through Annual Appeals
Handouts:
Annual Appeal: The Nitty Gritty
Crandall Public Library Annual Appeal Letters: 2013;   2012;   2011.   Reply Envelope Sample 2013
Canajoharie Library and Arkell Museum Appeal Letter;   Reply Envelope
United for Libraries Fact Sheet #2: Fund-raising Campaigns
United for Libraries Fact Sheet #22: Guidelines for Giving

Library Foundations and Endowments

Speakers: Suzanne Stockman, Fairport Library Foundation, Fairport Public Library; Mary Muller, The Troy Public Library Foundation.

Foundations can assist libraries in reaching their long-term goals and objectives with resources that can provide a constant funding stream over time.  Separate organizations with their own boards of trustees, foundations establish endowments and manage large contributions and bequests. Growing funds, managing investments, and marketing the endowment to donors are all crucial for long-term success.  The Fairport Library Foundation, established in 2007, is a 501(c)(3) that manages its own funds and has faced several challenges in its efforts to raise money to help renovate the library.  The Troy Public Library Foundation is a nonprofit incorporated in 1991 to solicit bequests and gifts to support the library.  Troy has recently begun using the services of a regional Community Foundation to manage and grow their endowment.
Handouts:
United for Libraries Fact Sheet #16: How to Organize a Foundation
United for Libraries Fact Sheet #24: Planned Giving: What You Need to Know

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Call to Meeting. FLS Annual Membership Meeting Goes Virtual

The Annual Membership Meeting of the Friends of Libraries Section of the New York Library Association will be held virtually, after the NYLA Annual Conference.  The meeting will take place on Tuesday, November 17, 2020, beginning at 2 o’clock and lasting 90 minutes.
Please join us for this important business meeting, which will include highlights of our projects and the announcement of the FLS Daniel W. Casey Library Advocacy Award.  Meet the members of the Executive Board, officers, Members At Large, and auxiliary volunteers for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 FLS Boards.
We will review the activities, projects, and accomplishments of FLS in 2020 including the recent Membership Survey and the new Long-Range Plan for 2021-2023.

Registration

All current personal and organizational members of the Friends of Libraries Section are invited to participate and requested to register for the meeting.  Please send a message to FLS Second Vice President Terry Mulee to make your reservation to attend the FLS Annual Membership Meeting. FLS.NYLA@yahoo.com.  Put Annual Meeting in the subject line.

There is no charge to attend.  Interested NYLA members may also participate by registering in advance.  Once members and visitors have registered to attend, they will receive a confirmation e-mail with the GoToMeeting access code and any other pertinent information.  Registration will close on Friday, November 13, at 5 p.m.

Meeting Agenda

Welcome and Introduction of the FLS Boards, 2019-20 and 2020-21

Approval of Minutes of the November 15, 2019 Annual Meeting.  A draft of the minutes were reviewed by the FLS Executive Board on January 8, 2020. Please review the minutes and be prepared to approve them.

Review of FLS Treasury Balances

Introduction of the recipient of the 2020 FLS Dewey Fellowship, Kerstin Cruger

Announcement of the 2020 FLS Daniel W. Casey Library Advocacy Awards

Review of Annual Report of Section Activities, November 2019 through October 2020, including the 2020 FLS Member Survey and the new Long-Range Plan for 2021-2023

Passing of the gavel to Incoming President Karen Sperrazza

Installation of the 2020-2021 FLS Board

Quorum and Voting

Those FLS members present and voting shall constitute a quorum at this meeting.  In addition, at least three members of the FLS Executive Board must be present.  A simple majority of the members present shall be sufficient for action on matters coming before the general membership.

We hope that you will join us for this important business meeting and recap of our projects and activities during 2020.

To learn more about the Friends of Libraries Section of the New York Library Association, please visit www.nyla.org/friends.  Please remember that FLS is a membership organization.  Membership dues account for more than 25 percent of revenue for the Association.  We value each and every member of FLS.  Dues allow us to offer many services and benefits, like our quarterly newsletter, webinars, and conference programs.  Membership in FLS during this difficult time is critical to keep NYLA, and the entire library community, strong.  Please join or renew today.  We appreciate your support.

GoToMeeting

The meeting will be held online with GoToMeeting.  Following pre-registration with FLS, participants will be able to join the meeting from their computer, tablet, or smartphone.  A dial-in option is also available for using a telephone (long distance rates for your telephone service will apply).

If you are new to using GoToMeeting, a few days prior to the meeting you are advised to download the free GoToMeeting app. https://global.gotomeeting.com/install/554402269. Read over the help screens to learn how to mute, use the chat function, and set up your device camera, microphone, and speakers.  The day of the meeting log on at least five minutes before the meeting so you can adjust your microphone and speakers.