FLS: Friends of Libraries Section

Our Mission

FLS creates a network to connect and inspire Friends groups
in all types of libraries to support the New York library community.

Revised Mission of FLS, passed by the Executive Board on May 20, 2020

Membership in FLS

Benefits of Membership in FLS

Please consider selecting FLS as your primary section when you join NYLA or renew your NYLA membership.  
It's the Friendly thing to do.  
here for a hard copy of an FLS Membership Form that includes registration for Elected Officers of a Friends Group Organizational Member.

FLS Current News and Events

FLS 2020 Annual Membership Meeting

See the Call to Meeting here.

Review the draft minutes from the 2019 FLS Annual Membership meeting here.

FLS Awards and Scholarships:

2020 FLS Daniel W. Casey Library Advocacy Award

On behalf of the Friends of Libraries Section, the FLS Casey Award Committee is pleased to announce two award recipients: Friends of the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library and  the Friends of the Olean Public Library and a Certificate of Merit for Mary Louise Morgan from the Elizabethtown Library Association.

2020 FLS Dewey Fellow

The FLS Executive Board is pleased to announce that the 2020 FLS Dewey Fellow is Kerstin Cruger of the Mid-Hudson Library System. Kerstin will attend the 2020 NYLA Virtual  Conference on this scholarship.

Kerstin is also the incoming FLS First Vice President / President Elect. She will be installed in this position at the FLS Annual Membership Meeting.

2020 NYLA Annual Conference & Trade Show - November 5 & 6, 2020

The NYLA 2020 Conference & Trade Show will be entirely VIRTUAL this year!

“During this historic year, we offer you a new format, new opportunities, new skills, and new connections all from the comfort of your own home or workspace.” These are the introductory words of Dr. Jen Cannell, NYLA President, on the conference homepage. She goes on to explain that the programs being offered this year are categorized within the “Core Values of Librarianship.” 

Confrence Links:
FLS August - September 2020  (Volume 6 # 4) See page 3.
2020 NYLA Annual Conference Home
Registration Rates A discounted registration rate is available for the following NYLA member types: personal members at the Friend level or individuals registered with an organizational member Friends group, including the primary contact for the group and the elected officers of that Friends group. You will need your NYLA username and password that is associated with your membership in order to receive these reduced rates. NYLA offers these same deeply discounted registration rates for their members in the student, trustee, and retiree membership categories.
Conference Program Listings
Trade Show Information
Core Values of Librarianship

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.  
Enroll in all three webinars in the Focus on Friends series for the bundled price of $60 for NYLA members and $85 for non-members. Discounted pricing to attend all three sessions in the series is available until September 21, 2020. 
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
Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 2 – 3 p.m. EST

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

Congratulations to the Newly Elected FLS Executive Board members!

Please click here to see the 2020 Slate of newly elected officers and Members At Large and read their profiles.
First Vice President/President Elect, term ends 2023
Kerstin Cruger
Second Vice President, term ends 2022
Terry Mulee
Treasurer, term ends 2022
Stephen Hoefer
Member At Large, term ends 2022
Anne Andrianos, Leslie Riley, Ristiina Wigg, 
Member At Large, term ends 2021 
Erica Freudenberger, Marie Bindeman

Read the latest FLS Newsletter

August - September 2020  (Volume 6 # 4)

Letter from the FLS President during the Pandemic

April 27, 2020 Letter

FLS Webinar: Charitable Planned Giving As A Fund-raising Tool

View this webinar in the archive: original presentation date, Tuesday, June 9, 2020 from 2 – 3 p.m. EST
Presented by Maria T. Bucci, Development Specialist for Wood Library, an association library in Canandaigua, NY

Please click here to view the webinar and find all the resources referenced by Maria Bucci
Find a complete listing of all the FLS sponsored webinars on our Events page.


FLS Annual Membership Meeting

FLS held its Annual Membership Meeting and Friendly Café Meet-Up on Friday, November 15 during the 2019 NYLA Annual Conference. After welcoming remarks from Rebecca Fuss to 25 enthusiastic Friends, President Lisa Wemett led the Membership Meeting with highlights from our annual report, “FLS Year in Review.” Our Section had an excellent year! Membership and fund balances are strong, leadership is secure, and FLS is offering more programs, workshops, webinars and communications to members than ever before. We were privileged to have both of our FLS Randall Enos Conference Scholarship recipients, and Randall Enos himself, at the meeting. We were also honored o have this year’s FLS Daniel W. Casey Library Advocacy Award recipient with us. The September newsletter highlighted the achievements of Marianne, Meg, and Helen, and it was a joy to meet three of our greatest library champions in person and recognize them publicly for their significant achievements with their local Friends groups. 

President Lisa C. Wemett passed the gavel to ... herself, as she will serve a second consecutive year as Section President for FLS!

2019 FLS Annual Report to the Membership

Read the Annual Report from the FLS Annual Membership Meeting held on November 15, 2019 in Saratoga Springs, NY

Congratulations are in order:

2019 FLS Randall Enos Conference Scholarship Recipients

Meg Sgombick (Friends of the Florida Public Library) attended her first NYLA Annual Conference and Marianne Michaud (Friends of the Fairport Public Library) returned to the Conference, each as recipients in the first year of the FLS Randall Enos Conference Scholarship. Meg and Marianne shared reflections on their conference experiences in the December issue of FLS Friends News and Notes
This Scholarship opportunity will be available again in 2021. For 2020, FLS members who qualify may apply for the FLS Dewey Fellowship. Details will be in the March newsletter and online at www.NYLA.org/Friends > Awards & Scholarships.

L-r: Meg Sgombick, FLS President Emeritus Randall Enos, Marianne Michaud, and FLS Scholarship Coordinator Anne Andrianos

2019 FLS Daniel W. Casey Library Advocacy Award

The FLS Executive Board was honored to be able to actually present the 2019 FLS Daniel W. Casey Library Advocacy Award during the FLS Annual Membership Meeting. Leslie Riley, an FLS Member At Large and a reader for the Casey Award, presented a beautiful plaque to Helen Rados, current President of the Friends of the Ethelbert B. Crawford Public Library in Monticello. Oftentimes, the award is presented locally and then an announcement of the award is made at the meeting. It was exciting to have Helen's nominators and other staff, trustees, and Friends from her library and the Ramapo Catskill Library System there to take part in the festivities. This year instead of a "traditional" wooden plaque with an engraved metal plate, Helen was given a more "sustainable" version made from reclaimed wood that can be displayed on a shelf or desk.

L-r: Casey Award readers Joyce Laiosa and Leslie Riley, Helen Rados, and EBCPL staff members Cheryl Shelton Jones and Mary Paige Lang-Clouse

NYLA Above and Beyond Award

Our own Jean Sheviak, FLS Representative to the NYLA Legislative Committee, was honored with the NYLA Above and Beyond Award at the Inaugural Banquet during the NYLA Annual Conference. The award “recognizes extraordinary support and commitment to New York State’s libraries by an individual who has made significant contributions to NYLA and the library profession for ten years or more.” Liz Reynor, President of the Friends of the East Greenbush Community Library, shared highlights from the nomination, including Jean's work with FLS. Read Jean’s acceptance remarks in the December issue of FLS Friends News and Notes

L-r: NYLA Immediate Past President Tim Burke, Jean Sheviak, and Liz Reynor


Newly elected members of the FLS Executive Board

Click here to see the newly elected members of the FLS Executive Board and read their candidate profiles. The elections results were certified at the August 2nd FLS Executive Board meeting.

Members of the FLS Executive Board at the Friday morning board meeting during the NYLA Annual Conference in Saratoga Springs – 
standing, l-r, Leslie Riley, Jean Sheviak, Randy Enos, Anne Andrianos, Kerstin Cruger, Stephen Hoefer, Rusty Wigg, Lynne Madden
seated, l-r, Rebecca Fuss (retiring Past President) , Marie Orlando, Lisa Wemett, Terry Mulee
not pictured, Karen Sperrazza, Pat Loughan, Terry Morris, Amy Discenza, Travis Olivera, Chris Beck, Marie Bindeman



Presidents at the FLS Executive Board Meeting

FLS was pleased to have Dr. Jen Cannell , incoming NYLA President, visit our Executive Board Meeting. Not wanting to miss a photo-op, we lined up the Presidents in the room.

L-r: FLS Immediate Past President Rebecca Fuss, FLS President Emeritus Randall Enos, FLS President Lisa C. Wemett (serving a second consecutive term in that position) and NYLA Incoming President Dr. Jen Cannell





FLS Sponsored Webinar

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

Carla Lehn, presenter

View the webinar and accompanying resource materials here. (Presentation date: September 25, 2019)
Scroll down the page to read the description and learning objectives, view the webinar, see the presenter's bio, and access handouts.

Information on other FLS sponsored webinars may be found on the FLS Events page.

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.

FLS Sponsored Programs at the 2019 NYLA Annual Conference

November 13 - 16, 2019, Saratoge Springs, NY

FLS offered a full line-up of programs on topics relevant to Friends of the Library Groups:
Achieving Success for the Friends Through Strategic Planning
Fund-Raising Without Book Sales
Sustainable Thinking for Friends
FLS Annual Meeting and Friendly Café Meet-Up
Tips for Engaging Friends as Partners
Click here for the three pages of the FLS June issue of Friends News and Notes with details on these offerings.

Visit the FLS Events page for links to the PowerPoint presentations and handouts from the programs, or here for the entire NYLA Annual Conference Program Archive.

Click here for the 2019 NYLA Annual Conference page which includes a link to register or visit the FLS Events page for more information.

Would you like to be more involved with FLS? Click here for our Active Member Form.  

The FLS Presidents

Left to right: Randy Enos, President Emeritus; Lisa Wemtt, President #1, #5, and #6; Sarah Sachs, President #2; Janet Kreason, President #3; and Rebecca Fuss, President #4


Making a Difference, One Workshop at a Time

Since 2015, FLS has teamed up with library systems and Friends of the Library groups all around New York State to present two different workshops specifically for Friends.

“Getting Started: Creating and Supporting a Friends Group for Your Library” has been presented in Plattsburgh, Newburgh, Corning, Cazenovia, Albany, and Watertown.  “Keep It Growing! Strengthening Your Friends of the Library Group” has been well received in Poughkeepsie, Orchard Park, Watertown, and the Rochester area.

Check out the FLS Events page for additional information on upcoming workshops and to learn how to host these two-hour workshops in your area.

To contact Friends of Libraries Section please send an email to FLS.NYLA@yahoo.com.

Section History

Click here for FLS History