Column Description: As a friend of the Cambria Heights Library and a member of the Friends of the Library Section, Aletta is aware of the work, support, and advocacy that the friends provide to and for libraries. Each column will focus on some aspect of being a friend of the library, support that friends provide to libraries or highlighting a friend of the library.

On Thursday, November 18, 2021, Karen Ash, President of the Friends of Angelica Free Library (Southern Tier Library System) gave a presentation on “Friends on Facebook – Five Ways Social Media Can Help You Meet Your Goals.” This presentation was given after the business session of the virtual Friends of Libraries Section Annual Membership Meeting.

The following are my three takeaways from viewing this excellent presentation. First, President Karen Ash administers the Facebook account and the Friends of Angelica Free Library page. This allows the president to control what is posted and ensure that it is appropriate. Next, you have to request and be granted permission to access the Friends of Angelica Free Library Facebook page. This is another important security measure.  I requested and was granted permission to access their social media page. The Friends of Angelica Free Library has a lovely photograph of the Park Circle Gazebo at the top of the page. There is also an image of the Angelica Free Library – Built 1900 signposted on the Facebook page. They list their mission as: “Our mission is to actively support the programs and services of the Angelica Free Library.” The images along with the mission statement help create an eye-catching and informative Facebook page.

My second takeaway was the Friends of Angelica Free Library Facebook page serves as advocates for libraries. The president shared that she grabs and reposts articles about library programs and activities. There was an interesting article reposted with the message from the president: “Librarians ROCK (literally)! I’m listening to a station in Buenos Aires, Argentina!” The post indicated, “This is incredible!!! The green dots on this Google Earth map represent radio stations all over the world. Click on any one of the dots and you will immediately hear that station with very good reception.” It was reposted from a Milford Public Library post-dated Feb 10 with the caption, Check this out!

Finally, my third takeaway was the Friends of Angelica Free Library Facebook page serves as a community outreach avenue. The president shared that community members are encouraged to take a selfie at their library for posting on the Facebook page. When community members recognize the photo of someone they know from the community on the Facebook page, they are encouraged to share their photo or photos on the Facebook page. Additionally, Friends of Angelica Free Library encourages the community to take the library survey! The post indicates that the survey will help create a five-year plan for the library. The community is urged to share their dreams for their community and their library by filling out the survey. A link for the survey is provided. This seems very user-friendly.

At the time that this article was written, the Friends of Angelica Free Library Facebook page had 317 likes and 324 people following their Facebook page. This is very encouraging for other Friends of the Library groups to consider, with permission, a social media page to help them meet their goals.

Aletta Seales received her MLS from Queens College, CUNY after retiring from the NYC Department of Education as a teacher/administrator. She has served as library staff and a volunteer at the Queens Public Library since 2007. Currently, Aletta is the secretary of the Cambria Heights Library Friends group which is part of the Queens Public Library.