FLS - Host a Regional Workshop

FLS has developed two classroom workshops that Friends organizations, libraries, or library systems can sponsor in their region. An FLS Board member will travel to your training site to present these programs.

Workshop Descriptions:

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.

Each workshop is two hours in length, using a PowerPoint presentation, sharing among the participants, and a question and answer segment.

A flyer on these workshop offerings is available here.

Details on hosting:

Both workshops are for Friends or community volunteers, library trustees, and staff interested to create a Friends of the Library group or grow an established group to assist with the ongoing volunteer and financial support for their community library.

These workshops can be hosted by individual libraries, Friends of the Library groups, or library systems. The host must be a personal or organizational member of NYLA and FLS. Sessions can be co-hosted with a library system or regional Friends support group.  

Attendance should be limited to 50 people. The workshop sponsor may offer seats to other interested staff or volunteers in the region. FLS will provide assistance in promoting the workshop statewide. Photocopying of handouts for each participant needs to be provided by the host. Participants are encouraged to bring Friends membership brochures, newsletters, and program fliers about their library’s activities to share.

FLS requests that whenever possible the workshop by offered free of charge to the participants. A fee of $50 is paid by the sponsor to FLS (an invoice and payment details will be provided by FLS). For any workshop site farther than a one hour drive from the trainer’s home, round-trip reimbursement for mileage is requested. One night’s lodging is also required for travel more than two hours from the trainer’s home. Please note, the trainer is a volunteer and receives no honorarium.

Considering hosting an FLS Workshop at your location?

For more details on hosting responsibilities, read this: Considering hosting an FLS Workshop at your location? (PDF)
Note: Workshops are not offered through the NYLA Continuing Education Committee. Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits from the New York Library Association cannot be awarded for attendance, however, they may be available through the sponsoring entity..

Please contact Lisa C. Wemett to schedule either of these workshops: lisawemett@frontiernet.net or by mail at 16 Drumlin Drive, Macedon, New York 14502

Recommendations and Comments from Evaluations:

Here are some comments from volunteers and staff who have attended the workshops:

Very detailed and informative presentation. I learned a lot that I didn’t know before!

Brian M. Hildreth, Executive Director of the Southern Tier Library System, endorses “Getting Started” as “…a great program for public libraries wanting to start, run, and sustain a Friends group. FLS offers insight for libraries that have a Friends group, but are looking for new ideas; or for libraries that need to build something from the ground up.  Definitely worth attending.”

Not Yet a Member of FLS?  Here are the membership criteria for hosting a workshop: 

For those libraries without a formal Friends group or just starting a group: the sponsoring library needs to join NYLA and select FLS as its primary Section. FLS recommends that the library give one of its associate memberships to the chair of its Friends steering committee, once the committee has been established.

For an established Friends group: The Friends of the Library group needs to join NYLA/FLS as an organizational member ($50) and register all of its elected officers as non-voting members of NYLA.

For library systems: The system needs to be an organizational member of NYLA and add FLS as an additional Section.

Details about joining NYLA are available here.