Friends of Libraries Section Events

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

FLS Annual Membership Meetings

2021     2020     2019

FLS 2021 Annual Membership Meeting - November 18

Thanks to everyone who attended and participated in the FLS Annual Membership Meeting on Thursday, November 18, 2021. The meeting included recognition of the 2021 recipients of the FLS Randall Enos Conference Scholarship and the FLS Daniel W. Casey Library Advocacy Award and the installation of the 2021-22 Executive Board, including our auxiliary volunteers.

Following the business portion, Karen Ash, President of the Friends of the Angelica Free Library, shared Friends on Facebook: Five Ways Social Media Can Help You Meet your Goals. It was a very informative talk. Thank you Karen for sharing your expertise and highlighting the success of your group in their efforts to support the library.

Read the FLS 2021 Annual Report to the Membership.

View Friends on Facebook: Five Ways Social Media Can Help You Meet your Goals  PowerPoint   

     

Click on the thumbnails above to watch the entire meeting and program presentation or just the program. (This will take you to a YouTube page in a new tab.)

 

 

l - r; Karen Sperrazza, outgoing FLS President and Kerstin Cruger, incoming FLS President

 

 

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FLS Virtual Membership Meeting - November 17, 2020

This year's FLS Annual Meeting for the Membership was like no other that we have had before. COVID-19 changed so many things this year - including the NYLA Annual Conference being offered as a virtual event and hence the FLS Annual Membership Meeting happening in the same way. But the positive side of this development was the time to really explore all that FLS has accomplished in the past year, as well as having representatives from the TWO Friends of the Library Groups that received the 2020 FLS Daniel W. Casey Library Advocacy Award in attendance. The new FLS long-range plan Frontiers for Friends 2021-2023 was unveiled, along with some background information, and a review of the FLS Membership Survey conducted earlier this year.
Lisa Wemett gaveled the meeting to order, completing her second consecutive term as FLS President. During the meeting she "passed the gavel" virtually to incoming President Karen Sperrazza who concluded the meeting and gaveled us out.
The meeting, which used the GoToMeeting platform, was recorded and is available for viewing.
Watch the meeting.
Read the minutes.
You can read more about the recipients of the FLS Casey Award, The Friends of the Clifton-Park Halfmoon Public Library and the Friends of the Olean Public Library, in the August September issue of the Friends News and Notes newsletter.
2019-2020 FLS Annual Report
FLS Long-Range Plan: Frontiers for Friends 2021-2023 and the Executive Summary

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FLS 2019 Annual Membership Meeting - November 15

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

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FLS Sponsored Webinars

Current:

Fishing for Friends: How to Reel in Midlife Adults with Programs

View the webinar here. (Presentation date: April 6th, 2022)
NEW: You will need your NYLA login and password to view the recording of this webinar.
The recording is not yet availalble. We apologize for the inconveience.

Speaker: Dr. Reneé K. Bennett-Kapusniak, author of Public Library Programs and Services for Midlife and Beyond.  
Examines the considerations when planning, marketing, and implementing adult programs that will engage adults 50+ with the library and the Friends.  Highlights examples of outreach, diverse formal and informal lifelong learning opportunities, and creative community collaborations that can be replicated in your community.  

Information page on Fishing for Friends: How to Reel in Midlife Adults with Programs

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Archived:

Before Friends Become Frienemies

View the webinar here. (Presentation date: September 30, 2021)
NEW: You will need your NYLA login and password to view the recording of this webinar.
See the resource materials for this presentation.

Speakers: Lisa C. Wemett, Past President of the Friends of Libraries Section, and Melissa Tacke, Director of the Castleton Public Library in the Upper Hudson Library System.  
Conflicts about money and other matters outside of the financial realm often cause the once-friendly relationships between volunteer support organizations and their library’s Board of Trustees and library administrators to sour.  This 90-minute webinar examines conflict behavior and conflict resolution, how to develop a standardized document to guide financial contributions from the Friends, and the basics of operating agreements (also called a Memorandum of Understanding or MOU).

Resources for this webinar:
Before Friends Become Frienemies PDF of PowerPoint slides
Approaches to Conflict: the Thomas-Kilman Conflict Mode Instrument
Working Together: Roles and Responsibilities Guidelines
Keepin’ It Friendly: Communication Tips for Library Staff, Trustees, and Friends of the Library
A Primer on Friends Operating Agreements
Annotated By-Laws: What Should Be Included in By-Laws for Friends Organizations?
Guidelines for Expenditures of Funds Raised by the Friends of the Idyllic Public Library
Friendly Scenarios – How Specific Approaches to Conflict Can Help Avoid “Frienemies”

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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:

Friendly Partnerships Strengthen Communities (Presentation date: March 11, 2021)
Children’s librarian Jason Poole’s summer “BookBox for Kids and Teens” initiative brings books to readers unable to visit the Webster Public Library.  Helen Rados, member of the Friends of Ethelbert B. Crawford Public Library, along with youth services librarian Cheryl Shelton Jones have increased public awareness of the library, engaged volunteers, and increased Friends memberships through their networking.

Effective, Efficient Boards and Board Meetings (Presentation date:January 12, 2021)
Speaker: Judy Siegel, Esq., of the Pro Bono Partnership.
 Improve your skills and learn the specific accountabilities the officers and directors must meet for nonprofit organizations.

Engaging Millennials as Friends Volunteers (Presentation date:September 23, 2020)
Speakers: Tess Wilson, Community Engagement Coordinator for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine – Middle Atlantic Region, and Madeline Jarvis, Adult and Information Services Manager at the Marion (Iowa) Public Library, authors of All Ages Welcome: Recruiting and Retaining Younger Generations for Library Boards, Friends Groups, and Foundations, a toolkit for libraries on engaging Millennials.  (ALA Editions, 2020.  https://www.alastore.ala.org/unitedaaw).
Friends organizations can coordinate, collaborate, and promote opportunities for young adults that are both social and make a difference in the community.  Get suggestions on how to target and connect with these potential volunteers who are motivated to make their community a better place by using their skills and expertise to meet the needs of 21st century library patrons.

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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.

Speaker: Maria Bucci, Development Specialist at Wood Library, Canandaigua.  
Taxes, annual appeal campaigns, and fundraising events are all important parts of a library’s overall fundraising plan.  But every library has a gap between annual projected income and the actual cost of daily operations.  A frequently untapped source of long-term funding is charitable planned gifts.  These special legacy gifts are realized when a donor names the library as a beneficiary in their estate plans, helping to build an endowment fund to provide sustained income for the library over time.

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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.

Speaker: Carla Lehn, author of From Library Volunteer to Library Advocate: Tapping into the Power of Community Engagement.  
The content focuses on recruitment methods, including use of online volunteer sites.  Retention efforts involve being realistic in recruitment pitches, careful planning of job descriptions, and one-on-one training for volunteers.  Handouts include a volunteer job description template, examples of job descriptions, and a targeted recruitment plan.

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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.

Presenters: the co-presidents of the Friends of the Clifton Park – Halfmoon Public Library.  
They talk about their journey from a standard officer structure to a team approach.  Handouts include the by-laws of the CPHL Friends, their annual report and an issue of their newsletter “Book Friendly,” and samples of the group’s recruitment posters to engage community volunteers in the work of the Friends.  You’ll also find an additional handout, “Planning for Smooth Transitions: Tips for Friends Preparing for Leadership Succession,” developed by Lisa C. Wemett.

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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.

Speaker: Courtney Darts, Esq., of the Pro Bono Partnership.  
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.  This review of nonprofit boards’ legal and fiduciary duties explains 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.

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FLS Programs at the NYLA Annual Conference

2021   2020    2019     2018     2017     2016     2015     2014

NYLA 2021 Conference Libraries: We’re All In
Virtual - October 28 and 29
In-Person November 3 - 6

Pre-Conference FLS Continuing Education Workshop
Financial FAQs for Nonprofits

Looking for those elusive answers to nonprofit financial questions? Accountants from the John C. Parcell IV Accounting Firm will explain these and other accounting concerns relevant to Friends organizations and public libraries, including the fiduciary duties of board members.

Some Friends have nearly jeopardized their nonprofit status by failing to meet regulations that govern charity operations. If you are unsure of how to be compliant and properly manage the assets of your group or library, our speakers will provide advice on how to implement policies needed by the NYS Nonprofit Revitalization Act of 2013, develop procedures for acknowledging donations, and handle reporting practices for 501(c)(3) organizations.

Financial FAQs for Nonprofits PowerPoint presentation    PDF presentation slide deck


In-Person Conference
Friendly Relationships, Working Together for the Library  
Friends of the Library can be valuable members of the library team. Trustees provide governance, library directors manage the operations of the library, and a Friends group provides an opportunity for citizen volunteers to give support and financial assistance. All parties in this alliance need to understand their well-defined responsibilities and the limits of their roles. Frequent, clear, and open communication is the key to a successful partnership, along with joint planning sessions and establishing an operating agreement to address the needs and expectations of all. Robust, positive relationships between these key players will impact customer satisfaction and achievelong-term goals, helping libraries to be strong and resilient. Our panelists from the Hamilton Public Library will share ways their Friends, director, and trustees work together successfully. 

Friendly Relationships, Working Together for the Library PowerPoint presentation   PDF presentation slide deck
Additonal Resources:
Working Together: Roles & Responsibilities Guidelines
A Primer on Friends Operating Agreements; A Sample Memorandum of Understanding


Virtual Conference OnDemand
Fundraising Without Book Sales
2020 challenged Friends groups to take a fresh look at raising funds to support their libraries’ needs. This involved reimagining current programs as well as developing new ideas, but the mission of the Friends always remained the same. From Hampton Bays near the tip of Long Island to Monticello in Sullivan County to Olean in Western NY these groups have all created successful projects that challenge the typical fundraiser. Learn how three unique Friends groups have redefined fundraising through partnerships and creative collaborations that support the library, benefit their community, and create lasting, beneficial relationships. Please join us to consider one of these projects that may provide better returns on your group's time and efforts.  

Fundraising Without Book Sales PDF presentation slide deck

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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

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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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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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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 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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