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

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: March 19, 2019)

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

Volunteer service is a valuable strategy for community engagement, but traditional volunteer programs in libraries of all sizes need to be redesigned to work with today's volunteers -- many of whom have limited time to give and expect to have their expertise put to good use. Join us and learn how to engage and harness the power of skilled volunteers with talents ranging from graphic design and public relations to event planning and leadership.

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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

No regional workshops are scheduled at this time.

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

2019     2018     2017     2016     2015     2014

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

FLS will be offering a half-day Continuing Education Workshop on Wednesday, November 13 from 1:30 - 4:30.
Achieving Success for the Friends through Strategic Planning

FLS has a full line-up of programs on topics relevant to Friends of the Library Groups on Friday, November 15 and Saturday, November 16

Friday, November 15
8:30 – 9:45 a.m. Friends of Libraries Section's Executive Board Meeting
11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Fund-raising Without Book Sales
2:15 – 3:30 p.m. Sustainable Thinking for Friends
3:45 – 5 p.m. FLS Annual Meeting and Friendly Café Meet-Up

Saturday, November 16
9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. 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 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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