Friends of the Library Sections (FLS) Update
Submitted by Terry Mulee, FLS Communications Committee Representative
Representatives of Friends of the Library groups and foundations from seventeen public libraries gathered to talk with the members of the Friends of Libraries Section’s Executive Board at the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library on May 15. A total of 42 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. The “meet-up” followed the annual in-person FLS Executive Board Meeting which is held in varying locations around the state.
The third annual “meet-up” continued to engage groups with the same mission. As in Vestal in 2015 and Marcellus in 2016, Friends suggested topics they were interested in discussing with the FLS Board and other Friends groups. One topic raised was marketing Friends membership to the community. Going around the table, more than three dozen ways to promote Friends membership were gathered from the participants.
Other topics of discussion were strategies to successfully recruit volunteers as active members to carry out Friends projects and creative fund-raisers and money earning ventures beyond book sales. In the latter discussion, Friends have offered trips (both by motor coach and international travel), pasta dinners, silent auctions, and house and garden tours. Some groups use “passive” ways to fund-raise including Amazon Smile accounts and letting the community know that the library is appreciative to receive memorial gifts. Large scale book sales are always 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.
National Friends of Libraries Week (NFOLW), October 15-21, was mentioned as a way to highlight the “good works” of Friends. FLS will once again be selling facsimile copies of the proclamation recognizing NFOLW that was secured by Senator Joe Robach in the NYS Senate. (See the June FLS newsletter for details.)
The FLS Board shared the plans for workshops on “Friends Day” at NYLA’s annual conference in Saratoga Springs in November, 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 FLS Executive Board extends a sincere thank you to the Friends of the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Library for hosting the meet-up. Their hospitality made all feel welcome and the wonderful spread of refreshments was greatly appreciated. It was truly an example of the FLS motto, “Friends helping friends!”
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 at FLS.email@example.com. 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!
FLS Annual Election
The FLS Executive Board approved the following slate of candidates to be placed on the ballot for the FLS election to be held June 15 through July 15:
First Vice President/President Elect:
Members at Large:
The term for each officer is from the NYLA Annual Conference, November 2017, through the Annual Conference, November 2019. The Vice President/President-Elect serves from 2017 through 2020. The library systems noted indicate the candidates’ residency.
The FLS election is held online. Members eligible to vote will be notified by a message from the Association to indicate the election is open. This e-mail blast will detail the log in process for casting ballots through NYLA’s Online Membership Center. Only the
primary contact person is eligible to vote on behalf of the Friends organizational members. (Elected officers registered with NYLA through a Friends group’s organizational membership are not eligible to take part in the election.)
The FLS Board thanks these candidates for their willingness to serve the Section by sharing their time, talent, and expertise.