Friends Day is Back at Niagara Falls in September
After a year’s hiatus, the Empire Friends Roundtable (EFR) will be back in force with their Friends Day at the NYLA Annual Conference this fall on Friday, September 27, in the Niagara Falls Convention Center. EFR is looking forward to reconnecting with all the Friends of Libraries groups in New York State, most especially with those in Western New York.
Friends Day always garners a lot of enthusiasm. It is a time for all of us who love libraries to come together to share ideas on how best to support and nurture them. Sometimes we at Empire Friends think we’ve heard it all, but then at one of our workshops we learn about a Friends activity in a small library somewhere in our state and wonder, “That’s terrific! Why didn’t we think of that?”
Friends groups ignite and support the imagination of our library staff members, patrons, and ultimately, the community by helping their ideas come to fruition. Let’s get excited about our work to support our libraries and keep that spark alive! Members of Friends groups may purchase a special one-day admission to the conference for only $25. Come and support your fellow Friends as they share their ideas and best practices, ones that we know you’ll want to implement back home.
Friday was selected for Friends Day so anyone involved in Friends groups might have an opportunity to visit the NYLA Trade Show. EFR will be having a booth. Stop by to buy a raffle ticket, meet your fellow Friends members, and hear our short chit-chat sessions. At 10:15 a.m., Terri Dalton and Ann Ryan of
the Friends of the Irondequoit Public Library will discuss “Raising Awareness with Community Organizations.”
EFR will be offering three one-hour programs on Friday plus a networking luncheon. In Moving Friends’ Records to Cloud Storage, Polly-Alida Farrington, Technology Consultant & Trainer, PA Farrington Associates, will focus on ways Friends groups can archive membership and financial records with Web-based storage. Working with the library staff, volunteers are responsible for maintaining and storing many documents and records. In this basic overview of “cloud storage,” Polly will focus on what features your group should consider before selecting a host company for your records. What are the costs for cloud storage and how much storage do you need? What kinds of customer support are available from the company? Should you just stick with USB drives instead? What should you still duplicate in paper? Polly will compare free online backup services that might inspire you to sell that filing cabinet in the next library sale.
Please join in some Friendly conversation and face-to-face networking with other Friendly colleagues at the Empire Friends Luncheon. This event is open to all NYLA conference attendees, especially any representatives of Friends of the Library groups participating in “Friends Day.” The luncheon will be held at the Castellani Art Museum at the Falls, attached to the Convention Center. Tickets are $25 per person and advance registration is required.
If all your Friends large-scale volunteer endeavors revolve around book sales and other fund-raising events, think again. In Beyond the Book Sale, our panel will share what their groups are doing to involve their members and communities in other types of volunteer projects. Friends can “Adopt-a-Shelf” to shelf read library materials, keeping them in proper order; they can spruce up the children’s area with a mural and new furnishings; and they can raise funds and build a greater sense of community with a walk between two branch libraries. The audience will be encouraged to share their own success stories. Our panelists include Cindy Costa, Wadsworth Library (Geneseo); Ann Ryan, Friends of the Irondequoit Public Library; and Deb Leary, Arnett Branch, Rochester Public Library.
Finally, you will want to join EFR for a short annual membership meeting, including the presentation of the Dan Casey Library Advocacy Award honoring volunteers who have contributed to the growth of libraries or Friends organizations in New York State. Our program Reaching Out to Younger Volunteer Friends will follow immediately. What’s the average age of a member of your Friends group? If everyone in your group is retirement age, who will follow the “boomers” as volunteers to help the library in 10 years? Join in our discussion on how to attract younger adults to work on Friends initiatives. Whether it’s a change in meeting times, offering tangible short-term jobs, maintaining a “family-friendly” environment with flexible schedules, or providing scheduling options for training volunteers who work full-time, there are many ways to reach out to younger volunteers. Our panelists include Susan Klick, Friends of the Scottsville Free Library; Stephanie Heywood, Friends of the Mendon Public Library; and Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, Coordinator for Library Growth and Sustainability, Mid-Hudson Library System.
The Empire Friends Roundtable Executive Board wants to welcome you to Niagara Falls! Please join us for this line-up of activities designed with Friends members in mind.