Friends of Libraries (FLS) Section - October Update

Submitted by Terry Mulee, FLS 2nd VP & Communications Chair


FLS creates a network to connect and inspire Friends groups in all types of libraries to support the New York library community.
Revised Mission of FLS, passed by the Executive Board on May 20, 2020

FLS Commitment to Diversity

The Friends of Libraries Section (FLS) of the New York Library Association embraces and promotes diversity and inclusion in all their forms.

FLS Commitment to Diversity

Adopted by the FLS Board on March 25, 2021


FLS Annual Membership Meeting - Our Second Virtual Meeting!

In 2020, amid the pandemic, FLS decided to hold its Annual Membership Meeting virtually. It was so well attended and so well received that we decided to go virtual again.

The 2021 FLS Annual Membership Meeting will be held on Thursday, November 18, from 2:00-3:30.  The many activities, projects, and accomplishments of FLS will be highlighted and the 2021 recipients of the FLS Randall Enos Conference Scholarship and the FLS Daniel W. Casey Library Advocacy Award will be recognized. Come and welcome incoming FLS President Kerstin Cruger and meet members of the Executive Board, including our auxiliary volunteers, from this year and for 2021-22.

Following the business portion of the meeting, Karen Ash, Chair of the Friends of Angelica Free Library, will share their use of Facebook to engage residents of all ages. They advocated for their library and promoted a series of fundraisers and "family fun" projects.

All personal and organizational members of FLS, as well as interested NYLA members, are invited to participate. There is no charge to attend. Registration begins Monday, October 11 through Friday, November 12, at 5 p.m. To register please send an email to with "Annual Meeting" in the subject line. Registrants will receive a confirmation email with the Zoom link and any other pertinent information prior to the event. Hope to see you there!


FLS on the “National Stage”

Erica Freudenberger, Outreach and Engagement Consultant for the Southern Adirondack Library System, and Lisa C. Wemett, Coordinator for Professional Development and Past President of the Friends of Libraries Section, will be presenting virtually at the 2021 Conference of the Association for Rural and Small Libraries in October. Their session, "Beyond Younger Volunteers: What Rural Friends Groups Need to Thrive" highlights the FLS survey of Friends volunteers that support rural and small libraries and the implications of these research findings.

FLS is planning multiple initiatives to assist these organizations for long-term success including its popular FLS Connections – virtual gatherings to discuss issues specific to these libraries' Friends groups. This fall, FLS is also offering a free subscription service, "Membership in a Minute," to send weekly membership tips to help Friends volunteers grow their membership base.  


16th Annual National Friends of Libraries Week - October 17-23

United for Libraries will coordinate the 16th annual National Friends of Libraries Week Oct. 17-31, 2021. The celebration offers a two-fold opportunity to celebrate Friends. Use the time to creatively promote your group in the community, to raise awareness, and to promote membership. A helpful free webinar offers ideas on how to celebrate National Friends of Libraries Week within your group, library, and community. Speakers Judy Bentzen (Friends of the San Juan Island Library) and Katie Norris (Friends of the Charleston Public Library) present on their National Friends of Libraries Week Award-winning projects from previous years. 

Learn about promotional materials and the ALA Store’s new customizable products designed specifically for Friends at 
Access the webinar at 


FLS offerings for the NYLA 2021 Conference, Libraries: We're ALL In!

Click here for a complete overview of FLS at #NYLA2021.

Virtual Conference, October 28 & 29, 2021
Friday, October 29 | 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. (live broadcast)
ABCs of Best Practices for Friends Groups - Presented by Lisa C. Wemett

Fundraising Without Book Sales (On-Demand Program) - Panelists: Emily Cullings, Friends of the Hampton Bays Library, Mary Giardini, Friends of the Olean Public Library, and Helen Rados, Friends of the Ethelbert B. Crawford Public Library

NYLA Conference, November 3 - Saturday, November 6, 2021 (In-Person)
Wednesday, November 3 | Half Day CE Session
Financial FAQs for Nonprofits - Presented by John C. Parcell IV, CPA and Certified Fraud Examiner, and Nathan B. Wray, EA
See article below for more information on this Continuing Education opportunity.

Friday, November 5 | 2:15 - 3:30 p.m.
Friendly Relationships, Working Together for the Library - Panelists: Library Director Travis Olivera and Trustee David Hopper from the Hamilton Public Library and Diane Finch, Friends of the Hamilton Public Library


FLS Offers CE Workshop - Financial FAQs for Nonprofits

Date: Wednesday, November 3, 1:30 - 4:30 p.m.

FLS will host a half-day continuing education workshop as part of the pre-conference offerings in advance of NYLA’s Annual Conference in Syracuse. Participants may enroll in this workshop independently from the NYLA Annual Conference (November 3-6). Conference registration is not required to attend; fees are reduced for NYLA personal and organizational members.  

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.

Registration is required online. For those members registering between August 1 and September 30, the charge is $65 at the early bird rate for the 3-hour session. Those not yet members of NYLA pay $90 during this early bird period. After October 8, the fees increase to $80 and $105 for members and non-members, respectively.  

Target audience: Officers/Treasurers of Friends of Libraries groups or other nonprofit organizations, library administrators, library trustees of public and association libraries, and treasurers of library boards of trustees.

John C. Parcell IV is a Certified Public Accountant and owner of John C. Parcell IV Accounting in Canton, which provides a wide range of accounting services, assisting nonprofits as well as commercial businesses and healthcare organizations. John serves as an internal auditor for the Potsdam Public Library. He received his Associate's degree in Accounting from SUNY College of Technology at Canton in 1992 and his BS in Accounting from Clarkson University in 1994. John has been licensed as a Certified Fraud Examiner since December 2004.

Nathan B. Wray, EA, received his Associate's degree in Accounting from SUNY Canton College in 2010 and his BS in Finance from SUNY Canton in 2013. He became an enrolled agent with the IRS in January 2021. Nathan is a federally licensed tax practitioner with the right to represent taxpayers, trusts, estates, and corporations when dealing with issues with the IRS, such as tax appeals, collections, and audits. He has been practicing accounting with John C. Parcell IV, CPA, CFE since 2013. Currently, Nathan is a non-for-profit audit manager who manages all the firm’s attestation engagements. 


Save the Date!!

National Friends of Libraries Week - October 17-23; Let us know if you do something special during NFOLW. Send an email with details and photos to 
Virtual Conference - October 28 & 29
FLS CE Workshop; Financial FAQs for Nonprofits - Wednesday, November 3, 1:30 - 4:30 p.m.
In-Person Conference - November 3 - 6
FLS Annual Membership Meeting via Zoom - November 18, 2:00-3:30 p.m.


FLS Newsletters

Visit FLS Publications ( > Publications)
The Friends of Libraries Section newsletter, Friends News and Notes, Volume 7, Issue #4 is available online. Full details on FLS offerings for the NYLA 2021 Conference - Libraries: We're ALL In! - are included in this issue for both the virtual and in-person formats. Register now! You'll also find a PDF detailing FLS offerings at the virtual and in-person conferences.

Volume 7, Issue #3 of the FLS Friends News and Notes newsletter is now available. Preliminary details on FLS offerings for the NYLA 2021 Conference, Libraries: We're ALL In!, are included in this issue, along with the FLS 2021 Election Slate. You’ll also find invaluable fundraising information beyond the book sale as well as Book Shop Guidance! There’s a little something for everyone in these jam packed eight pages.

Volume 7, Issue #2 of the FLS Friends News and Notes newsletter is available online. This issue invites you to apply for the FLS Randall Enos Conference Scholarship and/or submit a nomination for the FLS Daniel W. Casey Library Advocacy Award. There’s a Message from FLS President, Karen Sperrazza and an interesting article about meeting minutes. You’ll also find Part 2 of When Book Sales Just Aren’t Enough. The first installment of this collection of fundraising ideas appeared in the June 2020 issue of Friends News and Notes.

Volume 7, Issue #1 of the FLS Friends News and Notes newsletter is available online. You’ll find recaps of 2020 NYLA Virtual Conference events and sessions, along with information on the FLS Focus on Friends Webinar Series. We strive to include relevant and useful information for Friends, trustees, staff, and other library advocates in each issue. Visit > Publications to view FLS newsletters.


FLS Active Member Form

Are you looking for ways to become more involved with the Friends of Libraries Section? Please complete an Active Member Form. Many hands make light work. There’s an opportunity waiting just for you!

Contact FLS at