Resources for Friends Groups

The members of the FLS Task Force on Friends and Rural Libraries developed lists of potential suggestions and best practices with an emphasis on Friends groups that support small and rural libraries. Their work is here to share with all Friends. The Task Force has resource sheets on each challenge area and pertinent in-depth handouts from other FLS-sponsored continuing education sessions (i.e., webinars, conference presentations, regional workshops) that relate to the topic as well as links to content in the FLS “Friends News and Notes” newsletter archive. There are also a few samples of Friends webpages and social media accounts to inspire you, whatever the size of your Friends organization!

Visit this new Friends of the Library Section here.

Help for Your Friends Group

The Friends of Libraries Section (FLS) of the New York Library Association has a new segment of their webpage, "Resources for Friends Groups Supporting Small and Rural Libraries." The resource page is the culmination of an FLS project undertaken to learn more about volunteers who support under-resourced libraries and how FLS could better meet the needs of its members. Be sure to check out some of the FLS newsletters here to keep abreast of what is happening.

Resources on Specific Topics

But there is much here to help all Friends organizations, regardless of their size. Each division of the page has resource sheets for topic areas which address the challenges raised in the FLS 2021 survey of Friends groups supporting small and rural libraries. There are handouts developed by FLS members which relate to each subject, along with links to pertinent resources, templates, and work sheets. Whether your library is thinking about starting a Friends group or working to sustain a current group long-term by planning succession strategies, the resources here will help staff and library civic volunteers reach their goals. Help guide new volunteers as they step into important roles for your group by carefully reviewing job descriptions or writing them for the first time using the examples and templates on the resource page.

Beyond Younger Volunteers: White Paper on What Rural Friends Groups Need to Thrive

A white paper explores the needs of Friends organizations that assist small and rural libraries and provides recommendations to sustain these volunteer groups. The report, "Beyond Younger Volunteers: White Paper on What Rural Friends Groups Need to Thrive," is the result of the 2021 survey of libraries in New York and outlines the services offered by FLS in response to the challenges identified in the study. The white paper can be accessed for free, along with the original 40-question survey and a summary of the data.