Let’s face it – life is better when we have good friends to enjoy it with. Friends are always there to help us when we need a hand, and to support the many endeavors we may take on. In the same way, friends are a great asset to libraries. Many libraries have established Friends of the Library groups to support their activities and services. Friends groups exist to provide support to libraries in a variety of ways, from fundraising and volunteer services, to program support and advocating for the library in the community. Friends groups make a huge difference for libraries of all types, though they are most common in public libraries. If your library has an active, helpful friends group, good for you! It’s great to know that you have a built-in group of supporters who are ready to pitch in to help and to raise their voices in support of the library when the need arises. If you’re interested in getting a friends group started at your library in North Dakota, we’re here to help!
Through our statewide partnership with ALA’s United for Libraries, there are a number of resources available to help you get a friends of the library group up and running for your local public library. Using your library’s access credentials, log in to United for Libraries. The Friends and Foundations Zone contains a number of helpful documents related to starting a friends group, including:
- “Starting a Friends Group or Revitalizing the One You Have” (Toolkit)
- “Friends and Libraries: Working Effectively Together”
All North Dakota public libraries, along with their friends and trustees, have full access to United for Libraries. If you’ve misplaced your library’s access credentials or need assistance logging in, contact your NDSL Field Services representative.
United for Libraries also has a number additional, freely available tools and resources for libraries and friends. Just go to the Friends Groups section of the United for Libraries site.
Finally, United for Libraries will be offering a free webinar on how to start a friends group at 12:00 p.m. Central time on Tuesday, October 22. This webinar will be held in conjunction with the eighth annual National Friends of Libraries week, Oct. 20-26. United for Libraries executive director Sally Gardner Reed will present this session on the benefits of having a friends of the library group and the basics of how to start a group for your library. Click here to register for this great free webinar, and to access additional friends group resources issued in conjunction with National Friends of Libraries Week.