CHICAGO — Executive Director of United for Libraries and former Executive Director of Friends of Libraries U.S.A., Sally Gardner Reed has decades of experience liaising between Friends groups and the libraries that they support, serve, and (sometimes) exasperate. Her new book “The Good, the Great, and the Unfriendly: A Librarian's Guide to Working with Friends Groups,” published by ALA Editions, cuts to chase of building and maintaining these important relationships, showing not only how to effectively harness Friends’ goodwill and enthusiasm but also sharing tactful techniques for steering an ineffective or unfriendly group down the right path. Her pragmatic approach will resonate with public and academic library directors, volunteer coordinators, and other library staff who work with Friends. Written with knowing humor and focused on getting positive results, this book:
- provides guidance for developing a Friends group for public and academic libraries;
- explains how to merge a Friends group with a foundation;
- gives pointers on encouraging Friends to attract new and active members, working with the Friends board to develop leadership skills, and other crucial partnership strategies;
- addresses the sticky situation of “unfriendly” Friends, with sage advice on handling Friends who seem unmotivated when it comes to fundraising or advocacy, are uncommunicative, overstep their bounds, and other difficult issues; and
- shares fundraising, advocacy, programs, and membership development best practices from Friends groups across the country.
Reed is the executive director of United for Libraries, a division of the American Library Association. United for Libraries provides support, education, and consultation to those groups affiliated with their local libraries to help increase and maximize their support—such as Friends, Trustees and Foundation members—along with library directors who work with them. Prior to accepting this position in 2002, she spent nearly 20 years in library administration. She is the author of nine books on library management, advocacy, volunteering, and fundraising, as well as numerous articles for professional library journals. She has presented programs and workshops to hundreds of Friends of Library groups, library boards, and librarian groups, nationally and internationally. She was the 2000 recipient of ALA’s Herbert and Virginia White Award for promoting libraries and librarianship
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