Promotion and Celebration Ideas for Friends Groups
Tips From United for Libraries
Download the sample proclamation, tailor it to your community or campus, and ask the mayor, principal, or president of the college to sign.
- Place copies of the proclamation (public or academic) in visible places in the library.
- Reprint the proclamation in the Friends' and/or library newsletter.
- Place a copy of the proclamation on the Friends' and/or library website.
Plan a membership drive to coordinate with National Friends of Libraries Week.
- Place a special display in the library's lobby (main and branches) that includes copies of your membership brochure. Make it creative and fun and tell the story of the Friends through pictures and props.
- Schedule volunteers to staff the table or display during busy times at the library. Be sure to recruit outgoing volunteers who are willing and able to "sell" the Friends. Hand out membership brochures, and consider offering a membership "special" with a reduced rate, 15 months for the price of 12, or a special drawing for those who join during a specified time.
Contact the newspaper about a feature article about your Friends group and all the great work you have done on behalf of your library.
- Download the sample press release and add information about your group.
- Highlight your programs, money donated to the library, number of volunteer hours, etc. - anything that helps to paint the picture of how your group supports the library.
- Create a photo opportunity in advance of or during National Friends of Libraries Week. A picture of the Friends receiving a proclamation from the Mayor or City Council can be submitted to the local newspaper, included on the Friends' website and can be reprinted in your newsletter.
Good Ideas from the Network: Friends
Please share your Good Idea for celebrating National Friends of Libraries Week and we'll add it to the growing list of ideas. Email your idea to email@example.com.
Friends of The Cambria Heights Library (Queens, NY)
The Friends will launch National Friends of Libraries Week by participating in a Breast Cancer Walk on Oct. 18, 2009. The Friends will also be initiating a "Buy a shelf of books to support our library" campaign, recruiting new members, and initiating participation in The Art Miles Project 2010, a United Nations initiative that ushers in 2010 as the decade of peace with a canvas painting of words and images of positive messages that will be mounted in Egypt in 2010.
Friends of the Allen (TX) Public Library
The Friends held a "Chocolate Friendzy" celebration during National Friends of Libraries Week to thank their members for supporting the Friends. Admission is free to all members, and any nonmember who wants to attend simply joins.
This was the 25th anniversary of the Friends of the Allen (TX) Public Library, so they had a special demonstration by the Guinness Book of Records holder for strawberry-dipping in chocolate, Collin Gouldin. He broke his own record, dipping 54 strawberries in one minute!
The main event of the evening is the chocolate goodies competition. Members sign up to bring chocolate goodies. The Friends have judges who get to sample everything (there were 19 entries this year) and judge which is the best in each category, plus a "Chocolate Champion" (the best of the best). There is also a "People's Choice" winner. Pictured is Jill Stroud (left), the 2008 Chocolate Friendzy chairman, and Jean Mattock, the 2008 'Chocolate Champion.'
Pasco County (FL) Library System
Friends, library staff, Board members, and county officials recognized National Friends of Libraries Week with an official proclamation in Hudson, FL.
Pictured below from left to right, Pasco County Library System Director Linda Allen; Friends President Loraine Cors; Pasco County Commissioner Ann Hildebrand; Land O'Lakes Friends member Susanne Abbott; Land O'Lakes Friends member Joan Clark; Land O'Lakes Library Branch Manager Nancy Fredericks; Marilynn deChant, New Port Richey City Council; Betty Holland, Library Advisory Board member.
Friends of the Fayette County (GA) Public Library
The Fayette County Commission issued a proclamation of October 19-25, 2008 as National Friends of Libraries Week and recognized the Friends of the Fayette County Public Library for their contributions to the Fayette County Library. Commission Chairman Jack Smith presented the official proclamation to President Arlys Ferrell and thanked the Friends for their volunteerism and financial support of the library staff and programs.
Pictured are: Arlys Ferrell, President, Dortha Stinson, Vice President, Jim Born, Vice Treasurer, Maureen Born, Hospitality, Jack Smith, County Commissioner, Christeen Snell, Library Director.
Friends of the Richard Bland College Library (College of William & Mary, Petersburg, VA)
The Friends hosted a "Fabulous Flea Market Auction" during National Friends of Libraries Week. In addition to the auction, the Friends also hosted a Longaberger basket and baking dish raffle.
Pictured are: Co-chair of the Friends of Richard Bland College Library, Carole Summerville, with Richard Bland College student Michael Austin drawing the winning ticket for the Longaberger basket. To the left, student library assistants Alan Bartlett and Jill Baugher.
2007 National Friends of Libraries Week Award Winner: Friends of the Fountain Valley (CA) Public Library
The Friends of the Fountain Valley (CA) Public Library worked with Adult Services of the Orange County Public Library to coordinate a workshop for the many different Friends groups who support the county's libraries. The workshop offered a chance for these groups to get to know each other and to share their ideas and experiences. Held at a local restaurant, the program featured a guest speaker followed by a Q&A session which covered everything from attracting new members to tax and financial issues. It was at this point during the program that many of the library staff in attendance got the chance to publicly express their gratitude towards their Friends. After the Q&A attendees visited display tables set up by the various Friends groups before enjoying lunch. In addition to helping to coordinate this event, the Friends held a visit by a local author in celebration of National Friends of Libraries Week. The staff of the library also set up a special display honoring the Friends. The display included Friends' scrapbooks from as far back as 15 years, which not only illustrated the Friends commitment to the library, but served as a “walk back in time” for the community. The display proved to be so popular with patrons that it has yet to be replaced. The group also used the bookmarks with quotes from FOLUSA’s website to create bookmarks. They even added ribbons to the end and a sticker on the back that read “Thanks for your support! Friends of the FV Library - 2007.”
2007 National Friends of Libraries Week Award Winner: Friends of the Marion Mohr Memorial Public Library, Johnston, RI
Utilizing the quotes provided by FOLUSA as a framework, the Friends of the Marion Mohr Memorial Public Library in Johnston, RI, created visual representations to invoke a strong sense of connection to the past, present, and future of libraries in our society. The quilted pattern of their display board was chosen to illustrate the passing on of knowledge, traditions, and stories which libraries have long represented throughout history. Each quote was represented as an individual square which is bordered with artwork that captures the unique spirit of the individual's insight into the role public libraries have played in shaping our world. The creative display allowed the Friends to capture the attention of library patrons in order to share the mission of the Friends: to assist in the growth, development, and promotion of the library's services, facilities, and programs. Recent fundraising efforts were highlighted including their newly designed Friends merchandise (mugs and bags). Information was provided to elicit new members and laminated bookmarks were distributed featuring the quotes with borders complementing the display board. The display board was a big hit with members, patrons, and library staff, and will be used for future Friends’ outreach activities involving school, the senior center, and town related activities.
2007 National Friends of Libraries Week Award Winner: Library Friends of Conroe (TX)
The Library Friends of Conroe (TX) began their celebration by coordinating a proclamation signed by a Montgomery County Judge on October 8. “Make Friends with a Good Book” was the theme of an open house held on October 25 during which the Friends donated books to the library on behalf of Boy Scout Troop 292 for their help with book sales, several library staff members for their outstanding support of the Friends, and charter Friends member Jeanette DeFee, among others. A picture of DeFee and Friends President Vicki Christopher was published in the local newspaper. A table was set up in the library during National Friends of Libraries Week with large thank you cards from the public, bookmarks, and brochures about the Friends. In addition, copies of Quiet Strength by Tony Dungy were given to the county commissioners, county judge, and mayor, thanking them for supporting the library system. These books featured a bookplate, “In recognition of National Friends of Libraries Week, please accept this book as a token of appreciation for all that you do to improve our city. The quiet strength that Coach Dungy refers to in his book is reflected in your character that makes us proud to call Montgomery County our home.”
New members who joined the Friends of the Forth Worth (TX) Public Library (or current members who renewed) during October received a free 2008 Book Lover’s Calendar.
The Friends of Sara Hightower Regional Library in Rome, GA, celebrated with an author reception featuring Georgia Author of the Year, Jacyln White.
Hmmm, chocolate! The Friends of the Cadillac Wexford Public Library in Cadillac, MI, hosted an evening of Chocolate Delight. For $7.00 attendees received a one-year membership, an evening meeting with other “fans” of the library, and tempting chocolate desserts! Current members were also encouraged to attend, extend their membership, and enjoy an evening with fellow “Friends.”
More chocolate! The Friends of the Allen Public Library in Allen, TX, hosted its annual Chocolate Membership Celebration during National Friends of Libraries Week. A special bonus - they raffled a weekend driving a Mercedes Benz!
The Friends of the Tellico Village Library in Loudon, TN celebrated with a full week of activities and a membership drive featuring door prizes each day. Sunday started the week with a picnic for all Friends board members and library volunteers. On Wednesday the group held its annual meeting with guest speaker Dr. William Bass, founder and director of the University of Tennessee Forensic Anthropology Center, popularly known as the “Body Farm.” The group even provided transportation to members within the Village who do not drive at night!
Columbia College Chicago Friends of the Library in Chicago, IL, celebrated with a membership drive, movie screening, and display of special collections not generally viewed by the public (complete with library staff to answer questions).
The county commissioners in Conroe, TX approved a proclamation for National Friends of Libraries Week. The Library Friends of Conroe celebrated by distributing bookmarks to patrons.
Friends of the Belen Public Library in Belen, NM, and Friends of the Wethersfield Library in Wethersfield, CT, promoted National Friends of Libraries Week in their newsletters urging patrons to join the Friends. Both groups explained what they do on behalf of the library and encouraged readers to join and help support their library.
Email your good idea for National Friends of Libraries Week to firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the list above.