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

Governor Bill Lee and Secretary of State Tre Hargett have recognized October 20-26, 2019 as Friends of Libraries Week in Tennessee. You can download a copy of their proclamation from the Friends of Tennessee Libraries website.

Russellville, Ky. 

The Friends of the Logan County Public Library celebrated NFOLW by showcasing the past 50 years of the Friends with a PowerPoint presentation that highlighted past members and events from the last five decades. Lunch was provided to library staff in appreciation of their ongoing efforts to providing a warm, friendly, and educational environment for all the citizens of Logan county. The Friends assembled seven gift baskets, filled to the brim with books, for library patrons. The baskets included a book bag and books from several genres, including children’s books. Each day, library patrons could sign up to win the basket. Library staff chose a name at the end of the day and contacted the winners.

Hollywood, Fla.

Stirling Road Libraries Friends’ Bookmark Contest accepted submissions from August 29 through September 23. Winners were chosen from three categories (ages 6-12, 13-17, and 18 & over) and each received a $25 Amazon gift card. Winning bookmarks were printed and distributed during NFOL Week in October.

Centerville, Md.

On Tuesday, October 16, Friends of Queen Anne’s County Library hosted an author panel discussion of Bay to Ocean 2018: The Year’s Best Writing from the Eastern Shore Writers Association. Featured writers included Brent Lewis, Ann Hymes, Nancy McCloy, David Healey, and Barbara Lockhart. Event was free to attend; copies of the book were made available for purchase.

Eau Claire, Wis.

On Sunday, Oct. 21, through Saturday, Oct. 27, Friends of the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library sponsored its sixth annual “Riddle Me Readers” book hunt for children in celebration of National Friends of Libraries Week. Kindergartners through fifth graders were encouraged to pick up a riddle at the Youth Services desk at the Library and hunt for the book that matched the riddle, entering for a chance to win prizes at the end of the week.

Charleston, S.C.

Charleston Friends of the Library held their first ever Board Reunion Celebration on Sunday, October 21 from 2pm to 4pm in celebration of National Friends of Libraries Week. Attendees honored all past and present board members over the course of 30+ years for their contributions and dedication to the Charleston Friends of the Library, with a special focus on Founder Sara Briebart.  Food and wine was provided.

Ripley, Tenn.

The Friends of the Lauderdale County Library celebrated Friends Week with a book signing by Susanna Lancaster, author of The Growing Rock. The novel is a story about a young girl who came of age during the Depression. Ms. Lancaster signed copies of her book on October 26, 2018 at the Lauderdale County Library, where she also presented an autographed copy to Jan Houston, librarian, and Susan Wieber, president of The Friends of the Lauderdale County Library.

Upper Darby, Pa.

Before, during and after National Friends of the Libraries' week, Friends of the Upper Darby Libraries promoted their Food for Thought dinner and auction, held on November 4, 2018. The event serves as the Friends’ best fundraiser, where they distribute gift baskets, hold silent auctions, and more. Volunteers make and donate quilts to be raffled off at the end of the evening. The Friends also promote membership on the Library’s website and social media with custom-made graphics and event alerts.

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 united@ala.org.