Tips from United for Libraries
- Assist the Friends in getting the proclamation signed by your city or campus official.
- Offer a prominent location in the library where the Friends can coordinate a display and/or a membership table during National Friends of Libraries Week.
- Include information in the library's newsletter.
- Use this opportunity to evaluate how the library currently helps promote the Friends. Look for additional opportunities to promote the Friends on an ongoing basis, including membership, programs, and fundraisers. Consider a bulletin board in a prominent location, brochure holders at the circulation desk, bookmarks distributed by the circulation staff, and other simple ways to promote the Friends to all patrons.
- Tell your city or campus officials how important the Friends are to the ongoing success of the library. Use this opportunity to convey to officials how the Friends raise money, promote the library, and volunteer in many ways.
- If you submit a monthly article or information to the mayor, city council, or college officials, be sure to talk about the contributions of the Friends. Make it personal and quantify the support whenever possible (amount of money donated, number of volunteer hours, number of programs supported and number of people who attended, etc.).
- Submit an article to a citywide or campus-wide publication. Tell the personal story of a longtime volunteer with the Friends, the impact of Friends support on programs, services, and/or collections, or how the Friends supported the library in another way.
- Create a large "Thank You" card to post near the display or membership table coordinated by the Friends (if they decide to do this). Ask staff to personalize the card and/or sign their names.
- Ask staff to write "Love Letters" to Friends that can be posted throughout the library showing their support. Include quotes in the library's newsletter and/or on the library's website. Personal recognition makes volunteers feel appreciated!
Good Ideas from the Network: Libraries
2007 National Friends of Libraries Week Award Winner: Hunterdon County (NJ) Library
The Hunterdon County (NJ) Library celebrated National Friends of Libraries Week with a colorful display entitled “We Treasure Our Friends,” featuring a treasure chest of “gold” medallions showing many of the items and services the Friends have given to the library system. Friends of Hunterdon County Library Liaison to the library staff Karen Kilpatrick collaborated with PR Chairperson and staff artist Jim Thatch to create the display. The display featured a treasure chest, which once opened, afforded an “eye-popping experience of some of the items and services the Friends have donated recently…” Photographs of the display were sent with a press release to local newspapers and library director Mark Titus wrote a letter to the editor (“Group is a Powerhouse”) which was printed in the primary local paper. Titus stated in the press release, “They are great community partners and prove it every year, all year round - from the outstanding Book Sale event to all the wonderful contributions and services to our library which help us enhance our offerings.” The display was on view for the public during National Friends of Libraries Week and the library invited all Friends members to stop by and see the display honoring their work. The display is now housed at the North County Branch in Clinton, NJ for all to see.
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.
Send your good idea for National Friends of Libraries Week to firstname.lastname@example.org to be included in the list above.