Organizational Tools for Friends Groups

The most effective Boards have highly effective organizational structure. Whether starting a new Friends group or engaging in a strategic planning process to revitalize your Friends or Library, you can learn from others' mission statements, policies, and bylaws. You don't have to develop or improve your structure from scratch. United for Libraries has provided you with samples that you can modify or copy for your own use. Use the links in the menu at left to access these samples.

NEW: Free Toolkits

Libraries Need Friends: Starting a Friends Group or Revitalizing the One You Have (PDF, 100 kb) by Sally Gardener Reed, Executive Director, United for Libraries, is a free toolkit geared mostly toward public library Friends groups, but with good tips on membership and outreach for Friends groups of any type.

Academic Library Friends: A Toolkit for Getting Started – You Can Do This! (PDF, 165 kb) by Charles D. Hanson, Director of Kettering Library Services, Kettering University, is a free toolkit from United for Libraries geared toward starting a Friends group at a community college or university.

Friends Groups: Critical Support for School Libraries (PDF, 66 kb), by Sally Gardner Reed, Executive Director, United for Libraries, is a free toolkit geared toward school librarians looking to create a Friends group of parents, faculty, and community members and/or a Student Friends Group.

Helpful Tools

An operating agreement between the Friends and the library is useful when definining the role of the Friends, how the library director and staff will work with the Friends, and what type of support the library will provide the Friends. An example is provided for your group to edit for your specific needs.

Understanding Roles: The Separate But Complementary Roles of Friends, Trustees, and Library Directors (PDF, 58 kb) will help you define the roles of the Friends, Trustees, and library staff in working together to support the library. United for Libraries personal and group members also have access to an annotated version of this resource, available in the Friends & Foundation Zone or the Trustee Zone with a login and password. If you are a member and need a login, please e-mail united@ala.org. Once logged in, look for the toolkit called Model Friends Cooperative Network.

Research

Fundraising by Friends of the Library Groups: Profitability Trends and Effectiveness of Recent Initiatives (PDF 1.26 MB), a report by Southern Connecticut State University student Sally Neale.

If your Friends groups would like to submit a sample of your bylaws, mission statement, or policies for inclusion here, please e-mail united@ala.org.