United for Libraries Webinars

United for Libraries now offers affordable recorded webinars/webcasts that you can access 24/7 from the comfort of your own home, work, or the library. All you need is a computer with speakers or headset, Internet connection, and a Web browser. United for Libraries personal and group members receive significant discounts on the registration cost.

Merging a Friends and Foundation

Registration Form (PDF, 190 kb)

In the library world today, there is a huge need for support organizations – Friends & foundations-  but often the lines between these two groups are blurred and their work counter-productive. In this webinar, presenters Peter Pearson and Sue Hall discuss the difference in the roles of Friends and foundations and identify areas where there can be conflict – and present strategies for minimizing conflict. They also address the question “When is it time for the two organizations to merge?” and share solutions for engaging in a merger process that minimizes pain and maximizes potential. Pearson and Hall also talk about national challenges and trends for Friends and foundations.

By participating in this webinar you will learn:

  • What is happening to Friends groups and foundations across the country;
  • To identify the warning signs that your support organizations should consider merging;
  • What a merged organization should look like;
  • How to conduct a process that honors members of both organizations;
  • How to ensure that the newly-merged organization is successful.

PETER PEARSON is the President of The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library (the Library’s foundation) and Lead Consultant with Library Strategies. One of the leading experts on library development and advocacy in the U.S., Pearson has led The Friends for nearly twenty-five years and is recognized as one of the most successful library fundraisers in the country.  Pearson is in heavy demand as a consultant on fundraising, development, advocacy, growing library foundations, and board development. Pearson has grown The Friends from an all-volunteer organization to a robust library support organization with 17 staff, including 5 fundraising staff.  The Friends has provided more than $1 million in annual support to the Saint Paul Public Library for over 15 years running.   The Friends comprehensive development program includes major donor giving, annual campaigns, a highly successful fundraiser grossing over $300,000 annually, planned giving, extensive grant writing, corporate sponsorship, and more.   Pearson works with a powerful fundraising board of 52 members, and he has led two successful capital campaigns for the Saint Paul Library system.  With the board, Pearson manages an asset portfolio currently valued at $18 million.

SUE HALL is the Director of Library Strategies, a consulting group of The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library.   Hall has over twenty years of experience working with libraries and library organizations in the areas of fundraising, strategic planning and capacity building.  Since Hall and Pearson founded Library Strategies, the consulting group has worked in 37 states and eastern Europe. Hall coordinated The Friends major fundraiser, Opus & Olives, for twelve years.  The event was dubbed “the biggest book gala in the country” by Publishers Weekly and has raised over $1 million for The Friends over the history of the event.

Both Hall and Pearson were contributing writers to Public Libraries bi-monthly fundraising column and were authors of Library Strategies’ book, Beyond Book Sales: Raising Real Money for Your Library, which was published by Neal Schuman Publishers, through American Library Association Publications.

Short Takes for Trustees logoShort Takes for Trustees

Short Takes for Trustees is a series of 10 short videos (8-10 minutes each) that can be shown during Trustee meetings to stimulate discussion about the important role that Trustees play in the governance of their libraries. Topics in the series explain the basics, such as what it means to be a Trustee (discussing the broad fiduciary responsibilities of governing boards as well as the limits of an advisory board), as well as how to set policy, how to evaluate the library director (and why you should!), along with board self evaluation, and the ethical and parliamentary standards for boards — both governing and advisory.

The courses are: What It Means to Be a Trustee; Board Meetings; Board Ethics; Library Advocacy; Library Policies; Strategic Planning; Working with Friends; Evaluating the Library Director; Board Self Evaluation, and Succession Planning and New Board Orientation. Learn more about the series, pricing, and how to register.

If you have already registered for Short Takes for Trustees, or are part of a statewide group membership, please click here to access the videos (login required).

Library Campaign Training Institute logoFREE Webinar Series: Library Campaign Training Institute

Developed and presented by Libby Post of Communication Services, the Library Campaign Training Institute will teach attendees how to create, market, and implement an effective advocacy campaign for your library. The Library Campaign Training Institute is jointly sponsored by the ALA Office for Library Advocacy and United for Libraries. Click here to learn more and access the recorded sessions. Sessions include:

  • Building Your Base
  • The Best Defense is a Good Defense
  • Message, Marketing & Media
  • Connecting with YES Voters
  • Get Out the Vote

FREE Webinar: Responding to a Budget Crisis

Learn how to develop a campaign for your library in a budget crisis from a group that fought for an additional $3.8 million for their library system. Find out how to work with the media, get publicity, find creative ways to campaign, and more. Watch the free recording (50 minutes).

Speakers include Kate Park, executive director of the Friends of the Dallas (Texas) Public Library; Patti Clapp, advocacy chair of the Friends, and Sally Reed, executive director of United for Libraries. 

Friends of the Dallas (Texas) Public Library was one of 20 recipients of the Neal-Schuman Citizens-Save-Libraries grants. The library had experienced budget cuts of 40%, leaving it the worst funded urban library system in the country. The Friends used their training to develop an advocacy plan that resulted in the library receiving an additional $3.8 million to hire 92 full-time employees, allowing the library to open 12 branches for 50 hours a week.

FREE Webinar: Anatomy of a Successful Library Campaign: Real World Tips for Getting the Funding You Need

In celebration of the ninth annual National Friends of Libraries Week, United for Libraries recorded a webinar with Libby Post of Communication Services and Doreen Hannon, executive director of the Salem-South Lyon (Mich.) District Library, who discussed the library’s successful millage campaign, developed thanks to a Neal-Schuman grant. Watch the free recording, which runs just over one hour.

Doreen Hannon received a Bachelor of Science from Michigan State University and a MLIS degree from Wayne State University. She has worked at the Salem-South Lyon District Library (SSLDL) since 1996 and has served as Library Director since 2002. Libby Post, one of United for Libraries' advocacy consultants, has been working with public libraries to pass funding and district initiatives as well as building referendums since 2005. She is the founder of the Library Campaign Training Institute and has a success rate of over 80%. She consulted with Salem-South Lyon Library District and helped the library lay out a successful strategy for their millage campaign utilizing the Citizens-Save-Libraries Power Guide for Successful Advocacy.

Free Webinar on How to Start a Friends Group

United for Libraries coordinated the eighth annual National Friends of Libraries Week Oct. 20-26, 2013. As part of the celebration, United for Libraries Executive Director Sally Gardner Reed presented a free webinar on how to start a Friends of the Library group. View the webcast

FREE for Members: Broadening the Scope of Small/Mid-Sized Library Foundations

Did you think library Foundations were really only for large libraries?  Think again – library Foundations have become increasingly important for libraries of all types and all sizes. In fact, mid-sized and smaller libraries are finding ways to partner with library staff to create greater community awareness and engagement in the library’s financial future.  To learn more about how working with a library foundation can benefit your library, join United for Libraries for this important webinar featuring Paula Beswick, director of the Bozeman (Mont.) Library Foundation. Members can login to the Friends & Foundations Zone or the Trustee Zone to access the recording.

FREE for Trustee Members: Working Effectively with Your Library Trustees Webinar

Led by United for Libraries Executive Director Sally Gardner Reed, learn tips and strategies for working effectively with your Trustees. Topics include orientation for new Trustees, understanding roles, meetings, emergencies, and effective communication. Presented live on April 9, 2013, the recording is now available FREE to United for Libraries Board of Trustees group members and personal members in the Trustee section. Members can login to access the link and additional resources.

Engaging Today's Volunteers for Libraries and Friends

The baby boomers are retiring! And...they are volunteering in large numbers in communities across the country. If libraries and Friends groups aren’t successful in recruiting this special group, some other community agency will be. This three-part series of webcasts is designed to inform library Friends, Trustees, and staff about this new generation of baby boomer volunteers — how they are different from volunteers in the past, what they want from service opportunities, and how libraries and Friends can attract them. Courses include:

  • Meet Today's New Volunteers
  • Friends and Baby Boomers - Getting New Active Members for Your Group
  • Library Volunteers - Bringing in Skilled and Committed Baby Boomers

Learn more, register, or access courses now! NOTE: Online registration is only available for the single-seat (member or non-member) option. To register for the multi-seat, single library site option, please see the registration form (PDF, 267 kb).

Trustee Academy

Trustee Academy logoThe United for Libraries Trustee Academy is a series of online courses to help Trustees become exceptionally proficient in their roles on behalf of their libraries. The five online courses are taught by a professional in the field and are priced both a la carte so individual attendees can pick and choose what courses are important to them, and as a full curriculum that reflects discounted pricing per course. In addition, a board of Trustees can sign up for further discounts. Courses include:

  • Trustee Basics, Part I
  • Trustees Basics, Part II
  • Working Effectively with the Library Director
  • The Library's Budget
  • Advocating for Your Library
  • Evaluating the Library Director
  • Trustee Competencies

Learn more, register, or access courses now!

Questions or Assistance

If you have any questions about the courses or registration please call the United for Libraries office at (800) 545-2433, ext. 2161 between 9:30 and 5:00 EST or e-mail united@ala.org. E-mails are also monitored evenings and weekends to ensure a quick response.