ALTAFF recognizes five Friends groups with National Friends of Libraries Week Awards

Jillian Kalonick

Marketing/Public Relations Specialist




For Immediate Release

January 26, 2010

PHILADELPHIA – Five Friends groups were recognized for winning National Friends of Libraries Week Awards by the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF) during the ALTAFF Gala Author Tea, held during the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Boston. The awards are jointly sponsored by the Lana and Michael Porter Foundation and ALTAFF. Each group received a $250 check and a certificate.

The five winning Friends groups were Friends of San Pedro (Calif.) Library, Friends of Lake Community Branch Library (Uniontown, Ohio), Library Friends of Conroe (Conroe, Texas), Friends of Birmingham (Ala.) Public Library and Empire Friends Roundtable (New York State). They were recognized for creativity and innovation; involvement of Friends, library staff and Trustees; recognition of Friends group and promotion of Friends group to the community during National Friends of Libraries Week, Oct. 18-24, 2009.

Friends of San Pedro Library celebrated National Friends of Libraries Week with activities that included participation of Friends members, library staff, library patrons, civil officials, local merchants and local news media. An essay contest was held for children, young adults and adults on the topic “Why I Like the Library.” An award reception was held to recognize the winners, who read their essays and received a certificate, an “I Love San Pedro Library” bumper sticker and their choice of an item from the library book store.

The Friends of the Lake Community Branch Library used the slogan “Libraries Need Friends More Than Ever” as part of its 2009 celebration of National Friends of Libraries Week. The publicity surrounding the celebration set the stage for the Friends’ 2010 membership drive and included outdoor signage, radio announcements and news releases. The Friends’ annual meeting was held Oct. 21, featuring author David Lee Morgan, Jr., who discussed his recently published sports titles.

Library Friends of Conroe celebrated National Friends of Libraries Week with a Pirate’s Treasure Party at the library on the Friday of that week. County officials, library board members and local media were among those who received the 350 invitations. At the party, the Friends gave out certificates to volunteers. In advance of the party, a table promoting the Friends was set up at the library that included brochures, membership applications, activity sheets for children and bookmarks.

The Friends of Birmingham Public Library celebrated National Friends of Libraries Week for the first time in 2009. The group used the opportunity to launch a fundraising and membership campaign. The City of Birmingham presented the Friends with a proclamation thanking them for their funding and support of library programs. The Friends also hosted a successful luncheon for volunteers, Trustees and staff, encouraging them to join the Friends. Overall, the fundraising/membership campaign resulted in 100 new members and raised more than $2,800.

For its 2009 National Friends of Libraries Week celebration, the Empire Friends Roundtable continued their initiative to promote the celebration of National Friends of Libraries Week to Friends groups throughout New York State. Using the funds they received for winning a 2008 National Friends of Libraries Week Award, plus a donated amount of $50, the Empire Friends held its own contest for the best celebration of National Friends of Libraries Week in New York State. Thanks to support from the Legislative Committee of the New York Library Association (NYLA) and the action by Michael Borges, NYLA director, the New York State Assembly passed Assembly #748, declaring Oct. 18-24, 2009, as National Friends of Libraries Week.

More details about the winners may be found at

National Friends of Libraries Week offers a two-fold opportunity to celebrate. Friends groups can use the time to creatively promote their group in the community, to raise awareness, and to promote membership. The celebration also offers an excellent opportunity for the library staff and board of trustees to recognize the Friends for their help and support of the library. The next National Friends of Libraries Week will be celebrated Oct. 17-23, 2010. For more information and resources, visit

ALTAFF is a division of ALA with approximately 5,000 Friends of the Library, Trustee, Foundation and individual members and affiliates representing hundreds of thousands of library supporters. Begun in early 2009 with the merger of Friends of Libraries U.S.A. (FOLUSA) and the Association for Library Trustees and Advocates (ALTA), the new division brings together Trustees and Friends into a partnership that unites the voices of citizens who support libraries to create a powerful force for libraries in the 21st Century. For more information about ALTAFF, please contact Jillian Kalonick at (312) 280-2161 or