United for Libraries Resources for Friends Groups

Are you thinking of starting a Friends group, reorganizing or revitalizing the one you have, or a seasoned group looking for some fresh ideas? Look no further! United for Libraries offers a wealth of ideas and resources for Friends groups of all types, sizes, and level of activity. Explore the links in the menu to the left under "Friends Groups" and throughout the rest of the United for Libraries website.

United for Libraries Resources

We've compiled a handy Excel file of the top resources available FREE and for members only. Please note this is a working compilation and resources may be added at any time. Also, it's not possible to list all of the wonderful links and resources we have on our site, so if you are looking for something and can't find it on this list, email Beth (bnawalinski@ala.org) or Jillian (jwentworth@ala.org) and we'll let you know if we have the resource and if so, where to find it.

Power Guide logoPower Guide for Successful Library Advocacy

United for Libraries, along with the Neal-Schuman Foundation, believe strongly that advocacy can and does work.  We’ve seen evidence of it from coast to coast in all types of libraries at the local and the state levels. Developing an advocacy campaign, as you will soon see, is not rocket science but it does take dedication, hard work, a core group of people who are passionate about the cause and the support of many, many people in your community.  This guide will take the mystery out of advocacy, provide you with an organized step-by-step approach, and allow you to develop a set of strategies that will motivate your community to pressure funders to support the library or in the case of a referendum or a bond issue – to vote “yes.”

Free Toolkits

Libraries Need Friends: Starting a Friends Group or Revitalizing the One You Have (PDF, 100 kb) by Sally Gardner Reed, former 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, former 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.

Baby Boomer 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).

Friend Your Library Promotional Materials

 "Friend Your Library" downloads and buttons (in packs of 6 or 18) are available for purchase from the ALA Store. ALA members automatically receive a 10% discount. United for Libraries group members should log into the Friends & Foundations Zone or Trustee Zone (based on group member type) to learn how to save 10% on the purchase of these materials. NOTE: Member discounts do not apply to special offers or sets. Discounts are not combined.

Available in both Zones is a downloadable "Friend Your Library" graphic you can use on your Friends group or library website.

Public Service Annoucements for Friends Group Featuring Paula Poundstone

"There I was in another unbalanced relationship," begins Emmy Award-winning comedian Paula Poundstone in a new public service announcement, which can be see below and online at YouTube along with a 15 second version. Permission is granted for Friends of the Library groups to imbed these videos on their websites to promote the Friends to their local communities.