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.

Free Toolkits

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

A memorandum of understanding between the Friends and the library is useful when defining 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 members also have access to an annotated version of this resource.

Cash for Your Classroom, a guidebook for school and classroom funding from Accredited Schools Online, offers funding ideas, strategies, and resources, as well as tips on different types of fundraising.


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