It’s National Friends of Libraries Week! Now in its 17th year, this weeklong celebration organized by United for Libraries recognizes all the incredible things that Friends groups do for libraries.
You may be asking yourself, “What exactly are Friends groups?” Great question. Friends of Libraries are non-profit, charitable volunteer groups that support libraries of all types. Since the beginning of the American library movement, Friends groups have been formed by citizens using their collective powers to do ensure that the American library legacy remains viable. Friends do it all, from bake sales and fundraising efforts to voicing support for the library at town hall and city council meetings and just by spreading the word about the great services and value that the library brings to the community.
From October 16-22, libraries and citizens across the U.S. are promoting the incredible work that their Friends groups do and touting the benefits of membership. In Michigan, events at local distilleries, lectures, and lifelong learning activities are being organized. In South Carolina, an exhibit of work done by local Friends groups is being displayed at a library. In Indiana, a library is recognizing the work of its Friends group—including raising more than $55,000 for the library—via “meet-and-greet” events where the community can learn about the group and the how to join. And in Oregon, people are penning editorials in local publications that sing the praises of their library Friends.
Are you interested in getting involved in your local Friends group? Or starting one in your own community? We have all the resources you need and more, including a fascinating webinar where Friends groups from across the country discuss how they work with the library to raise funds and support.