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Public Library Director Toolkit

Friends of the Library

Friends of the Library groups are a great benefit to libraries through their fundraising projects, volunteer support, and advocacy efforts in the community. Friends can be a voice for the library in the community, as well as extra brains and hands to help with programs, projects, and other efforts at the library. Whether your library is considering starting a friends group or already has a thriving group of friends working on its behalf, you may find that your group needs a hand, information, or good advice from time to time

United for Libraries is a section of the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends, and Foundations as a division of the American Library Association. They have many free resources as well as resources for paid members. Explore their website for best practices on starting your Friends group and keeping it successful.

Sample Bylaws for Friends groups in North Dakota:

Library Foundation

"A library foundation is a separate legal entity formed for the purpose of enhancing and expanding library programs and services. Its primary function is to secure financial and in-kind donations for programs, services, collections, and capital projects. The foundation offers donors a familiar and reliable vehicle for tax-deductible contributions in support of the library." (ALA)

The benefits of having a foundation are many including grant opportunities, receiving sponsorships, and working with endowments. 

The process of starting and running a Foundation is similar to that of starting a Friends of the Library group. Read more in ALA's Publication Establishing a Library Foundation: Planning, Persistence, Progress 

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Many of these resources and programs are funded under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.