Although Friends of the Library sounds like an informal title, it actually refers to numerous non-profit organizations across the United States. These organizations operate to support public libraries by gaining access to funds, volunteers, and expertise. However, the roles of friends of the Library go far beyond this, as their members work as advocates for reading, education, and library use.
Friends of the Library provide various programs to initiate library support. They may host art exhibits, concerts, or book signings to raise awareness about the importance of libraries and the need for community involvement. In addition, public speakers, slide shows, book clubs are sponsored by Friends of the Library in efforts to gain much needed library assistance.
Also, Friends of the Library are responsible for numerous fund raisers that provide for library needs. Book sales are often used to supply proceeds for local libraries. Plus, library funding may also be earned by bake sales, grant writing, silent auctions, capital campaigns, and efforts to solicit donations from fellow supporters. The funds raised from these events are used to update and enrich library resource, and stand as an important part of a library’s revenue.
Additional services provided by Friends of the Library include campaigning for government funding, especially during election season, and promoting public involvement. Friends of the Library also support local, cultural, and educational programs, while encouraging others to pursue careers in writing or as librarians. They even provide grants to individuals who are pursuing a degree in library science.
Each October, Friends of the Library are celebrated with an annual Friends of the Library week. People are encouraged to join their organizations and provide volunteer work that ensures the growth and future of public libraries.