Who are “Friends of the Library”?
Friends of the Library are community-based non-profit groups of
citizens who promote, encourage and enhance the work of their local
libraries Their purpose is to encourage and assist in the establishment,
maintenance and further development of a free public library, branches
thereof and to support education through the use of library facilities.
The main thrust of any Friends of the Library activity is to focus
attention and promote awareness of the Library within the community
acting independently of library staff in the accomplishment of
They promote public use of the library's current services and
facilities, while raising money and encouraging gift giving for
the library's continued improvement. The Friends sponsor programs
and purchase equipment for the library that it could not otherwise
afford. They promote goodwill and support of the community, stimulate
public awareness of Library needs and seek out sources of cultural
and educational programs for the Library. In their support of the
local library, these groups may undertake such activities as: providing
program assistance for the local library (e.g., speakers demonstrations,
performers, etc.) recruiting volunteers and serving as volunteers
raising funds from local sources to promote Library services.
The Friends are community members who believe that a good library
is essential to the cultural and economic well-being of our community.
They focus public attention on the library services and activities,
strengthen and expand library services, sponsor Summer Reading
program for kids, and supplements county funding, allowing for
special services and materials that might not otherwise be possible.
Why should you join the Friends?
Membership in the Friends of the Library is open to anyone, and
contributions to the Friends are tax deductible. How else can you
expand your circle of Friends, enjoy the fellowship of others who
share your interests, and support a valuable community resource
all at the same time?
If you are interested in becoming a friends member, please contact
your local library for more information.
You can also help the library without,
joining the group, by volunteering your time for some of the
library programs, story hours, book
Becoming a “Friend of the Library” or just volunteering
on a special project is not only self-rewarding but the library
depends on the community’s help also.
The Friends of the Library organizations
are an important community resource for the public libraries
in increasing understanding of, and support for, the library
within the community. As a volunteer
organization, members are provided with an opportunity to use their
time, skills, resources and contacts in a worthwhile community
endeavor, while receiving recognition for their efforts, making
library strengths and needs known to the public and funding authorities.
The role of the Friends is a support group,
rather than a policy-making body. Friends may raise money
through book sales, sponsorship of special events or other means
endorsed by the library board and Library Director.
Each library location may be associated with a Friends of the
- To encourage public interest and support for the library
- To encourage gifts and memorials for the library
- To purchase special items which cannot
be taken care of in the library’s budget,
- To assist in public relations and community awareness of and
use of the library
- To sponsor programs that support the
- The Friends groups will have a written statement of purpose
and by-laws which should be in accordance with the policies of
the Sevier County Public Library System Board of Trustees
- Funds raised by the Friends should not be a substitute for
adequate local funding
- Funds raised by the Friends should
be maintained in an account separate and distinct from the
library’s operating accounts. This
account should be administered by the Friends of the Library
board, in accordance with the policies of the Sevier County Public
Library System Board of Trustees
- Funds raised by the Friends in the name of the public library
must be used to support programs and materials of the public
- Gifts made to the library by the Friends should conform to
the library gift and fiscal policies, and may not be used to
dictate library policy.
- Suggestions for service improvements may be directed to the
local library manager, and requests for resources or assistance
may be submitted to the Friends.