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Friends of the Library

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 these goals.

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 sales, etc.

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 Library group.


  • 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 library’s mission


  • 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 library.
  • 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.

Library Calendar of Events

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