AVRL policy on Friends of the Library
The Annapolis Valley Regional Library Board holds a positive view on the establishment of Friends of the Library groups. The Board defines “Friends of the Library” as: a volunteer group of individuals with a common interest in helping and supporting the library.
- All Friends of the Library projects should be undertaken with full knowledge and approval of the branch librarian, regional librarian and the Library Board.
- The branch librarian and the regional librarian should receive information regarding Friends meetings, officers, plans and purposes. Any public relations work undertaken by Friends should be done only on approval from the regional librarian.
- Friends of the Library are distinct and separate from the Library Board and library personnel and cannot assume their duties.
- Library staff may act only in advisory capacities.
- Operating expenses of the regional library are provided through allocation of public funds. Friends funds cannot be integrated into this budget, except through gifts for specific purposes.
AVRL suggestions for a successful friends group
- A committed core group must exist.
- The regional librarian and library board must want a friends group.
- Staff must be willing to work with Friends.
- All parties must realize the time commitment involved.
- Since municipalities/towns are responsible for the actual library buildings and their maintenance (heat, lights, telephone, etc.), a co-operative relationship between Friends and their municipal/town unit should exist. Often this is accomplished by working with the library board representative who is appointed by that unit. This relationship is especially crucial when projects such as fund-raising for new buildings, renovation or expansion are undertaken.
- The library and the Friends group must agree on specific issues such as meeting spaces, staff time, paper, phone calls, etc.
- The library and the Friends group must agree on roles and objectives.
- All those involved must understand that “Friends”, as groups or individuals, cannot act as library trustees.
- Communication between Friends and the Regional Library is vital to ensure success in their common goal of providing quality library service.