Many public libraries, as well as some academic libraries have what we call “Friends of the Library” groups. (Other types of libraries may have them too!) These Friends can lend a library a helping hand in many ways.
The Wisconsin Libraries for Everyone blog asks (and answers) the question Do “Ya Gotta Have Friends”? Of course, the answer is no, but you might want to. And the post includes some helpful sources about Friends groups you might want to look at.
From my experience, Friends can be one of the most wonderful things about your library, or one of the most. . . difficult. The difference, I think, is determined by how well the library management and board work with the Friends. Two of the ways to make sure your Friends group works well are mentioned in that blog post:
- Friends recognize that they don’t perform a decision-making role for the library.
- Friends do not interfere with library operations.
Do you have a Friends group? How are they working for you?