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Start Your Planning – Friends of Libraries Week Is Coming Up Fast!

Did you know that Friends of the Library have their very own national “holiday”? We do! Moreover, not only is it an annual event – it’s a celebration that runs for an entire week each fall.

National Friends of Libraries Week is sponsored and, to a certain extent, coordinated by United for Libraries (formerly ALTAFF). Its two-fold purpose is to:

  • Foster an environment conducive to promoting your Friends group and its projects,
  • Offer an opportunity for your library, Board of Trustees and community officials to recognize your group for its ongoing support.

To these ends, United for Libraries has posted on its website a number of stories and downloadable resources to help you get started. Click here for posters, sample letters to the editor, template public proclamations, and much much more.

This year’s event will be Sunday, October 20 to Saturday, October 26.

calendar_clip_art-1.jpgAs you’ve doubtless gleaned by now, even if National Friends of Libraries Week is a completely new concept to you, this weeklong celebration is an extremely customizable one. Apart from the overall mission sketched out above, appropriate ways to celebrate Friends of Libraries Week are nearly as many and varied as America’s countless Friends groups. In years past, these have ranged from the simple and straightforward, like weeklong membership campaigns and fundraising drives, to the unexpected and sometimes wacky – like an in-library demonstration from a world champion chocolate strawberry dipper.

If you are moved to do something particularly exciting or innovative, consider applying for UfL’s “Friends of Libraries Week Award” once the event has passed. Applicants need only provide a one- or two-page summary of their October activities. Judging will be based “on creativity and innovation; involvement of Friends, library staff, Trustees, and/or advisory committee; recognition of Friends group, and promotion of Friends group to the community, school, students, and/or faculty.” The winner will receive a small monetary prize.  

Visit their website for more details. You can read about previous years’ winners here. Applications for the 2013 award cycle are due Monday, December 2.