Starting a Friends Group

Well-run Friends groups are vital for the prosperity of public libraries (and can be an asset for school and academic libraries as well).

What surprises some people is that a modern Friends group does more than run the traditional sale or thrift store. They can raise money, recruit volunteers, promote the library at public events and be an advocate for the library’s services and programs at community forums.

And, their activities provide a positive experience for volunteers of all ages. Learn the steps you can take to help ensure your new Friends’ success.


  • Recruit a core team of supporters to help get your new Friends group up and running.
  • Ensure your Friends nonprofit leaders know their legal and financial responsibilities.
  • Develop a plan for the first year’s operations.


Pat Wagner has been a trainer and consultant for libraries and allied institutions since 1978. She has been a frequent visitor to Florida libraries and was a presenter with the Sunshine State Library Leadership Institute for several years. Pat is known for her good-humored and practical programs.