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I had several requests to summarize the info I received on Friends groups.
Excerpts and limited summaries are listed below:
 
From Jane Grosman, Sutter Resource Library, Sacramento, CA:
"...We have memberships in our library for the public (although some staff
join just to support it).  We have a group here at the hospital that gives
money to various hospital projects and my library is one of them. ... We
have a plaque listing their names and once a year we have a 'thank you'
event."
 
From Linda Panton, Hamilton & District Health Library Network, Hamilton,
Ontario, Canada:
Recommended a book entitled 'Friends for Small Libraries' by Margaret Law (
1991, $20.00 Canadian + $4.00 handling + $1.50 shipping + 7% GST.
Publisher:      Canadian Library Association
                200 Elgin St., Ste. 602
Ottawa, Ont. K2P 1L5.
(613)232-9265; fax (613)563-9895
Visa or Mastercard
According to  a flier, 'Friends' takes the reader "through the steps for
setting up a Friends group.  The book discusses steering committees,
volunteers, public relations, and fund raising. It includes a series of
very helpful fill-in-the-blank planning pages to guide committees through
the stages."  It was intended for small Canadian public libraries.
 
From Bernie Todd Smith, Werner Health Sciences Library, Rochester General
Hospital, Rochester, NY:
"Warning: It's tons of work.... It's a very time consuming job and I've
found that the second year it's hard to get my staff and myself motivated
to do all the mailings, etc.  We did raise over $8,000.00 the first year."
Bernie also sent action plans which outlined Action Steps, Human Resources
Needed, Financial Resources Needed, Completion Date, and Obstacle.  The
steps in the Planning Phase are as follows: 1) Obtain hospital foundation
and administrative support, 2) Establish Library Fiscal Advisory Group, 3)
Read about fund raising, membership, etc., 4) Hold initial meeting of
Advisory Committee to discuss hospital's support for library, propose
alternative strategies to friends group, and select levels of memberships
and groups for solicitation, and 5) Propose program recommended by Advisory
Committee to Library Committee and obtain their support and approval.
The steps in the Implementation are as follows: 1) Examine group for
solicitation and set financial goal for campaign, 2) Design mail campaign,
including database, membership cards, brochures, mailing of letters, and
sending acknowledgement letter and membership cards, 3) Send follow-up
letters to non-members and ask members to upgrade membership, 4) Social
event, and 5) Send out renewal letters.
Recommended book:       Organizing Friends Groups: A How-To-Do-It Manual
                                for Librarians
                        by Mark Y. Herring
                        Neal-Schuman Publishers
                        1993.
 
From Barbara Thomas, Medical Sciences Library, Texas A&M Univ.:
Summaries and excerpts:
        Small, dedicated group in existence since mid-1980's.
        Problems:       Medical library overshadowed by general academic
                                library on same campus.
                        Community healthcare professionals assume that
                                services should be free to them, and do not
                                want to participate financially.
        "I am some others of the group are working on solving [the identity
                ] problem through the local Chamber of Commerce group of which
                the Friends is a member."
        "We are this year going after some grant monies to fund some
                projects for the Library."
        Have obtained first corporate Friend and hopes to recruit others.
        Small amount of money earned with annual book sale.
        Friends' contributions so far = literature rack, table for
handicapped catalog workstation, Toxline CD-ROM subscription.
Also sent Friends Membership Brochure, bookmarks, donation form (in honor/
memory of), and Friends Constitution and Bylaws.
 
Thanks again for the responses.
 
Our progress to date is gaining the support of the widow of our largest
benefactor and our Director Development.
 
Tom Craig, Asst. to the Director of Library Services
Watson W. Wise Medical Research Library
Univ. of Texas Health Center at Tyler
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