Anita Duckor, Executive Director of the Friends of the Minneapolis Public Library The Friends group was founded in 1949, over 5,000 members. They were born out of the need for advocacy. This year raised $450,000 for MPL. The Friends have evolved from being an adjunct to being essential. Raise significant capital dollars and have two book stores. The one consistent thread has been advocacy. Administer three key cultural programs: Talk of the Stack (current literature); People’s University (lecture series by university professors); Classic Film Series. Now under a new system with the consolidation of Hennepin County Library and the Minneapolis Public Library.
Peter Pearson, President of the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library, started with jokes about
There is a white paper posted on the PLA Conference site.
- Stand alone Friends Groups
- Stand alone Foundation
- Merged Friends and Foundation
All three represent the latter, so the presentation may have a bias.
Most stand alone Friends groups do not have staff. Foundations often recruit prominent people to serve on the board, Library Foundations will move to a staff model There can be some turf issues, the groups need to share databases. How big donors are treated.. There is only one Board.
There is clear communication to donors. They do a membership campaign and other fundraising coordination. The broader mission attracts a broader membership. There is name recognition confusion. They are free-standing and can sometimes seem to independent of the Library. Joke: “The average age of our Friends group is deceased!”
It takes resources to support the organization as well as the library.
Gave examples from each organization.