The Good, the Great, and the Unfriendly
A Librarian's Guide to Working with Friends Groups
Sally Gardner Reed
Executive Director of United for Libraries and former Executive Director of Friends of Libraries U.S.A., Reed has decades of experience liaising between Friends groups and the libraries that they support, serve, and (sometimes) exasperate. Her new book cuts to chase of building and maintaining these important relationships, showing not only how to effectively harness Friends’ goodwill and enthusiasm but also sharing tactful techniques for steering an ineffective or unfriendly group down the right path. Her pragmatic approach will resonate with public and academic library directors, volunteer coordinators, and other library staff who work with Friends. Written with knowing humor and focused on getting positive results, this book provides guidance for developing a Friends group for public and academic libraries; explains how to merge a Friends group with a foundation; gives pointers on encouraging Friends to attract new and active members, working with the Friends board to develop leadership skills, and other crucial partnership strategies; addresses the sticky situation of “unfriendly” Friends, with sage advice on handling Friends who seem unmotivated when it comes to fundraising or advocacy, are uncommunicative, overstep their bounds, and other difficult issues; and shares fundraising, advocacy, programs, and membership development best practices from Friends groups across the country. Tailored specifically to librarians’ point of view, this book will inform and empower libraries to work effectively with Friends groups for greater fundraising, engagement, and advocacy outcomes.