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Session Details and Registration

Register For Your Workshop Below

Public Library Session
February 4. Clay County
Orange Park Library

Public Library Session
February 11. Alachua County
Millhopper Branch

Public Library Session
February 13. St Johns River State College
St Augustine Campus

Friends of the Library groups have been active in Florida for many decades and in some communities actually founded and ran the libraries. Today, notable Florida groups are national leaders – effective advocates and fundraisers with large membership and vigorous program. Other groups are dormant and need refreshing. Most are somewhere in-between. We know for sure that there is a strong correlation between strong Friends’ groups and strong libraries. Time invested in developing and cultivating relationships with Friends of the library pays dividends in increased awareness, usage, funding, and community pride.

This workshop will help teams from NEFLIN public libraries focus Friends’ efforts and choose among priorities. It is designed for Friends leadership and active members along with staff who work closely with them. We strongly encourage at least two people from each library (branch and/or system) – staff and friend – to attend so they can work together during and after the workshop.

Among the topics covered:

  • Friends and Advocacy – Influencing Decision-Makers
  • Friends and Fund-Raising – Enhancing programs, facilities, and collections with book sales, special events, honor programs, and other creative ideas.
  • Friends and Staff Support – From volunteering at daily jobs to providing scholarships.
  • Friends and Creative Programming – Ideas for Friends-sponsored author talks, youth events, lecture series.
  • The nitty-gritty infrastructure issues
    • Legal issues – nonprofit status, bylaws, charter
    • Board organization – best practices
    • Friends-staff relationships and responsibilities
  • Story-sharing, building on each other’s experience and ideas.


Attendees will leave this workshop with:

  • Confidence in their ability to return to their home libraries and build strong and imaginative Friends’ groups.
  • Specific techniques to strengthen their Friends’ group.
  • A plan of action for Friends for one to three years.
  • Techniques for identifying and averting problems as Friends grow.
  • Future follow-up and individual consultation with the workshop presenter is available.

Start thinking about your Friends today – fill out the survey to the left to help us tailor the workshop to participant needs.


Lawrence WebsterLawrence Webster has worked with Friends of the library groups for more than 25 years, including almost a decade with the Florida State Library as the specialist for Friends, Trustees, and Community Relations Consultant, and in her ongoing work with libraries and library organizations throughout the country. As a trainer, she is known for a tailored, hands-on approach to creating lively learning experience, designing workshops so participants leave with real, practical ways to put new information into practice. Lawrence also works with related organizations in the arts and media as well as government agencies concerned with libraries and cultural life. She believes that libraries – and many other agencies and institutions – need vigorous citizen involvement to remain relevant and viable.