Policy Regarding Friends of the Library

  1. Friends of the Library are an important support to branches and departments. Friends Groups add substantially to the limited resources available from the tax base.
  2. The Library Board encourages and supports Friends of the Library organizations. “Friends of the Library” are civic-minded men and women who know that quality library service is important to the community and who organize into groups to support, improve, and promote the library. Friends are organized with one or more of the following objectives:
    1. To increase community awareness and use of the library
    2. To work for library legislation or appropriations
    3. To encourage gifts, endowments, and memorials for the library
    4. To provide direct financial assistance
    5. To raise money and campaign for a new building, renovation or expansion
    6. To sponsor programs designed to add to the cultural life of the community
    7. To volunteer work in the library on specific projects designated by the Director
  3. The rules of trustees, librarians, and Friends are related but distinct.  Trustees represent citizen control and governance of the library.  The Library Director represents the administration and management of the library.  Friends of the Library represent citizen participation and assistance to the library.
  4. The provisions of this policy are applicable to all private support organizations (Friends of the Library) formed to support an activity of the Fairfax County Public Library or any of its branches or departments.
  5. In order to achieve countywide consistency and fiscal accountability, all Friends of the Library groups shall conduct their fiscal affairs through non-profit, non-stock 501(c)(3)tax exempt corporations.  Each organized group should be structured through articles of incorporation and bylaws to support, assist and promote the activities of a Library branch or department.
  6. Friends' gifts to the system will be considered in accordance with the policy stated in the Policy Manual, Section M, " Policy Regarding Gifts to and Alliances with the Library System." Friends Groups have authority to solicit, retain, and expend funds they determine are appropriate to their program goals.
  7. The Branch Manager shall negotiate a written agreement with the Friends group for approval by the Library Director and the Board including:
    1. A statement of purpose outlining its program activities and related utilization of Library facilities, personnel, utilities and equipment.
    2. Recognition that the Fairfax County Public Library endorses a policy of Open Meetings, Open Records, Affirmative Action, and its code of Ethics, and expects Friends Groups to understand, cooperate and comply with such policies.
    3. Designation of a coordinator or liaison for the Friends of the Library group.  The Branch Manager or designated representative shall be the coordinator and shall have authority to administer the agreement on behalf of the Fairfax County Public Library.  Friends Groups will receive all appropriate staff support as required.
  8. While a Friends of the Library group may be considered to be the lead volunteer organization for a Branch Library, it shall not prevent the Branch Manager from accepting assistance from other community groups provided the assistance does not conflict with agreements executed with the Friends.
  9. Donation of library materials to Friends organizations:

    In accordance with the Virginia Code 15.2-953-B, the Library Board will donate library materials to Friends organizations for sale to the public. Revenues from such sales will be used to support the programs and services of the library system.

    If the sale is coordinated and operated solely by the Friends organization, all proceeds accrue to the sponsoring Friends organization.

    For "on-going" sale event, i. e., sale of donated books on a continuous basis through staff support or kiosk use, proceeds must first go to cover the library system direct and indirect costs related to the "on-going" sale event. The remainder of the proceeds will be retained by the Friends organization. The Library Director will determine on a biennial basis the costs of the library system support. The Library Director will provide periodic reports to the Friends groups concerning the proceeds and book sales.”


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