Resistance from taxpayers. Reluctance from board members. Friends not ready to be advocates. It’s no secret: waging a successful budget/funding vote, building referendum, or redistricting campaign can be challenging for any library.
Over the years, the American Library Association (ALA) has hosted a number of divisions that support citizen-run library organizations. Friends of Libraries USA (FOLUSA) joined forces with the Association for Library Trustees and Advocates (ALTA) in 2009 to form the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF), which is now known as United for Libraries (UFL). Susan Schmidt, immediate past president of Friends of the Little Falls Library and media assistant, Wood Acres Elementary School (both in Bethesda, MD), was elected 2015–16 UFL vice president/president elect in May 2015.
At the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference, ALA’s United for Libraries division presented a well-received session, Getting a Bigger Piece of the Pie: Effective Communication with Funders and Policy Makers. A panel of three experienced fundraisers talked about what is and isn’t working in their ongoing mission to help support their libraries, offering a range of good advice to library leaders and fundraisers at every level.
The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF), is losing its $56,000 subsidy from ALA. The subsidy currently makes up more than 10 percent of ALTAFF’s approximately $450,000 budget. However, before it ends in fiscal year 2015, Sally Reed, ALTAFF executive director, hopes the organization will have become self-supporting. “I am feeling pretty […]