Each Spring the FONCPL sponsors a series of five Area Workshops sited around the state as an assist to local Friends of the Library groups. This Spring, we have a stellar group of workshops planned and want you to attend one of the workshops at a location and on a date that is convenient to you.

This is a chance to "recharge" your local Friends groups with new information and networking and a chance to share your good ideas with others who might benefit from what you have accomplished. There will be opportunities for attendees to share good ideas, to learn about special programs, to find new sources of funding, to exchange information on book sales, and much more.
At each workshop, there will be a representative of FONCPL who will speak about the Frances B. Reid and Frannie Ashburne awards that are awarded each year to exemplary volunteers and Friends groups.

So that we can ensure there are enough spaces (and refreshments) available for all, we would very much appreciate your early registration.

2015 information below. Registration form and complete information soon (updated Jan 27, 2015).

Region/point of contact Date LocationAddress
SE Area
March 7 New Hanover County Public Library
201 Chestnut Street
Wilmington, NC
NE Area
April 11 Shepard-Pruden Memorial Library
106 Water Street
Edenton, NC
Central Area
April 18 Randolph County Public Library
201 Worth Street
Asheboro, NC
West Central Area
April 25 Ashe County Public Library
148 Library Road
West Jefferson, NC
Mountain Area
April 25 to be confirmed

You may attend any or all of the workshops or choose the one nearest to you.

Spring Workshops
West Central Workshop

Should anyone doubt the commitment of NC Friends, consider the dozens who attended the West Central Workshop on March 29, braving both discouraging weather and the confounding nomenclature of downtown Hickory's streets to get there.

The reward for those intrepid souls was an illuminating presentation on Grants for Non-Profits by Calvin Patterson. Mr. Patterson, CEO of Earnest Harvest LLC, distilled an enormous amount of information into a comprehensible and manageable form. Supplementing Mr Patterson's remarks were the NC State Library's Molly Westmorland, discussing NC public libraries' funding sources and the grants available through the State Library, and John Francis of the NC Community Foundation. Mr Francis described the activities of the NCCF and the grant the Foundation administers.

Many thanks, to Louise Humphrey, Director of the Hickory Library, Lise' Swenson, Director of Hickory Museum of Art, Alice Spuller, and especially the Hickory Friends for their generous and abundant hospitality.

-Claudia vonGrunebaum, WC Area Director

2014 Northeast Area Workshop Summary

Date: March 8, 2014
Location: Williamston
Speaker: Molly Westmoreland
Topic: Center for the Book
Attendees: Between 7 and 14

Per Joe, the workshop was a success. Mollie gave a power-point presentation, elaborating various points of Friends contributions and use of the program. There was an enthusiastic Q&A period and members of the audience expressed satisfaction in having their many questions answered.

Prepared by Karen Moll for Joe Sullivan

2014 Southeast Area Workshop Summary

Evaluation for SE District March , 2014
The SE District met at the Western Carteret Public Library on March 1, 2014. Event was planned and implemented by SE Directors Meg Forward and Joan Gerdsen. There were approximately 32 members attending.

Wanda Collins, President of the Hosting Friends group was enthusiastic. The food was excellent, and although the room was not as large as others we have been in, it was MORE than adequate...The Friends group acted as Hosts and were very welcoming. We had the opportunity to visit their "Book Cottage" and toured a great facility.

The registration began at 9:30 and after Welcome, Susan Simpson, the Director of Libraries spoke.

Karen Moll, President of the state FONCPL was unable to attend, however she sent a very nice letter which Joan read.
Cal Shepard, Library Director for the State of North Carolina,  had a great powerpoint presentation outlining the "The state of the State library". As usual she was an informative and a lively speaker. She encouraged discussion and challenged us to become advocates in funding for all libraries. She is brillant...everyone should have the  opportunity to hear her.

Frannie Ashburn, well known in the Friends' circle spoke on "Best Friends". She was encouraging, energizing and as usual a great motivational speaker.She suggested having Friends' group attend trustee meetings. She encouraged communication and to know that there are Friends everywhere. She asked us to look at our mission statement, our by-laws and to find out how Friends appear to the community...need to encourage new people to join and understand how the library works...There is always the need for fresh eyes. We really need to be the BEST FRIENDS possible for our community and state.
After a short break we broke up into 3 groups....

Social Media-Facebook, Twitter, the wave of the future. Electronic pushing, helps with fundraising, where can we get information out? Chamber of Commerce will put things up and out for you...Use of free publications, cable TV source. Be organized!
Do you have a web-page, facebook page? Communicate via emails to all Friends. Although electronic announcements are imperative, don't forget snail mail people.  

Membership-When people renew membership check to see if they are willing to participate in Friends. Put bookmarks in Realtor offices, have a members night only for book sales. Reach out to the community, find out what they want, can your group participate in a community event? Even if it is only attending another event and offering "Coffee provided by FONCPL". Give your members a coupon towards a book during the book sales. Make sure your community knows what you are doing for their library ie: press releases on purchase of new equipment, books, furniture....

Programs as usual a lively discussion. Each group present discussed events they had held...sharing:
Let's talk about it series
Local speakers
NC Humanities Council speakers
Film programs
Poetry programs
Collaborate with other organizations, be  a partner. Take advantage of a series: "First Monday of the month", "What in the world"-pull in professionals, retirees use a living resource.

Make up a mailing list of service clubs, post events on the town newsletters, use of the Eagle or Girl Scouts Invite local authors at no cost to speak and let them sell their books. Have their talk at a local restaurant. At the end of the event, each group shared information discussed in their session. Several door prizes were given out and the program ended promptly at 1:00. It was asked if attendees would like a longer session, and the answer was no, time alloted was adequate.

2014 Mountain Region Workshop Summary


Planning Your Annual Meeting and/or Other Program Events

  • Some groups have very simple meetings that include an annual report, annual budget review, and the elections of officers for the coming year.
  • Other groups use this as a membership opportunity, and try to draw people in with a notable author. A small fee is charged which includes a dessert offering.
  • Other programs the Friends may offer were not discussed at this table.

Membership and Activities

  • It was felt that 2 page letters giving a good overview of what Friends do and how they help the library are much better than a simple post card.
  • Include a registration form and a non-stamped return addressed envelope with letter.
  • Some groups have annual renewals; some do it on a monthly basis.
  • Dues are usually $10-15 for individual, $25-35 for family. Some offer Lifetime memberships of $100+
  • Discussion regarding “Why Join?”
    • Offer a book borrow and exchange in Friends book store
    • Offer a gift coupon for books from book store with membership
    • A group offers 3 CD cleanings for new/renew members
    • Discounts for programs at library – discounts at local theater
    • Early-bird book sales advantage
    • Totes for new members
    • Monthly newsletter sent by mail or e-mail

Book Sales and Other Fundraising

  • Book store space allotted within the library allowing continual selling of books without them having to be transported for annual or biannual book sales. Library staff collects the money, and Friends supplement the shelves and generate publicity for special sales. Proceeds are used to buy books or equipment needed for the library.
  • Free standing book stores located in community. Needs large volume sales and plenty of volunteers. A reminder that continuing sales still need to pay sales tax even though a non-profit.
  • Annual antique book sales and coffee table book sales.
  • Other fundraisers
    • Quilt raffle
    • Silent auction for very special books
    • Authors luncheons
    • Companies such as Avon work with non-profit groups to help raise funds

Selling Books on Amazon

  • Supplements annual book sales.
  • Continual source of revenue throughout the year.
  • This does not dilute annual book sale
  • It is labor intensive. Must have a dedicated person.

Community Outreach

  • Supply material for a “home-schooled” room
  • Children’s books to prisons so inmates have something to read to children when visiting
  • Helping people find unique books they can’t find.
  • Helping fund staff training to enhance library services
  • Speaking to service organizations, church groups, community clubs to tell them what Friends do for the community by helping the library.
  • Contact commissioners and legislators on a regular basis.

Tour of NC Room

  • Friends were given a tour of the NC room Pak Memorial included in their renovation a few years ago. It is a splendid place to see a collection of maps, pictures, volumes, etc., and to see the measures taken to preserve these things.