OLA Friends Committee

The OLA Friends Committee exists to provide support and resources to assist in the formation and promotion of Friends of the Library groups. In addition, the Committee will act as a resource to the OLA community on topics of interest to Friends of the Library groups, including advocacy, fundraising, marketing, programming and volunteer management.

What is a Friends of the Library group?

The Friends of the Library organization in communities supports the mission of the Library Board and the Library through their activities and projects, and keeps the Library Board and the CEO informed of their activities.

The purposes of the Friends are:
(a) To promote and publicize library services in the community,
(b) To fundraise,
(c) To raise awareness, and
(d) To advocate for the library, when requested by the Library Board and the library.

Why Have Friend of the Library?

Starting a Friends Group

A Step-by-Step Guide to Starting a Friends Group
How to Form a Steering Committee

Sustaining a Friends Group

Maintaining a Successful Friends Group
How to Revitalize Your Friends Group

Roles and Relationships

Many Friends groups form because of initiative taken by a Library Board Trustee, manager or staff member. However, there is an important distinction between the role of the Library Board, Friends, and library management and staff.

An introduction to Roles and Relationships
Defining the Relationship between Friends and Library Staff
Roles and Relationships - Chart


Duties of a Friends Board
Effective Board Meetings


Advocacy means actively supporting a cause by taking action. Friends can be effective advocates by offering support when the library requires people in the community to highlight specific issues or concerns in a coordinated way.

An Introduction to Advocacy
Tips for Effective Advocacy

Fundraising Activities

An Introduction to Fundraising Activities
Book Sales
Signature Events
Special Events Budget Planning Checklist
"Event Ready" Checklist

Volunteer Management

Volunteer Recruitment
10 Tips for Recruiting Volunteers
Volunteer Retention Factors
Volunteer Recognition Tips

Committee Members

Dorothy Macnaughton, Friends of the Sault Ste. Marie Public Library (Chair)
David Harvie, CEO, Woodstock Public Library
Stacey Lapp, Assistant Community Supervisor, Lambton County Libraries (On Leave)
Ann McLaughlin, Friends of the Fort Erie Public Library
Craig Shufelt, CEO, Fort Erie Public Library
Marlene Turkington, Friends of the Woodstock Public Library
Shelagh Paterson, OLA Staff representative