The purpose of this policy is to define the roles and responsibilities of Friends groups within the Huron County Library system.
Friends of the Library groups within the Huron County Library are non-profit organizations of volunteers who aim to assist and support the goals of the Library. Friends of the Library may exist in support of a particular branch library or team. In this case, they may be known as Friends of the [name of Branch or team] Library.
For purposes of this policy, the Friends of the Library may also be referred to as The Friends.
1. Role of Friends of the Library groups
1.1 Assist and support the goals of the Library.
1.2 Establish closer ties between the Library and its community.
1.3 Promote knowledge of, and interest in, the functions and resources of the Library and assist in raising funds for special projects beyond the scope of the library budget.
1.4 While the Board acknowledges the importance of the volunteer service provided by such organizations as each Friends of the Library group in Huron County:
1.4.1 The goals and objectives of Friends organizations shall not conflict with those of the Huron County Library Board as established under the Public Libraries Act.
1.4.2 Friends of the Library groups will abide by all Board policies.
1.4.3 Friends of the Library groups will recognize the Board’s right to govern and the management’s responsibility to deliver library service.
2.1 Friends of the Library fundraising projects shall be undertaken with the prior knowledge of the relevant Branch Manager, and the applicable library administration staff.
2.2 Friends of the Library organizations recognized by the Board must secure the approval of staff prior to conducting a book sale at a branch location. Book sales must be organized and staffed by Friends of the Library volunteers to be considered a Friends fundraising initiative.
2.3 All funds raised by the Friends of the Library, and all items purchased with these funds, are the property of the Huron County Library. Funds may be used to enhance the services at the branches represented by The Friends.
2.4 All money from fundraising initiatives, such as book sales and membership drives will be handled by Friends of the Library members. Library staff cannot collect or keep money on behalf of the Friends or act as Treasurer.
2.5 Membership timelines and dues may be set by individual Friends of the Library groups. Membership dues raised can be used to support their own organization.
3. Friends Responsibilities
3.1 Friends of the Library groups are required to meet at least twice a year. Meeting notices, agendas and minutes should be forwarded to the library liaison (the Library Branch Manager).
3.2 An annual report shall be forwarded to the Huron County Library Board. It shall include a list of the executive of the Friends of the Library as well as a financial statement. This report must be submitted shortly after each year end, and no later than February 1st.
3.3 Friends must open and maintain their own bank account. Statements from this bank account must be submitted with the financial statement in the annual report.
3.4 The Friends are encouraged to set goals, priorities and timelines for the coming year based on the resources of the group and library needs and opportunities. A plan of intended actions and objectives will create an annual schedule of events or projects, provide focus to volunteers and provide a sense of accomplishment as goals are achieved. Friends should consult with the Library Branch Manager to develop the annual plan. The plan for the coming year should be shared with the Programming & Community Engagement Coordinator by September for any necessary budget allocations.
3.5 Friends may set their own terms of reference, goals and objectives so long as they do not conflict with those of the Huron County Library Board as established under the Public Libraries Act.
3.6 The executive of each Friends of the Library will ensure that all necessary reports and statements are prepared and filed in a timely fashion.
3.7 Friends must have a minimum of four active members within their group. This includes a Chair and a Treasurer. This condition must be met within 6 months after the formation of a Friends group.
3.8 If an existing Friends group becomes inactive and ceases to have the minimum number of members, lacks the required executive, or fails to submit the required reports at the end of the year, then the Friends group should be disbanded once the failure to meet the minimum requirements has exceeded the six month period. If the Friends are close to meeting the minimum requirements, and are actively seeking to revive the group, the executive may request an extension from the Programming & Community Engagement Coordinator. The request must be received before the end of the six month period, be in writing, and include a clear time-line and plan to meet the minimum requirements. The Programming & Community Engagement Coordinator will provide a written response.
4. Library Responsibilities
4.1 Meeting space for Friends’ meetings and special events will be provided subject to space availability.
4.2 It is the responsibility of the Library Branch Manager of the branch, or team associated with the Friends group, to act as the library liaison and attend Friends meetings. If appropriate and practical, the Branch Manager may delegate tasks or attendance to other library staff.
4.3 Library staff may not belong to a Friends group or executive and will only attend in an informational capacity.
4.4 Staff time and support will be provided as deemed appropriate by the library liaison or Programming & Community Engagement Coordinator.
4.5 The library liaison will keep Friends updated about library challenges and victories as well as long range strategies and priorities.
5.1 If a Friends Group cannot fulfill the policy requirements and/or the decision to disband is reached by the group, then the group may disband.
5.2 In order to disband, a group needs to send a ‘Letter of Intent’ to the Programming & Community Engagement Coordinator, submit financial documents for the previous year and transfer assets to the Huron County Library. Financial assets will be transferred to the Library fundraising account and will be held or spent on behalf of the branch or team were the funds were raised.
5.3 The group must show proof to the Library that the Friend’s account is no longer active.
5.4 The Huron County Library Board has the right to require a Friends group to disband at any time should they be found in contravention of the policies and procedures of the Huron County Library or Corporation of the County of Huron.
This policy replaces all previous versions and comes into effect on the date approved – December 9, 2020.
Public Libraries Act, R.S.O. 1990, Chap. P 44