Monday, October 17, 2016

GPLS Library Awards Program

Nominations are now being accepted for the GPLS Library Awards program. These awards honor the outstanding service and achievements of Georgia's public libraries, librarians and library champions. 

  • Georgia Public Library of the Year will be presented to an individual facility 
    or library system
    whose staff best exemplifies the qualities needed to positively impact the lives of residents in the communities it serves.
      Nominations for library systems that include multiple locations must demonstrate the integration of each facility to the overall impact of the system as a whole. 
  • Georgia Public Librarian of the Year will be presented to a full-time and professionally licensed practicing public librarian whose innovative and creative talents are instrumental in the delivery of outstanding library service to his or her library and the communities it serves, as well as dedication and commitment to the state and profession as a whole. The winner must be employed by a public library for at least 9 months of the award year. 
  • Georgia Public Library Champion of the Year will be presented to an outstanding advocate whose support significantly raised the profile of libraries and improved services during the award year. Honorees may include, but are not limited to, elected officials, authors, library board members or members of Friends of Georgia Libraries or local Friends groups who were not employed in any capacity by a library during the award year.
We have a new award this year: 
  • Georgia Public Library Lifetime Achievement award may be given each year to a retired Georgia librarian for extraordinary service to Georgia public libraries throughout 
     career. Special emphasis is placed on the long-lasting impact of their work: nominees must be retired from full-time work for three years before being nominated. Given these special requirements, this award may not be presented each year.

Please submit your nominations by clicking on the award titles above.  Nominations may be submitted by public library directors, trustees, members of Friends groups, and GPLS staff members. If you need more space or have additional support materials, please submit via email to Deadline for nominations is October 31, 2016.

The awards selection committee comprises five members of the GPLS team. The selection process will be conducted in November and winners will be notified in December.

Formal award presentations will be scheduled for early 2017 at times and locations based on the preferences of each winner and for ensuring the maximum amount of local publicity for each award.

Friday, October 14, 2016

National Friends of Libraries Awards

The 11th annual National Friends of Libraries Week will be held Oct. 16-22, 2016. Two Friends groups will be awarded $250 each in honor of their celebrations during the week.
With the support of the Lana and Michael Porter Foundation, five Friends Groups were awarded $250 each in honor of their celebrations in 2007, 2008, and 2009. In 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015, two groups were awarded $250 each.
National Friends of Libraries Week Award applicants must provide a one- to two-page summary of all activities and efforts in conjunction with the celebration of National Friends of Libraries Week. Applicants will be judged on creativity and innovation; involvement of Friends, library staff, Trustees, and/or advisory committee; recognition of Friends group, and promotion of Friends group to the community, school, students, and/or faculty. 
United for Libraries has created a variety of resources to help Friends, Trustees, and library staff celebrate in their community.

Applications for the 2016 National Friends of Libraries Week Award must be received by Dec. 2, 2016. Applicants will be notified on or before Dec. 16, 2016. Click the link below for the application.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Academic Libraries Friends Groups


What ultimately justifies the creation of an academic Friends group? Why are Friends important?
Here are my 10 reasons why an academic library might want a Friends group.

Friends promote collaboration and cooperation.  Friends’ activities and programs offer opportunities for collaborative planning with faculty, staff, and your surrounding community and local community organizations.

Friends provide opportunities for networking. Act local, think global.
Friends can expand networking opportunities through participation with other local Friends groups and also state and national groups. For example, United for Libraries, the Friends (trustees, advocates and foundations) division of the American Library Association, has excellent opportunities for getting involved in national library activities.

Friends can assist with marketing and promoting your library.  Since the Friends work to support your library’s services, they can adopt the library’s service-oriented message as part of its message.

Friends can offer opportunities for fundraising.  Friends have volunteers with talents and skills that can raise funds for those extra “dollops of library services” that your operating budget might not accommodate.

Friends can lift you up when you are down.  Friends can be what the name implies: a Friend! Friends can share your concerns, help you when times are tough, provide a shoulder to cry on, and ease the burden.

Friends can help you celebrate.  When was the last time you had a “Love Your Library” celebration in your library? Friends can assist with planning receptions, recognition events, and other celebrations. People love a reason to celebrate.

Friends can speak (sometimes loudly) in support of your library.
Sometimes Friends speak quietly, by bringing in notable authors and writers at a Speakers Series which keeps the library as a recognized participant in the academic community.
Friends can maximize professional development and involvement.
Friends can help support library staff attendance at conferences and workshops and give recognition to outstanding achievement through the placement of honor books in the library.

Friends can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment.
If you want your library to be a center of activity and a showcase of exemplary learning, the Friends can sometimes assist with special programs (e.g., Gaming Night at the Library).

The Friends’ mission is strongly aligned with the academic library’s mission.  The Friends volunteer their time in support of the library service mission and in support of the university’s values and vision.

A tool kit is available for more information from United for Libraries Academic Library friends

© United for Libraries: The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations.
This toolkit has been developed as a benefit for personal and group members.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Guide for Library Advocates

 Love your library?  Not sure where to start when being a great library advocate?  The guide at the link below is a very valuable resource for library advocates. This free guide is a "step-by-step guide to developing an advocacy campaign. As you go through the Power Guide, come back to this page to see examples of talking points, flyers, petitions, and more."
© United for Libraries: The Association of Library Trustees, A advocates, Friends and Foundations. This guide is made available free through a generous grant
from the Neal-Schuman Foundation. This guide may be reproduced in part or in its entirety with credit to United for Libraries so long as it is distributed freely.
United for Libraries

Monday, October 3, 2016


Every year, FOGL offers the following awards, designed to support your friends groups activities, and to help fund your author appearances:
  • FOGL AUTHOR APPEARANCE GRANT.  This $500 grant is in support of author appearances/events sponsored by local friends groups that are current FOGL members.  Proposals must be received by February 28, 2017.
  • FOGL's 2017 "BEST FRIEND" AWARD.  We seek to recognize those who strengthen Georgia's libraries through their advocacy efforts.  To this end, the "Best Friend" award is presented to an exemplary library advocate at our annual membership meeting.  Deadline for nominations is December 31, 2016.
  • FOGL's 2017 "FABULOUS FRIENDS" AWARD.  Similar in nature to the above, these outstanding nominees will have made a significant contribution to statewide advocacy efforts on behalf of Georgia's libraries, or will have substantially contributed to the development of their local library or libraries.  Deadline for nominations is also December 31, 2016.
We are in need of applications for the above three awards. So please, when you're able, take a moment to review these opportunities and their applications at  While you're at our site, consider becoming a member!  It's hands down the least expensive professional organization out there to be involved with, for both individuals and group members.
Our mission is to support and develop your friends groups, and to build a grassroots network of local advocates who believe in the importance and power of our public libraries.  Thank you for your time and consideration.