Coming in 2024: Friends of the Antigo Public Library
Read below for more information and click on this link to let us know your level of interest in involvement:
What is a Friends of the Library Group?
The Antigo Public Library is seeking to organize a Friends of the Library group in 2024. This group would be a nonprofit organization separate from the library. This group will have two main goals.
1. Do smaller-scale fundraising for the library to support robust community programs. This would be things like small book sales, a yearly brat fry, and offering paid memberships to the Friends Group.
2. Advocate for the library within the community by helping promote programs and services to friends and neighbors and communicating with community leaders and stakeholders about the value of the library.
Why Do We Need a Friends Group?
We receive stable and generous funding from the city and county to manager library operations. However, due to rising costs we no longer use budget dollars to fund our community programs. We use our donation fund account for this purpose. Having a friends group will help us keep this fund balance adequate to provide robust programs. Also, because Friends groups are membership-based, having a group can help us grow our numbers of library advocates and volunteers.
We have a wonderful Library Foundation focused on managing our larger donations and bequests. They also assist with applications for larger grants like our solar project. Their excellent work helps fund larger scale purchases and endeavors for the library including our outreach vehicle and other larger ticket purchases. It is not the intent or purpose of a Library Foundation to fund community programs. Additionally library foundations are not membership organizations decreasing their reach for advocacy and volunteerism.
In summary, having BOTH a strong library Foundation and Friends group, we will be better poised to sustain our library for years to come.
How Can I Get Involved?
We need people willing to get involved on every level. We need people who would be willing to pay an annual membership to the Friends to support its work. We need people willing to volunteer once or twice a year at sales and fundraisers. We need people willing to talk up the library in the community, write letters to stakeholders about the library, and be at meetings to advocate for us. We also need people willing to be on the initial leadership/organizing team to help the group get established and apply for its nonprofit status. Depending on who is available we may start slowly with just the small fundraisers and advocacy efforts until we are able to be an official nonprofit that can collect dues, etc. To get started click on the link at the top of the page to complete our survey.