Applying for 501 (c) (3) Status for Your Friends Group

Mary Young did an amazing presentation on Structuring Your Friends Group & Applying for 501(c)(3) Status at FOGL’s Spring Workshop. Click on the image below for the PDF of her PowerPoint.
FOGL Presentation FOGL is available to provide support and will be happy to share forms and sample letters from Mary’s presentation. Of course, these materials are provided as general information only. No legal advice is being given by Friends of Georgia Libraries, Mary E. Young, LLC, or any other person or organization. And as any librarian  will tell you, you should consult with an attorney on all legal matters. That said, FOGL is here to help.

Tips on How to Start a Friends Group and Build Membership

20170428_104341smIt all starts with one member- YOU!

Loving the Library is an easy sell

Get the community involved

Meetings and events need to be fun and food helps!

Know the benefits of joining your group

  • Discounts
  • Early admission to book sale
  • Tote bags

Have a diverse board

Ask businesses to join

Be a dynamic group to attract members

Discover the talents or education or training of your members through surveys and talking to them.

Use the talents of your members

Use the FOGL and United for Libraries websites

Target library event attendees and businesses

Subscribe to other Friends Groups e-newsletters

Fundraising that works!

Sell merchandise

Own a day at your library -info on FOGL blog

Host a Murder Mystery Dinner

Silent Auctions

Summer Concert Series

New Member discounts

Invest in Certificates of Deposits

Post your sale on

Talk up your fundraiser

Sell books and other items online

Work with other groups and independent booksellers

Host contests (puzzles, art, coloring)

Organize a 5k or motorcycle ride

Have a restaurant spirit

Sell or raffle items donated from local businesses

Host a pancake breakfast with a local restaurant

Programs that you can join to bring in donations

Check out Kohl’s community service program

Amazon Smile

Kroger and Publix community programs

Georgia Give a Day


Friends of the Decatur Library Annual Memorial Holiday Book Sale

book-saleSaturday — May 27, 2017, 9:00 am-3:00 pm. The Friends of the Decatur Library will host their annual Memorial Holiday book sale. The sale will be held on the lawn, in front of the Decatur Library. Proceeds provide funds for library materials; and children’s and adults programs. Only cash or checks will be accepted. Dealers must scan at tables. If it rains, no worries; the sale will be inside the library. Family fun for everyone. Admission is free! Remember — May 27, 2017, time: 9:00 am-3:00 pm, location: Decatur Library, 215 Sycamore Street, Decatur, GA, and fun for everyone.

FOGL would like to thank the Friends of Decatur Library and the Decatur Public Library for hosting our Annual Meeting and Spring Workshop. FOGL is about Friends helping Friends. Contact us if your Friends group has a booksale or other event.

And don’t forget Friends of the Decatur Library Annual Memorial Holiday Book Sale on May 27th!


“While Reading” by Terry Kay

Click Here to Print a Copy of “While Reading”

While reading, I have been –
A cowboy (and an Indian) with Zane Grey and Louis L’Amour.
The confederate soldier with Joseph Pennell and Phillip Louis Williams
A pirate with Robert Louis Stevenson
An orphan with Charles Dickens
An eccentric with Flannery O’Connor
A dust bowl traveler with John Steinbeck.

While reading, I have been –
A whaler with Herman Melville
A golden-dreamer with Erskine Coldwell
A small-town barber with Wendell Berry
A runaway with mark Twain
An old-time gospel god James Weldon Johnson.

While reading, I have been –
A b-flat coronet player with William price fox
A battler of windmills with Miguel de Cervantes
An attendant in the House of Gentle Men with Kathy Hepinstall
A basketball player with Pat Conroy, a firefighter with Larry Brown, a defense attorney with John Grisham.

While reading, I have touched the oceans darkest depths and walked on planets in solar systems beyond our seeing.

While reading, I have climbed mountains lost in the clouds, and walked a different road with Robert frost and gazed at the little cat feet of fog with Carl Sandburg and danced to the language-music of Byron Herbert Reece and Edgar Allan Poe and David Bottoms.

While reading, I have flown the Atlantic with Charles Lindbergh and pierced the caul of space with john Glenn.

While reading, I have stood at Gettysburg with Lincoln and in Montgomery with Martin Luther King, Jr.

While reading, I have rejoiced with the still-living of Dachau on the day of liberation, and I have seen the unspeakable horror of Hiroshima on the day of killing.

While reading, I sat at the feet of Abraham and Moses and Jesus and Muhammad and Buddha, and all the other men of God, and all those who would kill God—the insane, the madman, bigoted, the fanatics.

While reading, I have been a boy and a man, girl and woman. I’ve been young and old. I have died and have been re-born.

While reading, I’ve become people I cannot be, doing things I cannot do. And I do not know of any other experience that could have given me such a life.

Terry Kay, Copyright, 2006
Revised for a reading at the Lagrange Public Library on April 14, 2016

Register for Spring Workshop — April 28th in Decatur

Spring WorkshopFOGL Spring Workshop  will be held on Friday, April 28, 2017 at the Decatur Public Library Auditorium in Decatur, GA.  The theme is “Building a Better Library” and will feature topics essential to any Friends group:

  • Friends Helping Friends — How to Start a Friends Group
    and/or Build Memberships
  • Organizational Help — Structuring Your Friends Group
    and Applying for  501C3 Status
  • Grants and Awards — Fundraising that Works! Build a Better Book Sale and other ideas
  • Love Your Library — How to Advocate for Your Library in Your Community and Beyond

The event will also feature special guests: authors Terry Kay  and Thomas Mullen.


Join United for Libraries for “Nuts & Bolts for Trustees, Friends and Foundations”

Martha Hall Kelly, author of the bestselling "Lilac Girls"
Martha Hall Kelly

United for Libraries will host “Nuts & Bolts for Trustees, Friends and Foundations sponsored by EBSCO” at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta on Fri., Jan. 20, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Westin Peachtree Plaza, Augusta Room 1.

Library Trustees, Friends groups, Foundations, and staff are invited to join a FREE day of information and resource sharing, round-table discussions, and learning opportunities. Lunch with an Author will feature Martha Hall Kelly (right), author of the bestselling Lilac Girls (Penguin Random House). Learn more about the important role advocacy can play in systemic change with afternoon keynote Ann Cramer, board member of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. In addition, Public Broadcasting Atlanta (PBA) recently announced the appointment of Ann Cramer to serve as new chairwoman of its Board of Directors. The day will culminate with our popular round-table discussions.

The first 75 people to register for Nuts & Bolts using the online form and check-in at the program by 10 a.m. will receive a free lunch from EBSCO. Lunch tickets not claimed by 10 a.m. will be forfeited. Attendees will be notified of their status by Jan. 4, 2017. Those not qualifying for a free lunch may attend the program and purchase lunch on site or bring their own. Lunch tickets not claimed by 10 a.m. will be made available to those who were not among the first 75 registrants. Please note that all Nuts & Bolts attendees must also be registered with ALA for a free exhibits only pass or as a Midwinter Meeting attendee. Please email or call us at (312) 280-2161 with any questions.

Other free United for Libraries programs at the Midwinter Meeting include:

  • Discussion groups for Friends, Trustees, Foundations, and Academic Friends
  • Spotlight on Adult Literature, featuring free book giveaways and author signings
  • Are you a Proactive or Reactive Advocate? Best Practices from Academic and Public Library Supporters (discussion group, co-sponsored with RUSA)
  • Best Practices for Public Library Directors and Their Trustees for Making Future Policy Decisions Together! (presented as part of the Symposium on the Future of Libraries)

For more about these programs, visit

For a full calendar of events, visit

Need an End of the Year Tax Deduction? Do You Love Libraries?

Do you or your company need an end of the year tax deduction?  Do you love libraries and want to help Friends groups?  Then join FOGL to help Friends groups support Georgia libraries.

Join from our web page (, today!

Friends of Georgia Libraries, Inc. keeps all personal information private and does not share members’ phone numbers, addresses, or e-mail addresses with third parties. Friends of Georgia Libraries is a non-profit 501-c-3 organization. Your donations are tax deductible. 

10 Most Beautiful Public Libraries in Georgia

Georgia Public Library Service is looking for the 10 most beautiful public libraries in Georgia. Nominations will be judged on the overall design of the building, both in form and function, and in its timelessness of style.  Nominated facilities must currently be in use as a public library in Georgia. Nominations will be accepted online through midnight December 31, 2016.  Please include the name of the library, street address, and up to 400 words explaining why this is the one of the most beautiful libraries in Georgia. Please send any supporting materials, including up to 3 pictures, to

The 10 most beautiful libraries will be announced in the spring of 2017.  Winners will receive a plaque and be honored at a reception and press conference to be held at one of the winning libraries. Each facility will also be prominently featured in printed and online materials promoting them as worthy stops for architectural-and literary-based tourism.

The panel of judges includes staff at GPLS and an architectural historian. GPLS encourages all to share this message with Friends and Trustees.