Forming a Friends of the Library Group: The Miller F. Whittaker Library Experience South Carolina State University Orangeburg, South Carolina HBCU Library Alliance Institute II Atlanta, Georgia April 3-5, 2006
Mentor Dr. Lauren B. Sapp, Director of Libraries, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Lead Librarian Mary L. Smalls, Dean of Library and Information Services Mentee Lakeshia T. Darby, Reference and Information Specialist
Outline • Abstract Summary • Goals of the Project • Project Review • Timeline • Information Packet • Conference Call • Library Employee Participation • Stakeholders • The Steering Committee • Mentor Librarian’s Visit • Key Change Issues
Outline Continued… • Application of Learnings from Institute I • Frameworks Used • Systems Thinking • Resistance to Change • Opportunities and Challenges • Current Roles of the Library in the Community • Library Breakthroughs and Innovations • Academic Friends of the Library Groups • Literature Review • Summary
Abstract Summary The lead and mentee librarians at South Carolina State University undertook the task of establishing a Friends of the Miller F. Whittaker Library group. This initiative resulted from participation in the HBCU Library Alliance Institute I. This presentation includes a timeline that identifies the step-by-step process used to develop a Friends of the Library Group to the first meeting of the Steering Committee in March 2006. Additional information includes goals of the project, key change issues, leadership strategies incorporated from Institute I, participation by the mentor librarian through communication (conference call, mail, and e-mail) and an onsite visit, opportunities and challenges, current roles of the library in the community, breakthroughs and innovations of the library, and the literature review.
Goals of the Project • Develop a Friends of the Library group which will generate funding for library programming, activities, and projects. (only FOL) • Acquire university approval to form a Friends of the Library group. (A) • Identify a Steering Committee for the Friends of the Library group. (A) • Plan monthly meetings with the Steering Committee beginning March 2006. (1 held) • Initiate a membership campaign and program schedule by the Board of Directors. • Develop a program for a fundraising campaign by the Board of Directors. A=Achieved
Project Review Timeline November 2005 2nd Identified stakeholders and membership dues structure for the Steering Committee 7th Received a discussion document from Dr. Lauren B. Sapp, Mentor Librarian 11th Reviewed the literature 16th Received information packet from Dr. Sapp 17th Communicated with Dr. Sapp via telephone 29th Requested library staff to identify individuals for the Steering Committee Held a conference call with Dr. Sapp and Ms. Brenda Wright, mentee, FAMU 30th Received library staff feedback on suggested stakeholders Shared the email sent to library staff with Dr. Sapp
Project Review Continued … December 2005 2nd Requested approval from the Office of Institutional Advancement (OIA) to form a Friends Group Rationale Steering Committee composition Fee structure HBCU connection 4th Received approval from OIA Request made by OIA for staff member to serve as ex-officio January 2006 5th Reviewed library staff suggestions 12th Reviewed library staff suggestions 18th Selected individuals for the Steering Committee Reviewed the literature
Project Review Continued… 19th Requested name ex-officio member from the OIA to the Steering Committee 23rd Sent out invitational letters to the candidates for the Steering Committee February 2006 8th Reviewed the literature 9th Examined South Carolina academic Friends Groups 27th Dr. Sapp’s site visit 28th Sent packets to Steering Committee members and scheduled first meeting March 2006 8th Emailed library staff-ideas for Steering Committee meeting, encouraged them to become members 9th Held first meeting of the Steering Committee
Project Review Continued… Information Packet Dr. Sapp November 16, 2005 • Reading List • FOLUSA Fact Sheet 4:”How to Organize an Academic Friends Group.” • “Libraries Need Friends…” FOLUSA • “Friends on Campus” (various issues from 1998-2004) • “Strategic Planning for Friends” News Update, February 2005 • Friends of the Library Banquet Booklet, FAMU 2004
Project Review Continued… Conference Call Dr. Sapp and Ms. Wright November 29, 2005 Discussion Highlights • Membership Benefits • Steering Committee • Membership • Programming Ideas
Project Review Continued… Library Employee Participation Staffing 20 library staff/faculty members 6 library-faculty responded 2 library staff/paraprofessionals responded 40% response rate Library-faculty 100% response rate 6 out of 6 library-faculty responded Library staff/paraprofessionals 14% Library response rate 2 out of 14 library staff/paraprofessionals responded
Project Review Continued… Stakeholders • Students • Faculty • Staff • Library Employees • Alumni • Library Retirees • Local Community Members
Project Review Continued… The Steering Committee • 1 SC State Student • 1 SC State Faculty Member • 1 SC State Staff Member • 1 Current Whittaker Library Librarian • 2 SC State Alumni • 1 Whittaker Library Retiree • 2 Local Community Members • 2 Ex-Officio Members
Mr. Demar L. Roberts SC State sophomore, Vice President of Pre-Alumni Council and former Freshman Class President
Dr. William C. Hine Professor of History, avid library supporter, who has more than 30 years of employment at the University
Ms. Erica S. Prioleau Alumna,staff, and Director of University Relations and Marketing
Ms. Lakeshia T. Darby Alumna and current Miller F. Whittaker Library Librarian
Mr. and Mrs. Brad C. (Mary G.) Lucas Photo not available Alumni, business owners and estate planners Greenville, South Carolina
Dr. Leroy Davis Sr. Alumnus, former SC State President and library supporter
Mr. Charles I. Clanton Community member, businessman, and father of one of the reference and information specialist at the Miller F. Whittaker Library
Mrs. Josephine R. Evans Alumna , community member, former public school teacher, and administrator
Ms. Lillian M. Adderson Ex-Officio Member Alumna, staff , and Assistant Vice President for Alumni Relations
Ms. Mary L. Smalls Ex-Officio Member Alumna and Dean of Library and Information Services
Project Review Continued… Mentor Librarian’s Visit Dr. Sapp February 27, 2006 • Reviewed progress to date • Identified additional planning strategies • Identified activities • Established timelines and action plans
Key Change Issues • Getting university approval • Getting representative participation from the library staff • Questioning by one stakeholder of the FOL in an academic library (resistance to change) • Developing an FOL that will be highly respected and supported by the university and community • Developing a strong, proactive, and functional FOL • Developing an FOL that will generate additional library funding and improved awareness • Being recognized by the local Chamber of Commerce
Application of Learnings from Institute I Frameworks Used Planning Human Relations - - to promote participation Symbolic - - ritual to signal responsibility Reorganizing Human relations - - maintain a balance between human needs and formal roles Symbolic - - maintain an image of accountability and responsiveness Conflict Resolution Human Relations - - develop relationships Symbolic - -develop shared values Decision Making Human relations- - open process to produce commitment Symbolic - - ritual to provide comfort and support until decisions are made
Application of Learnings from Institute I Continued… Evaluating Human relations - - process for helping people grow and improve Symbolic - - occasion to play roles in shared rituals Goal Setting Human relations - - keep people involved and communications open Symbolic - - develop symbols and shared values Trader-Leigh, Karyn. Transforming Organizations and Leading Change, pp. 123-129. June 2005.
Application of Learnings from Institute I Continued… Systems Thinking • Used to promote 21st Century leadership • Outcome is to see interrelationships develop (diversity of the Steering Committee) • Outcome is to see the entire whole picture in the process of change; not bits and pieces Resistance to Change • Retiree selected for membership to the Steering Committee declined Trader-Leigh, Karyn. Transforming Organizations and Leading Change, pp. 131, 144, June 2005.
Opportunities and Challenges • Accept an opportunity that will prepare and lead change with an FOL • Design a plan that everyone “buys into” • Mobilize a strong proactive Steering Committee and Board of Directors • Implement a plan that provides challenging and intellectual benefits for users • Provide for improved funding and greater awareness of the library at the university and in the community
Current Roles of Library in the Community • Provides services for a 4,500 student population, approximately 275 faculty, and approximately 500 staff • Provides storytelling services upon requests (university/day care centers, etc.) • Participates in area career day activities (primary and secondary levels) • Provides check-out privileges • University users • Community users (Community Borrowing Card) • Alumni • Retirees • Users of the Statewide Library Borrowing Card • Provides folders, pencils, and bookmarks to groups • Provides access to print and electronic resources, computer lab, and meeting space • University users • Alumni • Retirees • Community users
Breakthroughs and Innovations • Provides storytelling services upon request • Developed a partnership with the media specialist at Felton Laboratory School to support resources and services • Provides internship opportunities for students majoring in history
Academic Friends of the Library Groups • Friends of the Dacus Library, Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC • Friends of the Daniel Library, The Citadel, Charleston, SC • Friends of the Medford Library, University of South Carolina Lancaster, Lancaster, SC • Friends of Furman University Libraries, Florence, SC • Friends of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Libraries, Tallahassee, FL • Friends of Strozier Library, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
Literature Review • Friends of Libraries U.S.A. Fact Sheet #4 Starting a Academic Friends Group • “Libraries Need Friends: A Toolkit to Create Friends Groups or to Revitalize the One You Have.” • “Its Hard to Make New Friends: What to Think About in Creating a Friends of the Library Group.”
Summary The lead and mentee librarians at South Carolina State University (SCSU) undertook the task of establishing a Friends of the Miller F. Whittaker Library group. The initiative resulted from participation in the HBCU Library Alliance Institute I. The mentor librarian supported the librarians by mailing packets of information on readings in the literature, e.g., Friends of the Library USA (FOLUSA) and projects reported in the literature. She followed with a conference call with her mentee and the librarians to discuss progress, the Friends of the Library (FOL) experience in her library, ideas for activities and programming, the composition of the Steering Committee, the membership make-up, a dues structure, and an implementation plan. The mentor librarian visited later to discuss progress, strategies, issues, programming activities, and timelines. The first task was to review the literature to gain a background and understanding of the process, structure, and issues in developing an FOL. The second crucial task was to get approval from the vice president of the Office of Institutional Advancement at the university. The SCSU librarians prepared a document outlining the following: 1) rationale for an FOL group; 2) benefits of an FOL for the library and university; 3) suggested composition of stakeholders for the Steering Committee; 4) suggested membership levels and dues structure; and 5) the HBCU connection. Surprisingly the vice president gave immediate approval and asked that one of the staff members in the office serve in an ex-officio capacity. Copies of the e-mail were sent to the mentor librarian.
Summary Continued… The mentee e-mailed each library staff member for assistance. Information provided was the same as sent to the vice president for Institutional Advancement. In addition, each library staff member was asked to suggest names for the stakeholders who would later become the Steering Committee. The e-mail generated many names for each category. There was a 40 percent response rate to the request. This information was also e-mailed to the mentor librarian. The lead and mentee librarians held meetings to discuss and select the best possible candidates for the Steering Committee. A letter of invitation was mailed to each explaining the rationale for an FOL, the membership make-up of the Steering Committee, areas of responsibility, and a copy of the FOLUSA Fact Sheet. All nine candidates selected agreed to serve on the Steering Committee except the one in the retiree category. A profile of selected candidates include a former freshman class president; a history professor with more than thirty years at the university; an alumna and the director of university relations and marketing; a husband-wife team who are alumni, business owners, and estate planners; an alumnus and former SCSU president; a businessman and father of one of the Whittaker librarians; and an alumna who is a former public school teacher, administrator, and a staunch financial supporter of the university. The ex-officio members include the assistant vice president for alumni relations and the dean of the Whittaker Library; both alumnae of the university.
Summary Continued… A meeting of the Steering Committee followed on March 9, 2006. Agenda items for this meeting included the mission of the FOL for the Whittaker Library, a draft of the by-laws, membership dues and structure, 501c3 status, election of officers, the membership drive, and examples of programming activities. Another meeting is scheduled in April to review and finalize documents disseminated.