Magazine article American Libraries

The Association's Associations: ALTAFF

Magazine article American Libraries

The Association's Associations: ALTAFF

Article excerpt

LET ALTAFF SHOW YOU THE MONEY

Even as the national economy seems to be eking out a small recovery, libraries of all types across the country continue to reduce staff and hours, or close altogether. What's a librarian to do? Many librarians have discovered that there is untapped power in the voices of their formalized support groups, such as Friends, trustees, and foundation members.

We're all for educating city and campus governors who often hold the library's budget fate in their hands, but sometimes it takes a massive outcry from constituents to save the library. The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends, and Foundations (ALTAFF) works year-round with citizen leaders at the local, state, and national levels to help them become more effective in their role as advocates. And we've seen success!

Though "soft money" is no way to run a library indefinitely, Friends groups and foundations are further helping their libraries by redoubling their fundraising efforts, and again ALTAFF is there. We provide our members with toolkits for starting a Friends group if you don't have one and for growing existing groups. …

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