Purpose of the Friends’ board, duties, and expectations

Purpose of the Friends of the Libraries Board of Directors

The purpose of the Friends Board is to support the University Libraries and the leadership through these activities:

  1. To promote awareness of the University of Minnesota Libraries, by advocating for the Libraries and their initiatives, by working to increase recognition of the Libraries’ major role in achieving the mission of the University through teaching, research and outreach throughout the state, region and internationally;
  2. To foster the development of the Libraries’ resources;
  3. To engage in activities and events to further these causes;
  4. To intentionally engage with traditionally underserved communities; and
  5. To assist the Libraries’ staff in serving the Libraries’ mission.

Friends of the Libraries Board of Director term: 3-year term with a limit of 2 consecutive terms. (Board members are often invited to serve a consecutive second term. After completing two terms, they may be invited to return, but first they must cycle off the Board for at least one year.)

Officers term: Chair Elect–1 year,   Chair–2 years,    Immediate Past Chair–1 year (a board member can serve the maximum of two terms and still be eligible to serve as Officers).

Friends of the Libraries Board Membership:

Up to 21 members plus the Chair, Chair Elect and Immediate Past Chair— up to 24 members in total. Membership of the Board includes: U faculty and staff, independent scholars; people from diverse communities, including the arts, business, professions and service organizations; authors and the literary community; people with development experience; and U Libraries staff.

Friends of the Libraries Board meetings:

Four times annually: second Tuesday in March, June, September and December, in person meetings from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at Elmer L. Andersen Library, with luncheon and parking voucher provided. We transitioned to virtual meetings 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. via Zoom during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Friends of the Libraries Board Committees:

Awards, Events, Marketing & Advocacy, and Nominating. (The Executive Committee comprises Chairs and Co-Chairs of these four committees plus Board Officers.) Committees meet as needed, typically at Wilson Library, to plan and complete their duties; parking voucher provided. We transitioned to virtual meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Expectations of Board Members:

  • Make an effort to attend all Board meetings – 4 a year.
  • Serve on at least one committee, each involving about 10-12 hours/year.
  • Join the Friends: annual membership starts at $40; borrowing privileges come at $80.
  • Encouraged, not required: give other financial support as able, e.g. to annual campaign, special fundraising efforts, etc.
  • Make an effort to attend the FOL’s primary events (5 or 6 take place annually, plus various exhibit openings), as able.

Interested in serving on the Friends board?

If you are interested in learning more and being considered for the Friends of the Libraries Board of Directors, please complete our online form. A member of the Friends will be in touch with you.