What is a Friends Group?
A Friends Group is an organization made up of volunteers, usually a 501c3 with tax exempt status, that exists to provide support to another organization. In our case, our Friends Group exists to fundraise and provide advocacy for library services and materials to our community.
Why does the Interlaken Public Library have a Friends Group?
The short answer: We have a Friends Group to fundraise and advocate in ways our library can’t.
The long answer: The Interlaken Public Library is chartered as a municipal library thru the NY State Department of Education. Municipal libraries are one of four types of libraries that exist in New York State, and they are required to follow both municipal and education law. According to Office of the State Comptroller opinions No. 74-1102, 1974, and No. 77-292, 1977, municipal libraries are prohibited from fundraising and advocating for levy votes. This means that these two critical functions need to be performed by someone else – in our case, our Friends Group. This separate organization was formed in 2020 by a small group of volunteers, with Articles of Incorporation that detail how they will function to support the Interlaken Public Library thru fundraising and advocacy efforts.