Friends of the Library

Friends of the Library” means a volunteer group of individuals with a common interest in helping and supporting the library.


The Vancouver Island Regional Library Board welcomes the establishment of Friends of the Library groups as a means of:

  • Supporting the mission and vision of the Vancouver Island Regional Library;
  • Advocating for the library and raising awareness of the library in the community;
  • Initiating and supporting fundraising activities.

Requests to form Friends of the Library groups are encouraged, and shall be considered by the Executive Director upon receipt of a formal written proposal. The Executive Director will inform the Board when a new Friends of the Library group has been formed.

Friends groups can choose to benefit a particular library branch or community, or they can benefit the Vancouver Island Regional Library system as a whole. Accordingly, they are known as “Friends of the Vancouver Island Regional Library – [branch or community]”.

Should a Friends group consider dissolving, the Library Board should be notified in writing 60 days prior to this taking effect.

Roles and Responsibilities

The Vancouver Island Regional Library Board, the library staff, and Friends of the Library have important and separate roles to play in the achievement of the library’s goals and objectives.

The Vancouver Island Regional Library Board is the body which has the legal and financial responsibility for governing the library. It sets policies concerning the human resources, financial and service aspects of the library, and oversees the operation of these policies. The Board sets the goals for the library and develops plans for achieving these goals.

The Executive Director implements Board policy.

The Friends of the Library support the library’s mission, vision and values through various activities such as advocacy, promotion and fundraising. All activities undertaken are in consultation with Vancouver Island Regional Library staff.

Governance and Finances

A Friends of the Library group must have a constitution, and may choose to form a Society under the Society Act of British Columbia.

To ensure that all potential Canada Revenue Agency and internal Vancouver Island Regional Library requirements and processes are adhered to:

Friends groups must submit an annual budget to the appropriate Director or designate for approval. This should be completed by December 31 for the following calendar year.

Within 60 days of year end Friends groups must provide annual financial statements to the appropriate Director or designate. These are to include a balance sheet and an income and expense statement with comparison to budget.

If a Friends group decides to disband, all assets become the property of the Vancouver Island Regional Library.

Friends Activities

All activities should be undertaken once endorsement has been received from the appropriate Director or designate.

Friends groups may accept donations on behalf of Vancouver Island Regional Library. However, in order to protect Vancouver Island Regional Library’s status as a charitable organization, and in accordance with Canada Revenue Agency regulations, the library must issue the charitable donation receipts, and cheques must be payable to Vancouver Island Regional Library.

The library will support the activities of Friends groups by providing the following:

  • Meeting space for Friends meetings and special events, subject to space availability;
  • Support and advice of the appropriate Director or designate;
  • Access to photocopier for duplicating minutes and other official documents;
  • Printing for membership applications and cards, and for publicity materials;
  • Vancouver Island Regional Library Friends of the Library Handbook
  • Financial management and purchasing services.

Contributions by Friends groups will be suitably acknowledged and recognized by the Library Board.


Revised: January 2010

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