Friends of Tennessee Libraries

Founded in 1992, Friends of Tennessee Libraries (FOTL), a 501(c)(3) organization, is a network of volunteers.

  • We promote libraries and their Friends.
  • We support libraries and their Friends.
  • We advocate funding for libraries on a local, state, and national basis.

As we work together, FOTL can build a strong, supportive network of citizens promoting the value of libraries as institutions essential to democracy. The urgent need for financial investment in our libraries continues to grow, and FOTL intends to reinforce the front-line efforts of local Friends.

Important Dates

April 2022 — School Library Month

April 3–9, 2022 — National Library Week

April 12–14, 2022 — Tennessee Library Association’s Annual Conference

Our Latest News

FOTL News: October 2021 (e-newsletter)

FOTL Newsletter: Fall 2021 (print newsletter)

Presentations from the October 2021 Annual Meeting

All presentations from FOTL’s October 2021 Annual Meeting are available here.

In Building Relationships: A Case Study with the John P. Holt Brentwood Library, panelists share their personal experiences and offer practical suggestions for fostering better relationships among your Library Board, Friends, Library staff, and funding body.

In The Fearless Women of the Pack Horse Library Project, Jeanne Schmitzer, author of Down Cut Shin Creek: The Pack Horse Librarians of Kentucky, and Jason Vance, Middle Tennessee State University professor, librarian, and researcher of scrapbooks kept by pack horse librarians, discuss the program that delivered books to remote regions in the Appalachian Mountains between 1935 and 1943.

In Social Media 101, Deanna Lambert, community relations director of the City of Brentwood, shares tips and tricks for creating engaging and relevant content for your Friends.

In Beyond Book Sales: Creative Ways to Support Your Library, panelists from across the state offer examples of ways Friends can support their library in addition to holding book sales.

Resources for Friends and Library Advocates

FOTL has collected a number of resources on topics of interest to local Friends groups and library advocates.

NEW: “Tips for Writing Grant Proposals” by Dwight Shepherd, former chair of FOTL Grants

Click on the images below to view all the resources by topic.


“The gifts of time and commitment by Friends of Libraries in Tennessee set a positive example of civic engagement that benefits both volunteers and their communities.”

State of Tennessee Proclamation of Friends of Libraries Week signed by Governor Bill Lee and Secretary of State Tre Hargett, August 2021