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

Today Renew your FOTL membership or join us for the first time

October 17–23 National Friends of Libraries Week

October 19–22 Friends of Tennessee Libraries Virtual Annual Meeting (see below)

Our Latest News

FOTL News: October 2021 (e-newsletter)

Governor Lee Proclaims Friends of Tennessee Libraries Week

In recognition of the invaluable work of Friends of Libraries across the state of Tennessee, Governor Bill Lee has proclaimed October 17–23, 2021, Friends of Libraries Week and encourages all citizens to join in this worthy observance.

“Libraries are absolutely essential for our communities, now, more than ever,” says Diane Johnson, president, Friends of Tennessee Libraries (FOTL). “Every person who uses a library has access to books, magazines, newspapers, DVDs, CDs, and computers, at no expense. Just as importantly, patrons are assisted by trained librarians and staff who work tirelessly to support them. Friends are a vital part of that support, and we are delighted that Governor Lee recognizes ‘the gifts of time and commitment by Friends of Libraries in Tennessee.

“We thank Governor Lee for his recognition and celebration of the valuable work of our Friends of Libraries, and we urge all Tennesseans to use their local library and join the Friends.”

FOTL Virtual Annual Meeting

Friends of Tennessee Libraries (FOTL) invites you to its 2021 Annual Meeting October 19–22. The meeting will be virtual, is free and open to everyone, and does not require advance registration. One session will be posted on Facebook and our website each day at 11 a.m. ET. All sessions, listed below, will be archived.

Tuesday, October 19: Building Relationships: A Case Study with the John P. Holt Brentwood Library
Wednesday, October 20: The Fearless Women of the Pack Horse Library Project
Thursday, October 21: Social Media 101
Friday, October 22: Beyond Book Sales: Creative Ways to Support Your Library

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