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.

Join us as we work together to 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.

REGISTER HERE for a day of conversation and inspiration as members of Friends groups from across the state gather to share stories of strategies for success and honor grant recipients and outstanding volunteers.

New York Times best-selling author Ruta Sepetys, author of five historical novels, will be the keynote speaker. Sepetys is considered a “crossover” writer whose books are read by both students and adults in more than 60 countries and 40 languages.

Learn more HERE in the Fall 2023 issue of the Friends of Tennessee Libraries Newsletter.


September 30 is the deadline for grant applications and Recognition Award nominations.

Be a Friend of Tennessee Libraries

Membership benefits include:

  • Mentoring Work with our expert mentors to address your needs, from book sales to fundraising to outreach events to building relationships to bylaw creation and revision to legal guidance for 501(c)(3) paperwork and much more.
  • Advocacy Stay informed on issues facing libraries at the local, state, and national level through legislative updates, tips for communicating with elected officials, and events such as the March for Libraries.
  • Support Apply for grants to support your local group’s activities and nominate outstanding volunteers for awards.
  • Access Use our professional Zoom account at no cost to your local Friends meetings and receive one-on-one Canva coaching.
  • Resources Learn from our annual conference, newsletters, and practical information on our website.

Click here to join our community of Friends who love the libraries that light up our lives.

Resources for Friends and Library Advocates

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


Click on this link to view our 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 2022