Friends of Tennessee Libraries


Does your Friends group have a great idea for a project but no funds to implement it? Friends of Tennessee Libraries can help you by underwriting projects designed to increase membership, raise funds, or support advocacy.

Grants of $500 each, available to members of FOTL in good standing, are awarded by FOTL annually to support projects in areas such as advocacy, fundraising, and membership drives for the coming year. They are designed to support new projects, not to pay for projects already completed.

Grants are awarded at the FOTL Annual Conference. Once the grant has been awarded, the winning Friends group must follow up with an evaluation of the project within 30 days of the project’s completion.

The deadline for 2024 grant applications is August 15.

Submit your grant application here.


Friend of the Year Award

Since 2011, the Friends of Tennessee Libraries (FOTL) and the Tennessee Library Association (TNLA) have presented up to two Friend of the Year awards each year based on community service areas: one representing libraries serving a population of 24,999 or below and another for libraries serving more than 25,000. This year’s recipients will be announced at the 2024 TNLA conference in Franklin. All nominees will be recognized on that occasion, and each nominee will receive a year’s membership in FOTL and the opportunity to work on an FOTL project of their choice.

A Friend of the Year is an individual or a group that has made a significant contribution to the advancement of libraries in Tennessee by effectively and creatively advancing policies or concepts central to public libraries.

Each nominee must be a current member of the Friends of Tennessee Libraries. An individual must hold an individual membership, and a group must be enrolled as a group. Nominees not meeting this requirement will not be considered for the award.

The deadline for this year’s nominations has passed.

Recognition Awards

Honor a Friend or a group that has made a substantial contribution to your local organization. Every year at its annual conference FOTL recognizes volunteers for their outstanding contributions to their libraries. Recipients have included individuals who have devoted hundreds of hours to raise funds, coordinate book sales, designed brochures, organized book-and-author events, edited your newsletter, organized or re-energized your Friends’ group. Maybe there are civic-minded donors who have given property to your library or made generous contributions to your library’s foundation. Perhaps your Friends group financed a library renovation or purchased land for a new library.

The deadline for 2024 nominations is August 15.

To nominate your benefactor for an FOTL award, please choose one of the two nominee options and then click on Submit to access the online form.

Online Nomination Form for Recognition Awards