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 of advocacy, fundraising, or membership drives for the coming year. They are designed to support new projects, not to pay for projects already completed.

Grants will be awarded at the FOTL Annual Meeting. 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 2023 grant applications is September 30.

Apply online:


Friend of the Year Award

Since 2011 Friends of Tennessee Libraries and the Tennessee Library Association have recognized Friend of the Year, an individual or a group that has made a significant contribution to the advancement of libraries in Tennessee. The award has gone to the Friends of the Art Circle Public Library in Crossville (2011), Friends of the Kodak Branch Library (2012), Friends of the Benton County Public Library (2013), Friends of Tellico Village Library (2014), Friends of the Williamson County Public Library (2015), Julie D. Webb (2016), Friends of the White County Library and Friends of Smyrna Library (2017), Connie Albrecht and Martha Moore Gill (2018), Marilyn Morrison and Meg and Ron Halter (2019), Friends of the Spring Hill Library and the eBay Team of the Blount County Friends (2020), Blount County Friends and Emma Ruth Catlett (2021), and Diane Rocco and Friends of the Seymour Branch Library (2022), Judy Titsworth and Friends of the Lewis County Public Library and Archives (2023).

The deadline for nominations is December 31.

Download the Friend of the Year Nomination Form.

Recognition Awards

Honor a Friend or a group that has made a substantial contribution to Tennessee libraries through your local organization. Every year at its annual meeting FOTL recognizes volunteers for their outstanding contributions to Tennessee libraries by awarding certificates and awards of $100. 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 2023 nominations is September 30.

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