Friends of Connecticut Libraries

Annual Fall Conference

November 18, 2017

Registration 8:45 to 9:30 a.m.
  Program 9:30 a.m. to 2:30p.m. with a buffet lunch

>Online registration    >Paper form for mail in registration

The Annual Fall FOCL Conference will be held at Central Connecticut State University on Saturday, November 18, 2017.  This year’s theme is reaching out to all members of the community to lend their support to the library during these times of fiscal constraints.  There will also be a presentation on the results of a survey of library directors on how they view their Friends groups.


1.  Libraries Are For Everyone: Knowing your Community, Growing Your Friends Group

Friends of the Library groups are essential for the success of the public, school, and academic libraries they support and champion.  But how do you keep your Friends group vital and reflective of the community you serve?  We will explore ways to engage with people who have a stake in the library's success, learn about their aspirations, and inspire more of them to become active library users and Friends.

Jean Canosa Albano is the Assistant Director for Public Services at the Springfield (MA) City Library. Jean entered the profession 30 years ago, working in library branches, circulation, reference, young adult, and children’s services. Her previous management experience includes branch supervision and management. She has also served as a library trustee, a foundation board member, and a liaison to a Friends of the Library group. She envisions a community that is bound together and uplifted through freely shared information, resources, aspirations, and opportunities.

2.  Friends Welcoming Everyone

Libraries should be welcoming places for all community members.  To accomplish this, library organizations must listen to the needs of diverse segments of the community and then use this information to develop relationships.  When community members are engaged, they develop connections and are more likely to volunteer.

A panel will discuss strategies to plan for the needs of diverse communities including assessing their needs; gathering multicultural resources; communicating competently with non-English speaking communities; accommodating this community with appropriate library services and connecting them with various programming opportunities.

The panel will be led by Dawn La Valle, Director of Library Development for the State of CT and former non-English speaking outreach/liaison librarian, and three panelists from diverse communities: Leticia Cotto, Hartford Public Library; Yelena Klumpus, Ferguson Library, Stamford; and Suzanne Maryeski, Library Director, New London Public Library.

3.  Library Directors' Views of Friends Groups

After lunch, we will change the theme and examine our Friends groups through the eyes of our Library Directors.  Over the summer, FOCL conducted a survey of library directors on how active and supportive their Friends group are, how well they communicate, what they would like the Friends to what do and more.  Nearly 100 library directors completed the survey, so we have a pretty good idea on what the directors are thinking.  FOCL program chair, Carl Nawrocki will present the results of the survey with comments from Kate Byroade, the Connecticut Library Association Vice President.  Invite your Library Director to the conference!

FULL AGENDA: Click here.

FOR DETAILS about location, directions, parking, accessibility, and menu, click here.

COST: The cost is $25 per person for FOCL group or individual members and $35 for non-members.

TWO WAYS TO REGISTER: 1) Print this registration form and mail it along with a check  to the address on the form OR
2)  Click here for online registration and payment.


Autumn is FOCL Membership renewal time

Your membership enables FOCL to continue to serve as a central resource for Friends groups throughout Connecticut.  New members are welcome too.  Our goal is to help your Friends group -- and library -- be even more successful! 

To renew or join:

Friends Groups click here.

Individuals/Organizations click here.

Online payment is now available.  Paper forms are in the mail to current members.

If you have questions or need help with the renewal process, email FOCL at  We will get back to you as soon as possible.

Thank you to those who have already renewed!



Congratulations to the 2017 FOCL Annual Winners!

Individual Achievement Awards
Lisa Berman, Avon -- Ginny Canfield and Kirby Klump, Ridgefield

Focused Project Award
Friends of the Milford Library

Group Award
Friends of the New Milford Library

You can read about each of the winners in the August issue of FOCL-Point.  See photos from the event below. 

Check out our Summer 2017 Newsletter detailing the conference here

What is FOCL?

The Friends of Connecticut Libraries (FOCL) is a non-profit organization consisting of local Friends groups, organizations and individual members who believe that libraries are an essential resource for the citizens of our State. 

We provide newsletters, workshops, conferences and visitations that support Friends functions such as fundraising, sponsorship of educational and entertainment programs, advocacy for their library, and in-library volunteer work like shelving and data processing.

Become a member

As a member of FOCL you become a part of a community of Friends groups, as well as individual, institutional, and corporate supporters, throughout Connecticut. 

Join us

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