FAQs about the Friends

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Friends of the Fort Lee Library?

The Friends of the Fort Lee Public Library is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit that was established to raise money to sponsor Library services and events for the benefit of all patrons, while its members are volunteers for Friends and Library events as needed. The Friends accomplish its fundraising goals through membership dues, donations, and fundraising events (like the annual book sale).

What’s “a Friend” or a member of the Friends?

A “Friend” is a member of the Friends. Members pay annual dues to join. Members are allowed to attend the two bi-annual meetings of the Friends and vote in any Friends executive board elections as well as run for an executive board position. There are also other benefits to becoming a member!

I have a Fort Lee Library card, am I a member of the Friends?

Since the Friends is a separate nonprofit from the Fort Lee Library, only those who pay the annual dues to the Friends of the Fort Lee Library are considered members of the Friends. Library card holders–from Fort Lee and Englewood Cliffs–are able to borrow items and use services available to them from the Fort Lee Library, but are not automatically members of the Friends.

Can I join the Friends if I don’t live in Fort Lee, of if I don’t have a Fort Lee library card?

Yes. Anyone can join the Friends of the Fort Lee Library, and anyone can give a donation to the Friends to help support the Fort Lee Library.

If I’m a Friend member from a town other than Fort Lee or Englewood Cliffs, can I attend “Fort Lee Cardholder only” events?

In short: no. Library events are organized by the Library itself, not the Friends. If the event is advertised as “Fort Lee Cardholders Only” then only a resident of Fort Lee or Englewood Cliffs with a valid library card can attend or register for that event.

If I’m a member of the Friends, can I bring a guest to Friends events?

The short answer is: maybe. Some events are advertised as “members-only” which means if you have paid the annual dues and are a current member, you will be invited to those events, but friends of yours who are not members can not attend. If your friend is also a member of the Friends, then yes, of course, bring your friend!

How do I join the Friends?

The easiest way to become a member of the Friends is on our website: https://flplfriends.org/join If you prefer to pay by cash or check, there is a printed membership form available at the circulation desk at the Library.

Do I have to volunteer? (Can I just give you money?)

Although we encourage Friends members to volunteer, it is not a requirement. We are equally happy to accept members who only pay the annual dues or donate to our fundraising.

Is the Friends a 501(c)3?

Yes. Since 2018, the Friends of the Fort Lee Public Library has been a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit. Our EIN is 83-2152094.

Can I make a matching donation?

Yes, certainly. Many companies have matching donation programs to 501c3 nonprofits, which we are, and some of our members do apply to their companies for matching donations. Please contact us with any questions you have about this: FLPLFriends@gmail.com

How much have the Friends donated to the Library?

Since our founding in October 2018, we have donated over $45,000 to the Fort Lee Public Library. On average, we’ve donated approximately $10,000 each year. During 2022, we even donated $16,000 exclusively for the Library’s renovation and modernization project.

What kinds of services and events have the Friends sponsored?

A great many. Some of the services we’ve sponsored include: Museum Passes, New York Times online subscription, additional eBook licenses during the pandemic, and the Toddler Nook. Just some of the events we’ve sponsored include: Summer Reading Programs (adults & children), live musicians, our annual book sale, walking tours of Historic Fort Lee, children’s events, Library Mini Golf, the Science of Beer Talk & Tasting, snacks for teens during study sessions for finals, and Friends parties like the Silent Auction (2022). Also we’ve had some members-only events like an author talk and performances by Bill Ervolino.

How long is membership good for and are dues prorated/discounted?

Our annual membership dues are valid for one calendar year starting each January 1. Memberships expire on December 31 of each year, regardless of when the member signed up. Membership dues are not prorated. For example, if you become a member in January or July, your membership expires on December 31 of that same calendar year and the membership dues are the same price. We keep our membership dues at a low rate to encourage membership, and one can join anytime online: https://flplfriends.org/join

Do I have to pay membership dues every year?

If you would like to continue your membership, then at the start of each calendar year you will be able to renew your membership for another year.

What are the benefits to joining the Friends?

Besides directly contributing to the betterment of our local library, there are a number of small perks that members enjoy. The full list is available here: https://flplfriends.org/join