Transitions in the Friends Governance

 
We are in transition from maintaining an independent nonprofit corporation (organized in 1983) to becoming a committee of the Holyoke Public Library Corporation, which in 2020 is celebrating its 150th anniversary as a nonprofit.
 
Our mission of advocating for, and supporting, the Library will continue.  See our Mission Statement.

Friends members voted at the 2017 Annual Membership Meeting (Sept 25, 2017)
in favor of a proposed revision of the Bylaws:
 
That 2017 Annual Meeting also discussed and approved the idea of exploring new options in connection with the Library's governing board. Why should TWO non-profits be needed in support of ONE library?, we asked. We acknowledged difficulties in recruiting and retaining volunteers interested in administrative roles (e.g.,Treasuer). Lapses in filing required state and federal (IRS) reports had caused difficulties in recent years. We were at a crossroads, needing to re-apply to the IRS for 501c3 status, or figure out other ways to move forward. In preparation for that meeting, we investigated choices, and learned that not all public libraries have Friends groups; some had Foundations that raise funds. Other models are possible. In Holyoke, because our Library is itself a nonprofit and can apply for grants, our Friends group need not serve that role.
 
The HPLC Board has accepted the idea that the Friends will become a committee. They have also accepted fiscal responsibility for the "Saber es Poder" grant that we had been awarded, the on-going used book sale in the lobby, and for the annual "Mini Golf in the Library!" fundraiser which the Friends had initiated in 2016. Friends volunteers are still active, and much needed, in these efforts.  The entire inventory of Friends merchandise (the ornament series, afghans, etc.) is now owned and managed by the Library.
 
Over the last two years we funded some significant purchases for the Library, especially a large scanner and an improved microfilm reader for the Holyoke History Room. We also supported the Mural project. After we had expended all Friends funds and completed all necessary tax forms, we submitted a formal request to the Commonwealth (Attorney General's Office) to dissolve the corporation. Our petition was approved January 10, 2020. 
 
Thus, we no longer have a formal Board of Directors. We continue to send a representative to the monthly meetings of the Board of the Holyoke Public Library Corporation.