Thursday, December 02, 2021

The Basics and the Intricacies of the Open Meeting Law

I began this blog post in March 2021 after attending a webinar entitled "The Basics and the Intricacies of the Open Meeting Law," which was focused on open meeting law in New York State.  Even though that event was months ago, I'm going to summarize information from from the event, because it is still relevant.  I've kept some of the COVID-related information, because it might be interesting or useful.

Background

Since I became ta member of my public library system's board of trustees,  I have been learning about Open Meeting Law in New York State. Public institutions in NYS must comply with Open Meeting Law. The text of the law is on the NYS Committee on Open Government (COOG) website. What is the Committee on Open Government? The site says:

The Committee on Open Government oversees and advises the government, public, and news media on Freedom of Information, Open Meetings, and Personal Privacy Protection Laws. The Committee offers guidance in response to phone inquiries, prepares written legal advisory opinions, and provides training to government and other interested groups.

Text of the law is on the website and it is not long; however, it can cause an organization to raise many questions, which you can see in the opinions rendered. The basic idea of Open Meeting Law is that the governing bodies of public institutions should be transparent in what they are doing and thus their meetings should be open, Open Meeting Law states what that means and provides rules to follow. Following the law can be both easy and hard.

Notes

  • Open Meeting Law is codified in NYS Public Officer Law, Article 7, which was updated in 2021. The COOG website includes those updates.
  • The COOG website contains advisory opinions index alphabetically by key phrase. When looking at the opinions, it can be helpful to look at several since they may provide different information.
  • Public business be held in an open and public manner.
  • Citizens have the right to attend and listen to deliberations.
  • With a public body, the whole public body (e.g., all of the trustees) are together one type of committee that is subject to open meeting law. In addition, a subcommittee, which is entirely comprised of members of the larger body is also subject to open meeting law. The fact that it is less that the quorum of the entire body is irrelevant.
    • For example, a 15-member city council, with a 3-member subcommittee. That subcommittee is its own public body. (More than 2 members.)
  • Are you having a meeting?
    • Is there a quorum present? Quorum is 50% of the entire board/counsel.  If the board has 11 members (even if some positions are vacant), the quorum is 6.
    • Will you be discussing public business?
    • If yes, you are having a meeting regardless of the intent to take action. 
    • There is no legal distinctions between workshops, meetings, agenda setting sessions, informal gathering, if you are discussing or conducting public business.
  • What might be outside the scope of a public meeting?
    • Site visits - no discussion or deliberation. Only for gathering information.
    • Retreat or educational seminar. Team building. Not there to discuss their own public interest.
    • Attendance at committee meeting as a member of the public
    • Social, e.g., holiday gatherings
  • During the COVID pandemic, how a meeting was defined changed due to the Governor's Executive Orders and actions taken by the State Legislature. Given what we experienced during the pandemic, the question is whether some of those changes may become permanent.
  • You cannot conduct a meeting by teleconference (phone) or email. Sharing information through email is appropriate. There should not be substantial deliberations via email.
  • Notice of Every Meeting
    • Time and place of the meeting
    • Prior to every meeting
    • To the media - local media must have notice that the meeting will occur
    • Must be posted on a designated physical location
    • On the website
    • Must be given 72 hours for meetings schedule more than 1 week in advance
    • For meeting on short notice, notice must be given to extend practicable.
    • Do you need to meet quickly? What would the harm be if delayed?
  • Minutes
    • Must include motions, resolutions, votes
    • Does not need to be a verbatim account of the meeting
    • Does not need to include a summary of deliberations or public comments 
    • Must be available within two weeks for open sessions, and within one week for executive sessions (if action taken).
      • Does not matter whether minutes are unapproved or in draft form
      • Nothing in the law states that minutes must be approved
      • They must be made available upon request
  • Recording
    • Any meeting that is open to the public can be photographed, recorded, or broadcast
    • Agency is not obligated to record
    • Agency may establish reasonable rules to limit disruption
  • Executive Session
    • It is part of an open meeting
    • Cannot be held prior to an open meeting
    • It cannot be a separate session 
    • Most have a motion
    • Upon majority vote
    • Specificity of the motion, signal proper purpose
    • Discuss items that would be harmful if disclosed
    • Cannot just say that you are entering an Executive Session for "personnel" matters. The wording needs to be more specific. (See the law)
  • Public Participation
    • Not required
    • Can establish reasonable rules, e.g., time limits, limited to agenda items
    • Implement fairly and consistently
    • Hearings are not the same as meetings. There are other statutes that govern public hearings.
  • Matters/Records Scheduled to be Discussed
    • There is no obligation to prepare or follow an agenda
    • Proposed resolutions, etc., shall be made available by required, prior to the meeting, or at the meeting
  • Section 108 Exemptions for Meeting Behind Closed Doors
    • Judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings
    • Deliberations of political committees, conferences or caucuses - discussion must be limited to political business
    • Any matter made confidential by federal or state law, e.g., meetings with agency attorney covered by attorney client privilege.
    • Non-Compliance and Enforcement
  • Enforcement is through the initiation of a CPLR Article 78 proceeding in State Supreme Court. The Court has authority to:
    • Award costs and attorney's fees
    • Invalidate action - likely if the violation is substantial
    • Require training 

Questions


Some of these questions were specific to meetings being held during the pandemic.
  • Must members of the public identify themselves when attending a meeting? No.
  • Must members of the board/committee have cameras on at all times? In non-COVID times, yes.
  • If a meeting is recorded in non-COVID times, the recording needs to be kept for 4 months. There is no obligation that a transcript be prepared.
  • We note on our meeting minutes who from the public attended (which could be staff). Do we need to do that? This is not needed. Members of the public may not want to be listed.
  • Under the Governor's Executive Order (during COVID), the transcripts created by Zoom, etc., are sufficient.
  • Do attendees need to identify themselves? No. Attending a meeting cannot be conditional of identify yourself. 
    • During COVID, you may collect this information for contract tracing.
    • If the building has security procedures which require identification, that is different than open meeting law.
  • Definition of committees:
    • If the committee is comprised of only members of the larger body, it is subject to the Open Meeting Law.
    • Advisory committees with mostly non-board members are not likely subject to Open Meeting Law.
    • Committees subject to NYS statute are subject to Open Meeting Law.
  • During COVID and the Governor's Executive Order, a committee can meet in person and give the public a remote option for attending. 
    • The in-person gathering, under COVID, must be able to accommodate social distancing.
  • Telephone meetings - less than a quorum - are allowed.
  • If action is taken in Executive Session, your clerk should be present to record the action.
  • If a virtual meeting is live-streamed (during COVID), the public can watch. They do not need to be able to make comments.

Final Thoughts

This was not my first training on open meeting law and likely will not be my last. (See NYLA2018 post, elective session script) While the law seems simple and it is easy to implement, it is hard because it means being very transparent and that can be awkward if people feel that they are discussing something sensitive like the budget. We need to keep in mind that being transparent is good for our communities.

The idea that a agenda does not need to be followed is liberating for me, but I also have learned that having a standard agenda is helpful for everyone involved. Personally I think the agenda should help the organization focus and be able to change when needed.

Personally, I appreciate minutes which capture some of the discussion. Why? Because I think it is important to know what was discussed.  I've been in groups where someone will say, "check the minutes" and then see that the minutes don't provide any clues about what was said.  I think minutes should be helpful and provide a historical record. But that's me and I know that it is more than what is needed. (Yes, I recognize that people can keep their own notes, but that doesn't help when everyone who was around when 'that thing happened' is gone.)

I've learned that even committees can have executive sessions. Useful and good to know.

In another training, I've learned that anyone can attend an open meeting, whether or not they live in that area.  In other words, there is no residency requirement. You might want to exclude someone, but you can't. 

Also interesting that you do not need to capture the name of everyone in attendance.  If it is your practice to capture everyone's name, a person can ask to be unnamed.

The meeting is for the board/committee that is meeting and it should be useful for them. Hearing from others - e.g., a time for receiving comments - is not needed. If a board decided to receive comments, it should do so in a consistent manor and only receive the comments and not get into a discussion.

BTW checking the advisory opinions, I see that adhering to Robert's Rules of Order is not in the law, although a body may adopt to use Robert's Rules or adopt another set of rules.

Finally, having gone through open meeting law training, I think the more people trained in it for a public body (e.g., board), the better.  That will help the public body consider and implement open meeting law well, even when being transparent is uncomfortable. Honestly, I keep learning new things about open meeting law and how to implement it, which means that there is much to consider in how it is applied.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

#NYLA2021: Notes from Day 2 In-person Conference, Nov. 5

Jill with mask
This year, the New York Library Association held its annual conference in both virtual (Oct. 28-29)and in-person (Nov. 3-6) day 2 of the in-person conference.
 
Friday I started with Trustees (Not In) Legal Jeopardy! with Stephanie "Cole" Adams, JD.  Adams did her session like the Jeopardy game show, with questions on the screen and the participants yelling out answers. Adams then would give us additional information.  That made the session a lot of fun and also hard to take notes.

Description:
Being a trustee takes dedication, awareness, and a willingness to learn the ropes of library and not-for-profit legal considerations. Since that is a lot of work, this session will make it fun, promoting awareness of the most critical aspects of library trustee ethics and responsibilities through a game-show format: "What is...a fiduciary?" "What is...a conflict of interest?" "What is...Director's & Officer's Insurance?"  You will wager all of your late fees as you test and build your trustee skills in this fun and highly informative session! (Non-trustees also welcome.)
Resources:

My last in-person session was Friendly Relationships, Working Together for the Library. I've already written about this session and you can read it here.

Final Thoughts

Librarians Threaten Ignorance
This was my first in-person conference since ALA Midwinter in January 2020.  If I had known that trip to Philly would be my last for many months, I would have enjoyed it more, which would have included eating more sticky buns! Since then I've attended many online events, including a number of conference, and have given webinars, conference presentations, and keynotes.  Our pivot to doing everything online wasn't always smooth, but we were able to do it...bumps and all. 
 
The in-person portion of the NYLA Annual Conference had to comply with rules for the convention center, which is a County facility. Those rules included wearing a mask at all times, except when eating.  In conference sessions, we sat 6 feet apart, which gave us space for our bags and backpacks (a positive). 
 
The conference made it easy for people to signal how comfortable they were with physical contact. A red ribbon on a person's badge meant they did not want any touching. A yellow ribbon, which I had, signaled elbow bumps. A green ribbon meant that handshakes and hugs were welcome.  I hope some version of this remains at conferences in the future, since I know that we all have different tolerances for hugs from colleagues we really don't know.

Reportedly there were 380 people registered for the in-person conference, plus those staffing the Trade Show. This is noticeably smaller than normal and fit with the rules of the convention center, which put a cap on how many people could attend. This made is a cozy conference, which I think people appreciated.

Next year's conference will be on  November 2-5, 2022 in Saratoga Springs.  That location attracts people from all across the state. Will there be an online component? Time will tell. I know it takes a tremendous effort to do a virtual conference, plus an in-person conference, plus on-demand sessions. NYLA will have to determine what is best for NYLA members and what it's conference budget can bear.

#NYLA2021: How to Hire and Inspire (and Occasionally Fire) Library Employees, Legally!

Libraries: We're all in logo
This year, the New York Library Association held its annual conference in both virtual (Oct. 28-29) and in-person (Nov. 3-6) formats, as well as having on-demand content. Below are notes from one of the virtual sessions.

Description

In this session, we will discuss a variety of employment law topics and the laws that govern them. Topics will include hiring and firing of employees, paid leave laws and policies, employee misconduct, discrimination and harassment, interpersonal conflict and bullying, wage and hour concerns, performance issues, safety concerns, and more. Using real world scenarios that arise in libraries, we will identify legal issues and plan practical approaches to resolving personnel problems. We will examine how federal and state employment laws and library policy work together, with a special focus on the requirements imposed by new legislation and recent court decisions.

Presenters

  • Ellen M. Bach, Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP 
  • Robert T. Schofield, Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP 

Notes

Bach & Schofield used hypothetical situations during this session. You will notice many questions below and not always a "do this." Also I was taking notes quickly, so there could be other laws which apply in these scenarios.

Hypothetical #1: Yes, the position sounds great...can I do it from home? The person has a child who learns from home virtually on some days.

Do you have an obligation under current law to hire this person and allow the person to work from home? Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FSCRA)? Not currently. NYS COVID leave law? But this is only during a quarantine or something else that sends the person home. And that is not remote work, but is paid leave.

But what if they ask was about accessibility and accommodations, and the person has documentation to support them working from home part-time? That changes the analysis. ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and NYS Human Rights Law would cause you to engage with the person and see what is possible for that person to work from home.

What if the person's job is being done virtually, e.g., someone doing children's programming? How does that change the scenario for you?

Can you pay a bonus to help the person cover the cost of childcare, so the person will work in the office full-time? This would not be a gift, but paying something to get something.  A gift would be illegal for libraries who are receiving public funds.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) policies apply to large association libraries (over 50 employees). FMLA applies to pubic libraries, but there are more technicalities. Take to HR or your attorney before you implement a policy.

A relevant opinion from the NYS Comptroller's Office is 91-32. It is not about a library, but Bob Schofield referenced it.

Hypothetical #2: Can't we just make the employee "on leave," leave?

What laws apply?

  • Family and Medical Leave Act
  • Americans with Disabilities Act
  • NYS Human Rights Law
  • Workers Compensation?
  • Civil Service?

Is there a part for discipline? Is there a pathway towards a disability? You need to talk directly to the employee.  If the person will not talk with you, you need to send a letter and know that it has been received. Explain that the employee has been out without a basis for the absence. Establish that the person needs to have a conversation with you.  If the person does not talk with you and does not respond, you can send a follow-up letter with what the discipline is.

You might want the employee to talk with their doctor, with their job description in hand, to determine what accommodation the person needs in order to do their job.

Hypothetical #3: Go sleep at home...and don't come back? An employee seems to be sleeping at work and may have a mental health condition for which the person is taking medication.

Sleeping on a job - in a perfect world - is a fire-able offense. You would need to document the occurrences, as well as have counseled and disciplined the employee. You need written warnings and perhaps a last chance warning.

However, here there is rumor of a mental health condition. Is the condition or the medication causing the employee to fall asleep?  Don't assume a disability, but also don't hide your head in the sand. If you seem to know that there is a disability, the court will take that into account.

What laws apply?

  • Family and Medical Leave Act
  • Americans with Disabilities Act
  • NYS Disability?
  • Civil Service?

A disability issue is a big issue. Mental health and substance abuse issues are becoming a large part of Bach and Schofield's practice. 

Do not second guess medical professionals. You may need to ask additional questions, but don't assume the role of a doctor.

Question: We are an association library and are considering a retroactive raise this year at the end of the year. We also considering an equivalent of a week's pay at the end of the year. Are these OK? They are funded by a 414 levy. 

If they were not publicly funded, this would be fine. Private employers do this!

If it is a public library, you do not want to make a retroactive gift. You could make a longevity bonus, because you would get something (longevity) for the gift. 

The Comptroller does recognize that retroactive raise as the result of a collective bargaining settlement is fine.

Hiring Considerations:

  • Think about the basic discrimination statutes.
  • Consider blind reviews of resumes.
  • Do not ask for medical, conviction, or salary history.
  • Be careful with background sheets. Get all of the right consents.
  • Be careful of asking questions that try to get at protected information in a round about why.
  • Focus on the person's experience, etc.
  • A person may volunteer information.

Hypothetical #4: The protected poor performer...  

If a person has voiced concerns about the workplace (harassment, etc.), the library director should have someone look into these allegations.  It should be an outsider who is skilled in handling these matters.

If two employees are not getting along, is there something that is actionable? An investigator may find there is none.

Be careful that you do not overlook discriminatory circumstances.

What laws apply?

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act?
  • New York State Human Rights Law?
  • National Labor Relations Act
  • Education Law 226(7)

Communications through social media may be protected activities. The posts may be annoying, but you may not be able to do anything about it.

Employees need multiple places to report concerns, because the director might be the harasser or a friend of a harasser. A claim a discrimination made to the trustees needs to be given to someone who can dig into it.

Question: Can you elaborate more on when and how you can do background checks?

If you are going to do a background check, you need to receive consent from the employee. If you are going to use the information, perhaps not to hire the employee, you need to give the employee an opportunity to correct the information.

There are positions in libraries where you might want to do a background check. You should do it after you have made a hiring decision. Make a conditional offer and then do the background check. Does the nature of the conviction have a nexus with the requirements for the job?

Corrections Law and Human Rights Law comes into play.

Question: I have a plot twist with the association library wishing to pay retroactive raises or end of year additional week pay. The funds we would like to use this year are from the PPP/Cares Act grant from the federal government. This is the Paycheck Protection Program. Would this be allowed? 

Perhaps. Schofield would want to talk in detail with the client, to ensure that the money is segregated.

#NYLA2021: Notes from Day 1 In-person Conference, Nov. 4

Keynote session
This year, the New York Library Association held its annual conference in both virtual (Oct. 28-29)and in-person (Nov. 3-6) day 1 of the in-person conference.

The conference began - as it always does - with the NYLA Business Meeting and breakfast. For me, the most important item on the agenda was approval of the revised NYLA bylaws, because I had helped ot work on them.  Bylaws should be reviewed regularly and updated as needed. Unfortunately, the NYLA bylaws hadn't been touched in a while so an update was needed. NYLA members voted to adopt the new bylaws!

The roles of the conference facility were that we had to wear masks at all times, except when we were eating. For me, this cut down on the free food I was willing to eat, because that meant removing my mask.  In all of the sessions, people were spaced out (see photo above) to maintain social distancing. The exhibitors in the Trade Show area where also spaced out more for the same reason.

After the business meeting is the keynote speaker.  This year, the speaker was author Robert (Bob) Kolker, who wrote Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family (paid link). No notes can capture his ability to tell a story and the complexity of the real-life family in this book. The parents had 12 children (10 male, 2 female), with six of the males having schizophrenia. It is extremely rare to find Schizophrenia in that many siblings, which means that have been studied by medical researchers in order to learn more about this disorder. You can read about this book on the book website, NPR interview, and Forbes review.  It is a complex story and one that will likely draw the reader in. 

New York State Librarian Lauren Moore held a session entitled A New Way to RAC (Regents Advisory Council). The description was:

Building on the success of the Vision 2020 plan, RAC (Regents Advisory Council on Libraries) is looking at newer ways to improve services.  This program will include a discussion and we need your input.  The RAC Vision Plan 2020 presented strategic directions for New York's libraries and library systems and was developed in partnership with the state's library community.  It provided a clear vision of what excellent libraries should look like, and affirmed the ongoing value of the library system.
This was a brainstorming/feedback session, where Moore provided background on information being collected by RAC statewide, then asked for our input. We worked in small groups. 

The Regents Advisory Council thinks deeply about the needs of all type of libraries across NYS and provides information to the Board of Regents.  Having served on RAC, I think most people have no idea this group exists and how influential they can be.  It really behooves people - especially library staff - to know who represents their region on RAC and to help them think about the needs of libraries. Some members of RAC are not librarians, so giving them input can be quite helpful.

The last session I attended on Thursday was Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Toolbox with Kelly Harris and Trina Reed. The session description was:
In 2020 a group of library administrators from Nassau and Suffolk counties came together to address the issue of diversity, equity and inclusion in libraries. Together, they created a toolbox to empower libraries to give employees access to equal opportunities, no matter who they are or where they are from. Our goal is to educate, engage and create policies for staff, trustees and patrons to make libraries truly a place where everyone feels that they belong. The toolbox provides tips and templates to create policy, educate staff and trustees, and provide resources to help recruit and retain a diverse workforce.

A good portion of the content they covered can be found in the Nassau County Library Association The Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Toolbox.

Additional Resources:

And that was the end of day 1 in-person!

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

#NYLA2021: Fundraising Without Book Sales

Libraries: We're all in logo

This year, the New York Library Association held its annual conference in both virtual (Oct. 28-29) and in-person (Nov. 3-6) formats, as well as having on-demand content. Below are notes from one of the on-demand sessions.

Description

Friends groups are always searching for new ideas that go beyond the book sale. Come discover how our panelists are using new and trusted out-of-the-box thinking and creative ideas to redefine fundraising.

Speakers

  • Emily Cullings, Friends of the Hampton Bays Library
  • Mary Giardini, Friends of the Olean Public Library
  • Helen Rados,  Friends of the Ethelbert B. Crawford Public Library
  • Kerstin Cruger,  Friends of Libraries Section (moderator)

 

Notes

Helen Rados 

  • Pave the Way
  • LilyDale Trip
  • Holiday Cookie Bake Off
  • Chair Auction 
  • Commemorative Journals
  • Taste of Sullivan County
    • Gift cards donations from over 30 restaurants. 
    • Make specific requests (e.g., $25 gift certificate). 
    • Restaurants were given a decal marking them as a participant. 
    • Gift cards were bundled to make four unique prizes worth $500, $200, and $100 (x2). 
    • Friends members and local businesses sold tickets (1 for $5.00 or 6 for $20.00).
    • Told restaurants what was in it for them. They were seen as "proud contributors."
      • When approaching the restaurants, they talked with the owner or manager.
    • One of the benefits was raising library awareness.
    • Tried to keep costs low by having local businesses donate printing, etc. or provide those services at a low cost. 
    • Prize totals, etc., all depend on how many donations are obtained.
    • They do this every other year.
    • Do check with NYS Gaming Commission on raffles as well as local laws/guidelines.  Make sure you are compliant.

Mary Giardini

  • "Our Library Can Read Between the Wines"
  • Got the idea from Cuba, NY. 
  • Olean Friends only had been doing author receptions.
  • Did both a wine tasting and a beer tasting, six months apart.
  • The wine tasting was 7:00-9:00 p.m. on a Friday night in the library. Having it in the library allowed them to show of recent library reservations.
  • Tickets were $20/each or $35 for two, purchased in advanced.
  • Had wine tasting and an educational talk from a sommelier. Sommelier did two talks in the gallery room.
  • Also had a basket raffle. (25 baskets)
  • Had light appetizers (donated by the friends) and non-alcoholic options.
  • Did constant communications with her committee members.
  • Contacted all of the wineries within 1-2 hours drive by letter and received zero responses. A friend - former bartender - drove to wineries and asked in person, and he was able to get wine donations.
  • Created pouring stations using tables already in the library. Decorated the tables with existing materials and with rented materials. Rented wine glasses.
  • Had about 100 guests.
  • At the end, gave thanks, made announcements, and ensured people were able to get home (e.g., Uber, Lyft).
  • For this event, needed approval from the Board of Trustees and the library's insurer.
  • Workers need TIP training, which is good for three years. ($40 per person)
  • They hired a professional security guard.
  • Had to get a liquor license.
  • Considered different music options.
  • Used social media and other options for advertising.
  • Their first event brought in over $3000 in total.  It also brought people into the library, who had not done so in a long time.
  • They learned from their events and made changes over time.

Emily Cullings

  • They decided to do a calendar fundraiser, which was an idea they got from other library.
  • Wanted to do a 2021 calendar, but produce it in summer 2020 so it could be sold to tourists.
  • They reached out to photographers on Facebook and received a good response.
  • However...then the pandemic happened. They decided to highlight local businesses and first responders in the photos.
  • They went to every store and restaurant. A business photo could be in the calendar for $25. (This covered their cost.)
    • They also asked that businesses wanted to buy calendars to sell in their businesses, but that didn't work.
    • The businesses that said "yes" were indeed very local businesses. The friends made better connections with these businesses.
  • The calendar also had a page about the library and a page about the friends group. 
    • There were also a couple pages dedicated to highlighting local first responders. This helped them build relationships with them.
    • There was a page decided to the local schools.
    • They stapled their membership form in the middle of the calendar. It did yield a few new members.
  • The created the calendar online and used an online printing service, which was cost effective. Someone in the friends, who was tech savvy, was able to help with the production.
  • They bought 500 calendars. Sold about 200 at $10/piece.
  • For 2021-2022 they are doing different photography (more scenic). Business donors gave $100 each to sponsor a page, as well as sponsors on the back page.  These sponsors covered the cost of production.
    • 16 month calendar.
    • Giving partial proceeds to the photographer, which had previously been in a life altering accident.
    • Calendars will be sold in a variety of different ways, including at local grocery stores.
    • $12/each.
  • Calendars are a lot of work, but she says the work is worth it, because they built new connections in their community as well as raising funds.

Questions

How do you define a successful funding raising program? 

  • How much money raised
  • Visibility of the library and friends increased
  • New friends members - active members
  • Get new people on their mailing list
  • Making community connections

Advice to other friends groups?

  • Get out there so the friends group is not a secret anymore.
  • Allow the friends to brainstorm ideas without immediately dismissing ideas.
  • Get all of the friends involved in the ideas.
  • Don't expect that the event will go as envisioned. Be adaptable. 
  • Don't try to control everything. 
  • Leave your ego out of it. 
  • Delegate and coordinate.
  • Give people tasks within their range of abilities.