"Citizen support for libraries received a big boost on February 1, 2009. This marks the date when Friends of Libraries U.S.A. (FOLUSA) and the Association for Library Trustees and Advocates (ALTA) joined forces to become an expanded division of ALA. The new organization is called the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF)." *
And then you are shunted to the ALTAFF site, which is under the umbrella of the America Library Association. The Association for Library Trustees and Advocates still has a site of its own at the ALA site, but it looks like no one has been there for years. I'm not sure why it still up. Its a little creepy actually, its like a ghost site. This apparently is a real term, go figure.
So the folks that run public libraries and the folks who volunteer to help out public libraries have joined forces, or more accurately, their respective advocacy groups have joined forces, and are supported, at least in part by the ALA. Good for them!
They have their own national conferences (just happened in New Orleans) they've got training seminars for trustees, organizational assistance for new or reorganizing Friends groups, and they even have a new bookmark. Looks like the next big thing is National Friends of Libraries Week, October 16-22, 2011. I'll have to keep my eye out for a bookmark.
* Apparently, who ever is in charge didn't think alta folusa was a good name. Sounds like Italian for a tall, loose woman or a small, mountain dwelling mammal.