From the Desk of the President

March 19, 2022

On behalf of the FOLMC Board of Trustees, I would like to announce that we have made a unanimous decision to change the chapter model for our organization. Instead of chapters, our new ONE FOLMC model will centralize volunteer activities, creating a more unified, efficient, and streamlined organization. The decision to create a new ONE FOLMC model was driven by an extensive years-long business review that exposed both fiduciary and liability risks that threaten the long-term viability of the whole organization. 

This decision was made after careful and deliberate consideration. As 501c3’s in the state of Maryland, individual chapters were required to file articles of incorporation, recruit a board of directors governed by a set of by-laws, and maintain their status as a charity under Maryland law. FOLMC was held legally and financially responsible for all actions or inactions taken by the individual chapters but did not have authority to ensure their compliance. Despite efforts over many years to resolve these risks within the current chapter model, it became clear that revising our model was our only path forward. Our chapter leaders were notified of the change on March 19 and provided with a path to determine next steps for ensuring that publicly donated assets remain accessible to their intended MCPL branch. 

This step does not change FOLMC’s mission to strengthen, promote, and champion Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) or to continue directing funds to each branch for which they are raised. FOLMC’s vision that everyone in Montgomery County values and benefits from our public libraries remains the same, as do our values of education, innovation, service, integrity, and advocacy. Our volunteers will still carry out book sales and participate in programs supporting their local library. The new ONE FOLMC volunteer model will not impact our relationship with and ability to serve MCPL. 

The change to ONE FOLMC benefits our hardworking volunteers by easing the administrative burdens of chapter management so that they can spend more time doing what they love, including conducting booksales which supports library programming. It benefits MCPL by streamlining their interactions with FOLMC to communicate branch needs for programs and funding. In addition to reducing the risks cited above, the new model strengthens FOLMC’s oversight and stewardship of publicly donated assets intended to benefit MCPL. 

As we take this necessary step, I’d like to thank our volunteers and chapter leaders for their dedication in supporting our treasured public libraries. We look forward to continuing our mission together as ONE FOLMC. 

For more information about ONE FOLMC, please see our Frequently Asked Questions.  If you would like to volunteer for FOLMC, please fill out this volunteer form.


Pamela Saussy, President
Board of Trustees
Friends of the Library, Montgomery County, MD