ONE FOLMC Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is ONE FOLMC?

ONE FOLMC is our new volunteer service model which centralizes volunteer activities and administration to create a more unified, efficient, and streamlined organization. This updated structure allows us to better serve our mission to support Montgomery County Public Libraries with financial and volunteer support.

2. How is this different from the model you had before? 

FOLMC’s prior volunteer model entailed branch-specific chapters incorporated as independent 501c3 entities operating under the parent FOLMC organization. Volunteers worked with FOLMC through these chapters to serve their local libraries.

Under the ONE FOLMC model, volunteers will continue to support their local public libraries through many of the same activities, but they will now be overseen directly by FOLMC staff, rather than by a specific chapter. Publicly donated funds will continue to be invested in the library branches for which they were raised and disbursed in alignment with MCPL needs. 

3. Why did you make this change? 

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. 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 threatened the long-term viability of the whole organization. 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.

4. Can FOLMC still be a true “Friends” organization without chapters?  

FOLMC remains a true “Friends” organization under the new ONE FOLMC model. Our mission and purpose remain the same – to assist with funding and volunteer support to MCPL and each branch library. Volunteers will still help their own branch, but they will simply work directly with our FOLMC staff, rather than for a specific chapter. Some MCPL branches without chapters have been supported in this manner all along. 

We greatly value and appreciate our hard-working, dedicated volunteers. One benefit of simplifying our model is that it allows our volunteers more time to directly help the libraries and do the work they tell us they love, such as book sales and program activities, by removing many of the burdensome administrative and financial duties necessary under the chapter model. Those who wish to influence library programs and policies can also join their Branch Library Advisory Committee (LAC) or the Library Board.

5. Will the fundraising model change under the ONE FOLMC model? 

Monies raised by FOLMC will be held in an FOLMC bank account and restricted to benefit their designated branches in alignment with MCPL needs. FOLMC will provide a vehicle for monies raised by chapters to benefit their respective branches. 

6. Can I still join FOLMC as a member and financially support my favorite branch? 

Yes! Simply tell us which branch you’d like to support. If you’ve been a chapter member, your membership in FOLMC remains intact and benefits the specified branch. No further action is needed by current dues-paying members. 

7. How can I volunteer or continue volunteering?

Visit and click on “Support/Volunteer With Us” to learn about volunteer opportunities with FOLMC. Volunteers can support their local branch book sales, at FOLMC bookstores, and in programming throughout the year. Both current and new volunteers will need to fill out the form in order to update our records. 

8. Where can I donate my books? 

FOLMC accepts donations of books and other items at our Rockville and Wheaton Bookstores. Visit and click on “Bookstores/Donations We Accept” to learn more. Visit to learn about donating books to MCPL Branches.

9. Will there still be booksales at the branches without FOLMC chapters?

Yes! FOLMC will work with volunteers in cooperation with MCPL to operate book sales at branches. Booksales are the primary source of supplemental income for the branches and the most popular volunteer activity. We will consider expanding other volunteer opportunities as well based on MCPL input.

10. Are all chapters on board with this new structure?

This decision was made at the executive and Board of Trustee level of FOLMC.  We understand that some chapters may wish to preserve the previous model, but that is not a viable option due to the significant legal and financial risk to FOLMC.

11. Are MCPL and Montgomery County Government in agreement with this new model?

We cannot speak for MCPL or Montgomery County Government, but FOLMC works hand in hand with MCPL Administration to understand and meet its needs and we are confident this new model will better serve their branches by expanding our reach and creating a more efficient, streamlined process.

12. When does this new structure go into effect?

The new structure is effective immediately, but there will be several weeks of transition to new volunteer procedures.