What Friends Groups do, your local Friends Groups and how to set up a new group.

What Friends Groups do

Friends Groups are independent groups who work with Bristol Libraries to help create a library service that works for the whole community.


  • host coffee mornings as a social activity and to fundraise
  • raise money for extra library equipment or activities such as writing workshops
  • promote their local library on social media 
  • arrange talks with authors
  • support The Bristol Library Strategy 2020 to 2024

They also host:

  • Board Game evenings
  • Theatre performances
  • Film screenings
  • Introductions to Ancestry sessions
  • Lego events
  • public living rooms
  • Meetings to build links with local community groups and organisations
  • Reading groups
  • And more

Friends Groups in your community

Bedminster Library

Bishopston Library

Clifton Library

Filwood Library

Phone: 0117 966 8761

Hartcliffe Library

Hillfields Library

Email: TBC

Henleaze Library

Horfield Library

Knowle Library

Redland Library

Sea Mills Library

Shirehampton Library

Stockwood Library

Westbury Library

Whitchurch Library

Wick Road Library

Libraries without Friends Groups

The following libraries don't have a Friends Group:  

  • Avonmouth
  • Bishopsworth
  • Central
  • Fishponds
  • Henbury: in progress
  • Junction 3: in progress
  • Lockleaze: in progress
  • Marksbury Road Library
  • Southmead: in progress
  • St George
  • St Pauls

We're really keen to a have a Friends Group for each library as a way of working together with the community.

Set up a Friends Group

If you're interested in setting up a Friends Group in your local library let us know.

Email library.ideas@bristol.gov.uk with:

  • your name
  • the name of your local library

Once we have your details, we'll help you arrange a meeting with a member of staff at your local library, so you can talk about your Friends Group. 

It can be useful to set up a Facebook page or website.

Resources for Friends Groups

Use the guides below to help you with different tasks.

Roles in the group


pdf Instructions for setting up a bank account for community and voluntary organisations (100 KB)


Public liability insurance

We can help you pay for the first two years of Public Liability Insurance. We'll pay:

  • the whole cost for the first year
  • half the cost for the second year

Ask your local library contact or email library.ideas@bristol.gov.uk for details. You'll need to set up a bank account first.

Arrange a Friends Group meeting

Once your Friends Group is set up you can arrange the Friends Group meeting. We can help you with this.

It's useful to think about:

  • what you want to talk about at the meeting
  • who might be able to help you in the community
  • the date and time of your first meeting
  • how you'll advertise the meeting: on social media or a poster in the library