Libraries offering personal finance programs during Money Smart Week, April 23 - 30, 2016

For Immediate Release
Thu, 04/21/2016


Steve Zalusky

Manager of Communications

Public Awareness Office

American Library Association

(312) 280-1546

CHICAGO – Libraries from Maine to Hawaii will offer activities to teach members of their communities how to sharpen their financial decision-making skills during “Money Smart Week, April 23-30, 2016.

We can all improve our money management skills. But where can we discover the resources to learn how to secure our financial future? How can we be sure we are relying on trusted sources of information? And how much will we have to spend on financial planners? The answers are as close as your local library – and they are available free of charge.

“Financial literacy skills are absolutely crucial in our society, regardless of age or financial status,” said ALA President Sari Feldman. “Libraries provide free and trusted resources for people looking for guidance in basic budgeting, college financing, retirement planning, investing in a mortgage and even protection from identity theft.”

Created by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in 2002, Money Smart Week® is a public awareness campaign designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances. The American Library Association (ALA) is among several National Champions partnering in the campaign.

"For thirteen years, Money Smart Week has inspired financial institutions, schools, libraries, nonprofits and government agencies throughout the country to come together to make an impact in local communities," said Alejo Torres, Senior Outreach Manager at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

Programming will be offered to all demographics and income levels and, covering all facets of personal finance, from establishing a budget to first time home buying to estate planning.

The Chicago Public Library will present such programs as “Get Out of Debt with a Plan and ONE Dollar,” which addresses how to pay off mortgages, credit cards, student loans, cars and medical bills. The library will also offer a presentation by a licensed real estate managing broker, who will give advice to those “aging in place” about retirement living choices. In addition, the IRS Taxpayers Advocate Service will make available an analyst to such address tax issues as filings and audits.

In New York, the Rochester Public Library, Monroe Branch, will present “Life Beyond Your Student Loans,” with information concerning programs that enable people to pay loans off faster. At the Irondequoit Public Library, in Rochester, those attending “Protect Your Financial DNA” will learn how identity theft happens, how to minimize risk, steps for victims to take and available resources.

In California, the Saratoga Library, in Santa Clara County, will offer a tax crash course for teens. At the Inglewood Main Library, in Inglewood, a free workshop will teach library patrons about cost-saving energy upgrades and rebates. Information on financing energy and water efficiency projects will be available.

In Michigan, libraries are participating in a program called Money Smart Kids Read, distributing to children 8,000 copies of Rosemary Wells’ “Bunny Money” story book, which features the adventures of Max and Ruby as they try to gather enough money to buy a gift for their grandmother’s birthday. The book will be sent to more than 150 libraries across the state. They will be used during the Money Smart Kids Read story times.

It is the third year for the Kids Read program, which has grown from 3,000 to 8,000 books over that time. Funding comes from the Michigan Credit Union League, which includes 270 credit unions, which also provide volunteers to libraries for the event. Money Smart Week efforts in Michigan now involve alliances with the Library of Michigan, the Michigan Library Association and individual library cooperatives.

For the first time, Money Smart Week, will reach North Carolina, led by a planning team co-chaired by the North Carolina Council for Economic Education (NCCEE) and Ally Financial, a leading automotive financial services company.

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Library, which serves Charlotte and Mecklenburg counties, will offer a family story time that will include a special guest reader, State Treasurer Janet Cowell. Through Ally, the library will also receive 5,000 copies of "The Bernstein Bears: Trouble with Money."

For more information regarding Money Smart Week events and financial tips visit