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financial literacy

Making Money Smart Students

Piggy bank

Money Smart Week, which will be celebrated this year starting on April 21, is a national initiative of ALA and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago to provide financial literacy programming to help members of your community better manage their personal finances.

But teaching financial literacy does not have to happen only during April. Here are a few ideas to help promote financial literacy and make money smart students any time of year. 

College & Me

Students taking notes in class

College & Me is a multi-series offering — provided in partnership with the local Utah State University Extension office — that provides a comprehensive view of how individuals can prepare to attend college. Open to teens and adults, the class covers basic steps to searching for scholarships and financial aid, along with some application tips and FAFSA best practices.

Information, Not Advice: How to Handle User’s Financial Literacy Questions

Photo of cash with a yellow question mark on top.

Your library might hesitate to offer financial literacy programming because of concerns about giving financial advice or setting up an opportunity for uncomfortable money questions. These concerns might be hard to navigate at first, but if the entire library staff is appropriately trained on handling financial literacy-related questions, you can mitigate these issues.

Tax Day 101: Resources for Fielding Questions from Entrepreneurs

Illustration of person opening up their small business holding cash.

I have a confession: I’m an accidental business librarian. My background is in art history, but like many public librarians, I was placed in a department that needed staff, and that department was business services. I grew to love business reference and helping entrepreneurs with business planning and research. I even got the opportunity to create and grow the Business Resource and Innovation Center (BRIC) at the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Top Tips for Hiring Financial Literacy Speakers & Authors

Illustration of people on laptops and money symbols on screen.

Michigan State University's Gast Business Library partners with the College of Social Science’s Go for the Green financial literacy team to cosponsor MSU’s participation in Money Smart Week, a national program sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. As part of this weeklong event, the Go for the Green team hires a financial literacy-focused author to come to campus and speak with students about managing their money.

What We Learned When We Took Our Financial Literacy Programs Online

Photo of an open laptop with an image on a piggy bank on the screen

COVID-19 isn't just a health crisis; for many Americans, the pandemic has caused economic turmoil as well. As members of ALA's Financial Literacy Interest Group, we know the importance of financial capability skills, and this was a moment for us to step up.

So facing statewide "shelter at home" orders this spring, public and academic libraries made a quick shift to online financial literacy programming. Here’s what we learned along the way.

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