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.
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May is Older Americans Month, first proclaimed by Gerald Ford in 1976. The past year has been challenging for all Americans, but the consequences of the pandemic fell heavily on older Americans and their families and caregivers. A unique challenge that many older Americans face is money management.
Partnerships with community organizations can often enhance the financial literacy programming that libraries can offer their patrons themselves.
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.
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.