Libraries and Financial Literacy

April is financial literacy month and Money Smart Week is just around the corner, too. These events make it clear that financial literacy education is an important priority. Recognizing that many libraries want to do more to meet the financial education needs of their communities, Infopeople will be offering a new four-week course, Financial Literacy Programming in Libraries. The course starts April 26th, which is coincidentally during Money Smart Week!

In the course, instructor Jennifer Noble will guide the class through all of the steps jennifer_nobleinvolved in planning financial literacy programming. Building on existing resources, participants will identify the topics and formats that make the most sense for their communities. The importance of building partnerships to support the programming will be highlighted, too. Participants will leave the course with a financial literacy programming action plan tailored for the needs and resources in their own community.

Noble encourages libraries to think creatively about the types of financial programming they could offer. Topics that could be included in financial literacy education include:

  • Saving Money
  • Creating a Budget
  • Planning for Retirement
  • Paying for College
  • Credit Scores
  • Starting a Business
  • And more…

And there are various potential program formats to consider, too:

  • Speakers: Invite an expert to give a presentation on a financial topic, providing time for Q&A, too.
  • Panel Discussion: Instead of just one speaker, consider hosting a panel of experts talking about a specific topic with time for a Q&A afterwards.
  • Instructional Session: This format is perfect for a task-oriented topic (such as filling out financial aid paperwork or applying for a business loan).
  • Workshops: These are like instructional sessions, but may take longer and people leave the session with something completed (paperwork, a plan, etc.).
  • Discussion Groups: In this format, a group of people get together to discuss a topic, often with a facilitator. Consider a book discussion group centered on a financial book.

Consider a variety of target audiences, too. From young children to older adults, almost everyone has financial topics that are relevant and interesting for their current life stage and needs.

Registration for the course is now open. For more information, see




Consistent Timing: A Key Factor for Afterschool Programming Success

calendarMany libraries offer consistent days and times for preschool storytimes. In her upcoming course on Afterschool and Out-of-school Programming, Lisa Shaia states that it is important to offer constant days/times/ages when scheduling afterschool programs, too.

Shaia notes,

“Other afterschool programs, such as sports activities and parks and recreation programs, have this nailed down. When parents sign their child up for soccer they know that Mondays from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in September and October their child will be on the field. They also know the benefits of participating in the program because the flyer tells them. For instance, “Your child will absorb the benefits of physical fitness, learn how to work as a team, problem-solve, and confront the challenges of competition.” Do the same with your programs. Tell parents why your program is important for their child’s development.”

Shaia shares these recommendations related to consistent timing for programming:lisa_shaia

  1. What schools are the closest to your library? That’s your target group. Look at their school calendars (they should be available online with a list of extracurricular activities). Do you see an opening or a gap in the schedule? There probably won’t be a single day where there isn’t some type of school-sanctioned activity, but do your best and work with what you have.
  2. What type of program do you have to offer that is unique? A book club, arts and crafts, STEM, Lego, popular series? Is it being offered elsewhere already? What makes it distinctive? What benefits does your program give to children? Spell it out in your publicity for families. After all, caregivers are the ones who are in charge of their child’s schedule. If they’re excited about it, you’ll get maximum participation!
  3. Assign a regular staff person to the day and time that you see fit for the schedule. Children will bond with the librarian and keep coming back for more. Align your schedule with the storytime sessions.

Interested in learning more about successful afterschool and out-of-school programming? Registration for this upcoming four-week course is now open!