Smart Investing @ Your Library:A Program Partner’s Experience Barbara O’Neill Rutgers Cooperative Extension email@example.com
What’s Happening?• Libraries are receiving funding to provide financial education to patrons and/or staff• Prohibited or discouraged from using financial services professionals as speakers• GREAT opportunity for Cooperative Extension, academics, non-profits in financial field
Personal Experience• Two current library financial education grant projects, 2011-2013• Burlington County (NJ) Library System: 30 consumer classes (@2.5 hours) and two 6-hour library staff trainings• New York Public Library: 42 programs for NYPL library staff (@3 hours)
Why Libraries as Financial Educators?• Aura of trust• Environment is not overwhelming• Internet access• Free/low cost services• Referrals• Personal assistance/help• Variety of objective resources 4
Recommended Archived Webinar: http://cfs.wisc.edu/home.aspxCenter for Financial Services (CFS), Univ. ofWisconsin"Public Libraries as Financial Literacy Providers"December 13th, 2011.CFS Affiliate, Kristin Eschenfelder presented her research whichexamined the activities public libraries use to increase the financialliteracy of their service populations.
Big Concern of Librarians: Information vs. Advice• Giving advice is telling another person what they should do. It may send an unspoken message that the listener is not capable of making his/her own decisions, but needs to be told what to do. Giving information lets the person know what the options are so he/she can make the decision about the best course of action. 6
Library’s Role is to• Be a resource center of information• Assist patrons in formulating their questions/needs• Assist patrons in finding answers to their questions• Guide patrons to appropriate resources• Encourage research• Encourage personal action 7
NYPL Grant Project Objective Provide Assistance- NOT Advice Help patrons find information and answersRFP: “NYPL will create a corps of frontline staff equippedwith the skills and confidence to meet the growing needamong their patrons to access timely, accurate, andtrustworthy information about personal finance.” 8
Financial Education Helps Libraries• Build patron and staff knowledge and skills• Provide new or extended resources• Form community partnerships• Access the underserved• Provide information for today’s needs• Serve as a valued “information intermediary”Source: National Endowment for Financial Education 9
Benefits for Library• Improved expertise – Don’t have to know all the answers – Better at finding and providing information• Ability to handle increased requests from patrons• Better use of information, resources, materials• Improved and enhanced credibility in community• Increased use of services by patrons• Funding opportunities 10
Benefits for Library Staff– Increased knowledge for self– More confident– Improved financial behaviors– Greater understanding of resources– Increased knowledge for patrons 11
Benefits for Program Cooperators• Access to new audiences• “Low-maintenance” programs – No marketing and arrangement responsibilities – Just show up and teach• Grant subcontractor funding• Form community partnerships• Access the underserved• Provide information for today’s needs
Six Consumer Classes at Five Locations• Finding Money to Save and Invest• Preparing to Invest• Getting Started As An Investor• What You Absolutely Need to Know About Investing• Selecting and Monitoring Your investments• Investing For Long-Term Goals
Two Six-Hour Staff Trainings• Condensed version of the consumer classes• Addressed “fear of giving advice” issue head-on• Included multiple learning activities• Provided ample opportunity for personal questions
FINRA Investor Education Foundation Content Modules• Free of charge and downloadable• 11 content modules; together = “a book”• Source of consumer program and library staff training• Designed for beginning investors• http://www.finrafoundation.org/resources/education/modules/
When a Library Patron Asks…• How to check the background of a broker• For a free online investing course• Where to save money for a child’s college education• Where to find money about the performance of a particular stock• Where to find a retirement savings calculator?
What is Money Matters?A project of the NY Public Library, funded by the IMLS, toprovide professional development to NYPL staff on personalfinance as a means to help patrons find and assessappropriate personal finance information and tools.• Multi-prong approach: • Workshops on 11 personal finance topics • E-learning modules • Leader’s guide • Resources • Triangulated evaluation 23
Elective Workshops (8)– Credit 2– Investing 1– Investing 2– Living on the Financial Edge– Paying for College– Identity Theft– Taxes– Insurance 25
Project Time Frame• Feb. – Aug. 2012: 5 different workshops held in 3 locations – banking, credit 1, credit 2, retirement, identity theft,• Sept. 2012 – Apr. 2013: Additional workshops held in 3 locations – insurance, income taxes, investing 1, investing 2, living on the financial edge, paying for college• E-learning modules available fall of 2012• Evaluation – ongoing**Staff may attend workshops at any location 26
Knowledge Gain #1: Xtranormal• Creating an educational video is easy... – Choose from hundreds of actors (avatars or stikz) – Choose their voices and other sounds – Choose their gestures – Select your background – Type or record your dialogue• http://www.xtranormal.com/
Knowledge Gain #2: Critical Incident Technique• http://www.adb.org/documents/information/knowledge- solutions/the-critical-incident-technique.pdf• Qualitative research technique• Ask subjects to describe through interviews incidents that they handled well or poorly (need not be spectacular events)• Provides rich personal perspective• Respondents like to tell stories and feel their experiences are important
Key Take-Aways As a Partner• Library partners are very positive about financial education• You don’t reach out to libraries; they reach out to you if funded• FINRA has great Web site for librarian financial education: http://www.finrafoundation.org/resources/education/modules/• There are synergies between the two projects – Content development – Consumer questions from BCLS classes for the public will inform content of training for NYPL staff (simultaneous programs)• Incorporate information about librarians’ retirement plan and benefits• Librarians are NOT financial educators: offer to help them with marketing, logistics• Put all work expectations in writing with a MOU or contract
Comments? Questions? Experiences?Financial Literacy @ Your Library:Get involved!