Smart investing@your library: Program Models That Work


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Smart investing@your library®: Program Models That Work, Sponsored by RUSA’s Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS), was presented at the ALA Annual Conference, 2012

Smart investing@your library grantees are at the forefront of financial literacy programs that reach all economic and interest levels.

Learn how they are creating models that use social media to capture attention, design games that appeal to kids, teens and adults, partner with social service agencies and market innovative school programs to provide unbiased financial education and resources. As more people need and want to learn how to manage their personal finances, these innovative libraries are leading the way.

Speakers: Paolo Melillo, Orange County Public Library (FL); Kurtis Kelly, Estes Valley Library (CO); Nelly Somerman, Schaumburg Township District Library (IL); Jim Blanton, Chesapeake Public Library (VA); Karla Heberlig, York County Public Library (PA)
Moderator: Susan Wolf Neilson, Wake County Libraries

Published in: Education
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  • Margaret: Examples of partnerships questions for the panelists. Not all will apply to all panelists: What qualities do you look for, what makes a good partner? Look at their mission, values, and organizational goals. Does the partner fill a gap? Why use a partner? Content and delivery: consultants to create or deliver services Credibility: reach new audiences Resources: for community referrals and materials Eg. of partner contributions that helped you achieve a higher level of success that you might not be able to accomplish on your own Multiple partners for many purposes Eg. Barbara and community partners/engagement How did you build the relationships and make them enduring (appeal to their self-interest to sustain) Value of the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) Define parameters upfront; revise if needed; terminate if needed
  • Margaret: Examples of marketing questions. Not all questions apply to all panelists:How did you involve others, both internal and external to your organization?Did you test ideas before you rolled out your plans?How did you incorporate what you learned into your plans? ( test-revise- go forward)How did you attract key spokespeople to your project?Are there universal concepts that can be applied to all public libraries, blend of technology and in-person?Why did you use specific methods to deliver effective messages and programming?Discuss the types of data collection that helped guide their understanding of particular audiencesHow did you develop targeted messages and successfully engage your audiences?What worked and didn’t work, i.e. what actually happened? Both with marketing and partnerships.
  • Margaret:What is behind this branding campaign and how effective has it been?What creative efforts to reach the teen audience? Hard to get them in the library (challenge) Probe for the scavenger hunt idea (success)
  • Margaret:Money Room: space dedicated to the new collection and value of social interaction among women after the speaker presentations.Mention book clubs
  • Margaret:MarketingHow did the outcomes and/or results impact your target audience, organization and the community?
  • Margaret: Marketing programs in the library vs. taking the programs to variety of venues. Tell us some of the ways that you were able to move beyond traditional presentations People reluctant to speak up in group situation about finances Seniors and technology: appreciated the privacy of laptops, touch screen. So no keyboarding involved for folks with no computer experience: pinch and zoom for people with low vision. Seniors recommended the program to other residents of their facility and to other independent living facilities.Joanne: Our grant proposal listed the Oregon Society of CPAs as our primary content partner. We also used existing relationships with Head Starts and retirement communities as a channel to reach our target audiences. As we networked in the community and learned what kinds of information people needed, we added other partners to fill specific needs for information. We learned that the CPAs had little experience with the low-income families we were targeting, and the other partnerships filled that gap. For the most part our partners did not request money from us – the CPA Society uses volunteers, and the government agencies and credit counseling firms have paid staff who deliver programs. In the case of Innovative Changes, which is a small non-profit but was an excellent fit for the types of programs we needed, we agreed to a speaker fee of $50 per program to support their staff time. Even in that case, organizations wanted to work with us because of the audience we reach and the chance to get visibility for their programs. We were also approached by a lot of attorneys and financial planners who wanted to use our programs to find new clients; some of the attorneys had useful information. Our initial partner, the Oregon Society of CPAs, was located through a personal connection at The Library Foundation and agreed to provide content and presenters. We ran into some challenges; the person who made the original deal with us left. The volunteer presenters varied greatly in presentation skills, and tended to commit at the last-minute. Mismatch with audience for outreach programs. However – delivered several good public programs at library branches. Multnomah County Commission on Children, Families, and Communities – their Family Economic Security project dovetailed with our mission; (training on EITC, Tax-Aide, and sources of local assistance and financial literacy information). We engaged in co-marketing and they provided co-presenters for the CPAs. Innovative Changes – local non-profit that counsels works with low-income individuals and provides low-cost loans (alternative to payday loans), and Household Stability Workshops. Provided presenters for our budgeting programs and Head Start parent nights.
  • Margaret:For lessons learned Did you accomplish your goals? What ways would you choose to modify your expected outcomes? - Unexpected outcomes - Success stories Why did you handle challenges and barriers in the way you described? What were you trying to accomplish? How did the outcomes and/or results impact your target audience, organization and the community?Joanne: Our programming team has a process in place for marketing the events at our branches, including monthly newsletters, an events calendar on the website. The marketing department supports us with fliers to post in the branches and electronic marketing on the home page and through Facebook and Twitter. Being on the library home page was a big factor in attendance. So was any PR coverage we were able to garner in the local newspaper. Our county partners were also able to give out our information and manned booths at resource fairs and community events. And when we heard the Financial Planning Association had a day-long event with involvement from the mayor’s office, we arranged to give out literature there – that event drew several hundred people, and we were able to not only give out literature but also demonstrate our web site. But our grant proposal did not build in a lot of marketing because we were more focused on offering programs through outreach partners, who have their own means of publicizing events. The Head Starts send information to parents, and the activity directors generally have a resident newsletter and program calendar. That being said, our best results at the retirement communities were when an inside advocate spoke to people directly.
  • Joanne: Our original concept of working through our outreach organizations was successful, but giving them literature or an email was not enough to get results. We had to put in the time to call their staff and schedule the programs. The library had been offering on-site visits to retirement centers for years, but there wasn’t a tradition of offering programs and classes. I think we deepened the partnerships by extending what we offered. We learned that at the head starts each location and classroom does its own program selection, often with parents voting on what programs they want. We had to work with their process. For the public programs, we learned how important it is to match speaker and audience. And since you may not know exactly what your patrons need, it really helps to attend the programs and listen to their questions. For instance, I found that in our budgeting classes, all the questions were about credit and debt. So we partnered with a non-profit credit counselor to offer programs specifically on that subject. It also helped to make the budgeting programs “fun” by focusing on budgeting for the holidays, or travel, or a wedding budget – something that teaches the skills but has a fun component. For example, co-present with AAA for Travel Budgeting. Other lessons learned: Avoid “should” presentations (you should budget, save, plan for retirement…) in favor of how presentations.Match content to audienceWide variety of needs, and languages, within our target demographics – the retirement centers are not one audience as they vary substantially by income level. It helps when presenters also do one-on-one counseling:-- provides a connection for follow-on help-- Give the audience a personal contact with a trustworthy resourceSometimes it’s better to “Train the trainer” when an intermediary person already holds the client’s trust; example – family workersTranslation assistance was essential. It was provided by the Head Starts.
  • Susan:The FINRA Foundation, in consultation with the U.S. Treasury and the President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy, is the sponsor of the National Financial Capability Study.The study includes state-by-state data and a website to generate state-level reports that allow comparisons to national or regional data or to data from another state.Many of you might find this information useful, either as background to inform needs assessments for your projects or to make available to library patrons and partner organizations who might have an interest in the data.Mention that we’ll be conducting an update to the study during 2012.
  • Smart investing@your library: Program Models That Work

    1. 1. Smart investing@your library ®Program Models that Work INFORMING TODAY’S INVESTORS Conference ALA Annual June 23, 2012, Anaheim
    2. 2. Smart investing@your library®What is Smart investing@your library®?• Established in 2007• Administered jointly by RUSA Division of ALA and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation• Funds library efforts to provide patrons with effective, unbiased educational resources about personal finance and investing• Has awarded 82 grants totaling over $6 million• Grantees represent 800 library facilities that reach a service-area population of 27 million• Still growing• Expanding to community college libraries beginning in 2012
    3. 3. Smart investing@your library® A Growing Program . . . Genesee Seekonk Fairfield Jackson
    4. 4. Smart investing@your library®
    5. 5. FINRA Investor Education Foundation• Established in 2003• Mission: Provide underserved Americans with the knowledge, skills and tools necessary for financial success throughout life• Awards grants and manages projects focused on financial and investor education• &
    6. 6. Reference & User Services Association• RUSA supports reference and information professionals who make the connections between people and the information sources, services, and collection materials they need.• You’ll find RUSA members in every type of library- working in adult services, business, reference, teen and children’s departments to serve users for all ages.
    7. 7. Smart investing@your library ® Program Models that Work INFORMING TODAY’S INVESTORS
    8. 8. Smart investing@your library® Program Models that Work Orange County Library System, Orlando, FL • Population: 1 million + • Locations: main library + 14 branches • Annual visits: 4.9 million (2011) • Circulation: 12.7 million (2011) First Grant Project • Duration: 22 months (2008–2009) • Amount: $96,360 • Audiences: Lower-income Hispanics Lower-income African Americans Second Grant Project • Duration: 18 months (2011–2012) • Amount: $51,150 • Audience: Service industry employees
    9. 9. Orange County Library SystemPrimary Partner • Rollins College Crummer School of BusinessPromotional Partners • Hispanic Business Initiative Fund • National Black MBA Association, Inc.
    10. 10. Orange County Library System Mutual Benefits Benefits for the Orange County Library System • Draw on the college’s expertise • Gave workshops greater credibility • Saved staff time and effort • Enabled library staff to focus on their specialties • Join in with the partner’s marketing efforts • Promote library as a center for reliable financial information
    11. 11. Orange County Library System Mutual Benefits Benefits for Rollins College & the MBA students • Improve and hone presentation skills • Develop a greater awareness of community work • Exposure to diverse communities • Improve leadership skills • Support the school’s mission of community service
    12. 12. Orange County Library SystemPrimary Partner • Rollins College Crummer School of BusinessPromotional Partner • Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association (CFHLA)
    13. 13. Smart investing@your library® Program Models that Work Lessons Learned • Carefully define the scope of the project and partnership • Know your partners, their mission, challenges and limitations • Know your target market • Regular communication • Be open to change and be flexible • Look for other opportunities
    14. 14. Smart investing@your library® Program Models that Work Estes Valley Library, CO • Population: 11,000 year round 60,000 summer 3 million park visits • Cardholders: 10,954 • Annual visits: 196,165 • Circulation: 206,477 • Programs/yr: 572 (attendance 15,090) • 2011 highlight: 44% growth in adult program attendance Common Cents Counts Improve youth financial literacy; provide practical money skills to young parents and young workers • Duration: 2 years • Amount: $62,203 • Audiences: Working adults High school students Early intervention (4 to 10 year-olds) General audiences
    15. 15. Estes Valley Library Positive Outcomes • 447 total surveys • 262 presentations and sessions • 2,805 participants • 52% increase in circulation of financial titles • Sustained awareness campaign (including newspapers) • Common Cents Counts website • Buck $tarts Here Center at the library
    16. 16. Estes Valley Library Partnerships • Advisory board • Park School District • Key informants:  Local food bank  Health clinic  Childcare reps • Major employers (for onsite workshops) • Schools (for onsite instruction) • Newspapers
    17. 17. Estes Valley Library Staying Flexible • Website development: timeline is always a challenge • Teen leaders and delivery of curriculum to students • Financial workshops in Spanish • Varying results with onsite instruction for workers
    18. 18. Smart investing@your library® Program Models that Work Schaumburg Township District Library, IL • Population: 126,000 • Annual visits: 1.2 million • Circulation: 2.4 million Grant Project • Duration: 2 years • Amount: $87,000 • Audience: Community members facing financial hardship due to the economic downturn and job loss • Main partner: University of Illinois Extension, Department of Consumer Economics
    19. 19. Schaumburg Township District Library Internal Partners • Director of Reference Services • Corporate & Small Business Liaison Librarian • Hoffman Estates Branch Coordinator • Director of Graphic Services • Public Relations Coordinator External Partner • Karen Chan, Certified Financial Planner University of Illinois Extension, Consumer Economics AFCPE Educator of the Year Social Service Providers • Homeless assistance centers • Human services departments • Job networking groups • Police department • Community colleges • State department of unemployment • Churches • Family counseling centers • Employment counselors
    20. 20. Schaumburg Township District Library TRAIN-THE-TRAINER MANUAL For service providers working with unemployed and underemployed clients Topics Tools MANAGING YOUR FINANCES LOAN COMPARISON GUIDE • Avoid Money Traps • Managing Debt TAKING CONTROL OF SPENDING WEEKLY EXPENSE TALLY SHEET • Strategies for Spending Less • Stretching Your Food Dollar HELPING FAMILIES COPE COMMUNITY RESOURCES • Communicating Under Pressure • Helping Children Cope
    21. 21. Schaumburg Township District Library
    22. 22. Schaumburg Township District Library Lessons Learned • Create and maintain a project timeline • Choose partners carefully • Work with community social service providers  to educate them about the library resources available for their clients  to reach non-library users  to create good will toward the library
    23. 23. Smart investing@your library® Program Models that Work
    24. 24. Chesapeake Public Library
    25. 25. Chesapeake Public Library
    26. 26. Chesapeake Public Library
    27. 27. Smart investing@your library® Program Models that Work York County Library System, PA • Population: 420,000; 1 in 3 with a library card • Locations: 13 • Annual visits: 1.5 million Grant Project • Duration: 20 months, 2010–2011 • Amount: $43,505 • Audiences: Children ages 5–7 & their parents • Objectives:  Establish a habit of using the library  Introduce children to key financial concepts  Reinforce parents’ financial knowledge and help them positively influence their children’s future money management skills  Build awareness about financial literacy resources available through county libraries
    28. 28. York County Library System Project Components • Right on the Money curriculum for children ages 5–7 and their families, hosted at 12 York County Libraries • Spanish-language sessions at two libraries • Seven elementary school financial literacy assemblies • Financial literacy training for York County Libraries customer service staff • Financial literacy collection development • Marketing plan
    29. 29. York County Library SystemImpact• 90 families (208 children & parents) participated in 2010–2011; 68% with perfect attendance• 81% of parents indicated they felt more confident about planning their family’s finances• 90% of parents indicated they felt more confident in talking with their children about money• 100% of parents planned to use strategies presented during the workshop series• Three-months later, 94% said they had been using strategies taught during the workshops• 85% of families pledged to borrow financial literacy resources from their library’s collection at least once a month following the completion of the workshop• 87% have remained active library users
    30. 30. York County Library System Partnerships • Lutheran Social Services • Pennsylvania Office of Financial Education • Penn State University Cooperative Extension • All 13 York County Libraries • Public school districts • Media Results Achieved with Partnerships • Needs vs. wants assemblies for 1,365 K–2 students in elementary schools • Financial training for 68 staff representing 9 libraries • Financial stability resource manual distributed to each training attendee and library • Final celebration for 800 children and their families held during the Summer Reading Club kick-off event
    31. 31. York County Library System Lessons Learned • Gaining buy-in from library staff is critical to the success of a county-wide project. Make the rounds, make it fun, make it easy! • Overcoming a poor training partner: Consider creating an MOU for partners to outline clearly all expectations of both parties; use this as your accountability tool • For in-school assemblies, partners are key, as well as good organization and flexibility
    32. 32. Smart investing@your library® Program Models that WorkStrengthen local economies with information andlibrarian-built and tested solutionsDemonstrate value of library as trusted resource forfinancial education resourcesInnovate with nontraditional library programs andrecognized universal access
    33. 33. Smart investing@your library®Margaret Monsour Nelly SomermanAmerican Library Association Schaumburg Township District nsomerman@stdl.orgPaolo Melillo Jim BlantonOrange County Library System Chesapeake Public jblanton@infopeake.orgKurtis Kelly Karla HeberligEstes Valley Library York County Library Moderator: Susan Wolf Neilson, Wake County Libraries, NC