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FINRA Investor Education Foundation & the American Library Association Announce $1.8 million in Grants to Public Libraries to Support Financial Literacy

February 2, 2015

WASHINGTON — The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation and the American Library Association (ALA) have announced $1.8 million in grants to 21 recipients as part of the Smart investing@your library® initiative.

Smart investing@your library® is administered jointly by the Reference and User Services Association—a division of ALA—and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation. The program funds library efforts to provide patrons with effective, unbiased educational resources about personal finance and investing. Now in its eighth year, the program has awarded a total of $10 million to public libraries, community college libraries and library networks nationwide.

The new grant recipients will use the funds to implement a variety of programs and services designed to increase patrons’ access to and understanding of financial information. The grants target a diverse group of library patrons—among them youth, veterans, college students, Native Americans, immigrant families, Spanish speakers, seniors and low-income families. Participating libraries will connect library users to high-quality, unbiased financial education and information resources. This year’s projects give special attention to integrating financial literacy with library-based programs for English language learners, intergenerational programs for women and programming for military families.

The grantees will partner with schools, universities, community colleges, various nonprofit organizations, and local governments to expand the impact of the services and resources the grants enable. Library patrons will be empowered to make educated financial choices for both long-term investing and day-to-day money matters.

“Over the past several years, we’ve learned through this initiative that libraries are uniquely well positioned in their communities to help residents with their personal finance information needs. Library patrons can be confident that their own best interests are at the heart of all programming,” said Gerri Walsh, president of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation.

“These projects highlight the library’s essential role in every community as an indispensable hub for learning. Trained library staff are creating innovative, activity-based programs and collaborating with their community partners to ensure that unbiased, financial information is readily available to address the information needs of everyone no matter what age or economic circumstance,” said ALA President Courtney L. Young.


February 2, 2015
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