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Financial Literacy

Financial literacy is a crucial competency for today’s citizens, and libraries provide a trusted resource of information on core personal finance skills.

An Executive Order in February 2017 reconfirmed the goal to “empower Americans to make independent financial decisions and informed choices in the marketplace, save for retirement, and build individual wealth.”

A key IMLS priority is enhancing library and museum resources that foster financial and other types of literacies. IMLS grants help libraries provide financial literacy programs and services on topics like reducing debt, improving credit, saving, and home buying.

Since 2014, IMLS has partnered with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to help librarians answer questions about personal finance. The partnership provides tools and materials to help libraries provide free, unbiased financial information and referrals in their communities, and to build local partnerships and promote libraries as community resources. IMLS supports the bureau’s work with local public libraries, library associations, state and federal agencies, and national financial education leaders to generate interest in financial education at types of libraries.

Financial Literacy Education in Libraries: Guidelines and Best Practices for Service, developed through an IMLS grant, is a resource to help librarians with financial literacy programming and reference services.

IMLS is a member of the Financial Literacy and Education Commission’s Community Financial Education Libraries Project.

Annually, IMLS participates in coordinated federal campaigns like America Saves Week, and Money Smart Week, public awareness campaigns designed to encourage people to better manage their finances.

Read the Memorandum of Understanding (PDF, 771KB)

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