Financial Education Tools for Libraries from CFPB

Jennifer Peterson /

We've been learning about a variety of approaches to financial education, and also wanted to be sure libraries are aware of all the fantastic resources made available free from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). A few years ago, CFPB announced their Community Financial Education Project alongside national partners including IMLS, American Library Association, FINRA Investor Education Foundation, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

Our goal is to provide librarians with a collection of financial education resources and tools. We want to help libraries identify and connect with local partners in their communities. We want to help them build an online community for local financial education librarians. And we want to be able to provide helpful trainings for library staff and managers. – CFPB Director Richard Cordray

The Library Resources area on their website has grown significantly since the project began. Here is an overview of what's available for libraries:

Librarian training – Monthly webinars for library staff on how to discuss financial education topics with patrons. Each 30-40 minute webinar covers basic financial education topics. Archived and upcoming sessions are listed on this page.

Program ideas – Every month, the CFPB provides a few different program ideas and suggests people and organizations in your community that can help present or spread the word about the program, as well as websites and other materials you can use in your program. Here are some of the program ideas:

Partnership Guidebook – This 22-page PDF guide was developed with input from librarians. The guide explains how local partners can help present or support programs, and walks you through the selection and planning processes.

Websites, Videos and Courses – Combine these websites, videos, and courses from federal government agencies and national nonprofit organizations with state and local resources to build a customized list for your library.

Marketing materials – Let your patrons know that you are able to help them research answers to their financial questions or issues. Web banners, social media share graphics, screen savers and fillable fliers can be downloaded here.

Free print materials – Order free government publications, worksheets and brochures you can distribute to patrons or use during your own financial education programs. Plus, promote financial education with posters, displays, bookmarks, and more.

And finally, CFPB invites you to share your suggestions for how they might do better in supporting libraries and financial literacy. Tell them what you think or share one of your own program ideas!  

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