SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. – In an effort to promote investor education and empower Santa Clara County library users with useful financial knowledge, Santa Clara County Library will be launching the “Smart Investing @Santa Clara County Library” Program this spring. The two-year project will be funded by a $100,000 grant from the American Library Association and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
“We are experiencing tough times and many residents are trying to develop their investing skills, so this grant is a big help,” President Dave Cortese, County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors. ”We hope library patrons feel confident when making decisions that might help them to minimize the impact this economic downturn has caused their families.”
“More than ever, financial knowledge is crucial to survive,” said County of Santa Clara Supervisor Mike Wasserman, Delegate for the Santa Clara County Library Joint Powers Authority. “In these challenging times, Santa Clara County Library continues to be that reliable resource that provides essential and cost-effective services to many in our community.”
Santa Clara County Library, working in partnership with the Morgan Hill Library Foundation, was one of only twenty libraries nationwide that were selected by the American Library Association (ALA) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to participate in the “Smart Investing @your library®” Program. Santa Clara County Library also was recently acknowledged by Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings and Library Journal’s Star Libraries as one of the nation’s leading libraries for delivering outstanding and cost-effective service.
“We are honored and excited about the opportunity to help our patrons become more familiar with investing,” said Melinda Cervantes, Santa Clara County Librarian. “The grant will help to build the capacity of Santa Clara County Library to provide effective, impartial investor education to the community at large.”
With the funding, Santa Clara County Library will be working with a number of community partners to
provide training to increase knowledge of financial and investment information by reference librarians. Also, funding will help strengthen the collection of library materials available on financial topics and services to better assist library patrons.
Phase One of the “Smart Investing @Santa Clara County Library” Program will start this spring with staff training, collection enhancement, and web development components. It will focus on staff training workshops on financial topics and reference sources, which will be made available free to all librarians within the Pacific Library Partnership (PLP), a consolidation of four regional library systems. Santa Clara County Library will develop a series of online training videos and resources to help library staff from anywhere in the country become more knowledgeable about reference services in the areas of personal finance.
Santa Clara County Library will also design a new 24-7 financial education web portal that will offer a variety of investor education resources, investment-related library collections, online videos, databases and reliable websites, materials and tools. Some of these resources will be available in Spanish, Mandarin and Vietnamese.
Phase Two of the “Smart Investing @Santa Clara County Library” Program will begin with public workshops to be scheduled at Santa Clara County libraries from September 2011, through fall 2012. Topics will include:
- Get the Most Out of Your Money—Key investment concepts, budgets and goals
- Managing Credit Debt
- Saving and Investing
- Choosing the Right Investments for You Retirement Savings Vehicles
- Making College a Reality with as Little Debt as Possible
- The “Sandwich Generation”—Financial Planning for children, parents and you
- Finances and Life Crisis
- Money Talks—University of CA Extension financial literacy curriculum for teens
“We hope this program will help Santa Clara County Library connect with people who are not aware of the breadth of resources we have available,” said Derek Wolfgram, Deputy County Librarian. “We look forward to offering a wide range of new high-quality investor education programs and becoming a stronger resource for patrons looking to learn more about investment options and saving strategies during these difficult economic times.”
About the Santa Clara County Library
The Santa Clara County Library includes two bookmobiles, an online library, seven community libraries and one branch library serving, Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Saratoga and the unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County. The system has a collection of 1.8 million items. In 2010, it reported 290,985 library card holders, 12,066,869 check outs and 3.6 million visitors.
The Santa Clara County Library mission is to be an open forum promoting knowledge, ideas, and cultural enrichment. The library provides free access to informational, educational, and recreational materials and services. In response to community needs, the library provides diverse resources on a wide variety of subjects and viewpoints and helps people use these resources. Visit Santa Clara County Library online at www.sccl.org.
The American Library Association was established in 1876 and is the oldest and largest library association in the world. It strives to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.
The FINRA Investor Education Foundation supports innovative research and educational projects that give underserved Americans the knowledge, skills and tools necessary for financial success. For details about grant programs and other FINRA Foundation initiatives, visit www.finrafoundation.org.
FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is the largest non-governmental regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. FINRA is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation. FINRA registers and educates industry participants, examines securities firms; writes and enforces rules and federal securities laws, educates the investing public and provides trade reporting and other industry utilities. For more information, visit www.finra.org.
Media Contact: Gwendolyn Mitchell/Marina Hinestrosa, Office of Public Affairs, (408) 299-5119; Melinda Cervantes/Derek Wolfgram, Santa Clara County Library (408) 293-2326 ext. 3001/3002
Posted: March 10, 2011