The Apache Junction Public Library’s program—Healthy, Wealthy and Wi$e—focused on the small steps that can lead to a healthy lifestyle both physically and financially. Programs offered in the library and at off-site locations succeeded in attracting a variety of audiences, including underserved groups.
FDIC Money Smart Video Series
The library partnered with Arizona State University to produce a series of videos based on the FDIC’s Money Smart Financial Education Series. These videos on banking, borrowing and developing a spending plan were recorded and broadcast by the city’s cable TV provider and posted on the library’s YouTube channel. The series continues to gain attention, and workshops have been a catalyst for budget coaching appointments available at the library.
Courting the Court
Library staff formed a new partnership with the Apache Junction Court Compliance Officer, who agreed to incorporate a two-week program about finances into the Court’s existing five-week compulsory program for offenders. The “Changing Attitudes Today” program helps offenders meet court orders and obligations through counseling and encouragement to overcome destructive behaviors and attitudes. Course topics include credit reports, budgeting, setting up bank accounts, identify theft and avoiding fraud. The Court Compliance Officer noted, “These financial literacy courses give the students hope, and that is the best thing for them—to have hope that they can climb out of their dire situation.” Feedback from the instructor has been positive, and several people from the class have come into the library for “Budget Coach Tuesday” programs that offer informal, individual help with finances.
• Reaching out to an underserved population can make a tremendous impact and demonstrates the power of financial education and the library’s value within the community. The Court Compliance Officer said, “We hear directly from students at every session. They are very thankful that the Count and the library make these courses available. The Court is a very strong advocate of the courses.”
• The library’s education coordinator noted, “This unconventional approach captured the attention of a new target audience and strengthened the effectiveness of both community partners.”