Genesee District Library

Marketing and Media

The Genesee District Library decided early on that creating awareness about the Family Financial Freedom initiative would be critical to their success. In addition to press releases, social media, paid ads library signage and publications, the library started a “grassroots’ effort to get the word out. They partnered with WCMU, a network of five television stations owned by Central Michigan University. Their broadcast area reaches 5 million residents in 52 counties in central and northern Michigan. They created buzz about their program with a TV spot by celebrity speaker Liz Weston. Her appearance helped position the library as a money-saving resource and a video of her presentation is posted on the library’s Facebook Page.

Learning to Leverage

The Genesee District Library noted what many grantees have discovered — integrating an existing program with new programs about managing money is a winning combination. The library’s Summer Reading program featured “Gordon” from the iconic PBS series Sesame Street and he used storytelling, music and puppets to teach the children about spending, sharing and saving. To further integrate Family Financial Freedom materials into the existing website, they developed the Dollars and Sense Café. You can visit the Genesee District Library’s Dollars and Sense Cafe
to see how they used FINRA tools to extend the library’s reach with value-added content. And check out the library’s Winn with your Money videos. Winn with your Money with Trevor Winn


Lessons Learned

• The library focuses on pushing out the same content that presenters share in seminars to reinforce the library’s programs. Through email campaigns, staff is able to track what people are viewing and confirm their interest in financial content. An online approach makes the content readily available for viewing at a time that is convenient for the viewer.

• Managing money is a topic that touches everyone. The library’s many invitations to speak at community organizations, particularly during March is Reading Month, feature financial education programs and resources that are available in a variety of formats and locations. When information is easily accessible through media messages and programming, the library’s stock increases in value and the visibility pays big dividends.


Looking to take your library’s financial literacy efforts to the next level? Connect with ALA’s Financial Literacy Interest Group.