Athens-Clarke County Library, Athens, GA

Athens-Clarke County Library undertook a basic financial literacy initiative helping low-income workers with low educational attainment; expanded partnerships with local organizations, including the public schools and the Family and Consumer Economics College at the University of Georgia; and integrated financial literacy education into GED preparation programs at five community sites.

Key Activities: 

  • Partnered with Athens Area Technical College to provide a six-part financial literacy series fully integrated into the GED program at the college. The financial literacy modules emphasized practical lessons: understanding a paystub, creating a budget, credit reports, financial strategies in the event of a job loss, avoiding fringe financial services, and saving and investing for retirement. All of these topics were vehicles for addressing learning objectives in the GED curriculum, especially mathematics topics.
  • Branched out to ESOL programming using the same basic model—integrating financial literacy into the existing adult education curriculum. The ESOL version used nine modules, because it took longer to work through the material with English language learners.
  • Provided 28 public programs with assistance from the University of Georgia School of Law and the Athens Land Trust. Topics included: understanding and improving credit, introduction to investing, senior scams, banking basics, money management for newly married couples, retirement planning, and estate planning, among others. Several of these public programs were offered in partnership with Money Smart Week.

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