Estes Valley Library, Estes Park, CO

Estes Valley Library partnered with the local school district, the YMCA, employers, and the Estes Park Housing Authority to improve the financial and investing literacy of area residents, with a particular emphasis on youth, lower-income families, and seniors needing help managing their retirement income. The project encompassed a seminar series on budgeting, financial goal-setting, debt reduction, savings, and financial caregiving for aging parents. Instructional programs were reinforced by a new financial resource center occupying 300 square feet of prime space at the library to accommodate walk-in patrons and those with scheduled appointments.

Key Activities: 

  • Responded to community requests for customized programming by delivering personal finance seminars for the Rotary Club, Eagle Rock Alernative High School, Estes Park Safe House for Woman, Good Samaritan Retirement Village, Estes Park Senior Center, Rocky Mountain National Park (for personnel), Estes Park Police Department, Newcomers Investment Club, YMCA, Parents as Teachers, Partners Mentoring Youth, and Estes Valley Investment in Childhood Success.
  • Provided personal finance instruction to high school students in the Estes Park School District, with lessons on effective money management and investing fundamentals.
  • Provided Financial Literacy Month (April) programming for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students, all of whom received a copy of the book Lunch Money and participated in discussions about spending carefully, saving money, investing money, and creating opportunities through education and hard work.
  • Delivered a special seminar and reception for public school teachers in the district on the topic of retirement planning.
  • Organized a financial book club with author presentations and discussion groups on new personal finance titles added to the collection.
  • Conducted individual personal finance counseling sessions for library patrons. The counseling sessions were offered by the consulting financial educator for the project and were incorporated into the library’s “Book a Librarian” service.
  • Conducted a series of Spanish-language seminars on personal finance fundamentals.
  • Delivered a popular financial films series (each movie event was introduced by the library’s consulting financial educator, who highlighted the personal finance themes in the movies). Movies included Wall Street, Millions, and Slumdog Millionaire, among others.
  • Conducted a five-part summer financial literacy series for young workers in partnership with the YMCA.
  • Incorporated financial and investor education workshops into the menu of services offered by the library’s computer lab. Workshop topics included budgeting using an Excel spreadsheet, using online calculators for financial projections, and using investment databases.

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