Georgetown County Library, Georgetown, SC

Georgetown County Library and its partners educated the community about money matters through a series of creative, multimedia activities referencing the county’s economic history and appealing to the different learning styles and interests of residents of all ages. The library and partner organizations conducted outreach to area childcare providers, the county detention center, the local board of disabilities and special needs, and other agencies for the purpose of improving the basic financial literacy of those in need.

Key Activities: 

  • Established personal finance depository collections at 14 sites, including the county detention center, area childcare centers, the county Board of Disabilities and Special Needs, the Marine Institute for Delinquent Youth, and the Tara Hall Home for endangered boys. The library’s storyteller/literacy instructor conducted readings on money themes at all of the childcare centers.
  • Provided financial literacy classes for students at the Marine Institute and Tara Hall, with university faculty leading discussions about money management, investing in stocks and bonds, banking, credit, and saving for life goals.
  • Organized workshops for childcare providers and interested parents in partnership with Clemson Extension. The workshops addressed budgeting, financing children’s education, and helping children learn about money. The South Carolina Department of Social Services permitted participants to earn credit hours in program administration as an incentive to participate.
  • Conducted community-wide PIE Parties (Powerful Investment Education) that attracted residents from all parts of the county who sampled 50 different kinds of pie and received tutorials and materials on a full range of financial and investor education topics. Partners included Clemson University Extension, SCORE, and two credit unions.
  • Completed its Great Depression project, whereby teens conducted video interviews of senior citizens to learn about and explain what it means to survive during difficult economic times. The library tapped into its ongoing video production classes to engage 25 teen videographers, who received tutorials on financial fitness, conducted interviews, and contributed to the creation of a community-wide documentary about managing money.
  • Conducted, as a corollary component of the Great Depression project, five workshops at library branches to help families create and discuss their own multimedia stories using family photos and other materials.
  • Worked with schools and students to prepare PSAs about basic money topics and the library’s personal finance services. The PSAs were filmed in or near local schools and featured student actors. Students involved in the PSA productions participated in financial literacy classes about saving and spending strategies and the financial history of the United States. The simple, low-budget PSAs premiered at the library’s “Great Financial Fitness Party,” and subsequently aired for 18 months as drop-ins during CNN, TNT, ESPN, Nickelodeon, and Bravo broadcasts on local cable television.

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