San Diego Public Library, San Diego, CA

San Diego Public Library provided a continuum of financial/investment education services and workshops for active-duty service members, military families, and veterans using a lifelong approach to asset building, financial coaching, and consumer protection. The library’s chief partners included the San Diego Unified School District, Fleet & Family Support Services, and Homestart, Inc. (a nonprofit providing employment, family support, and financial coaching services in San Diego County). San Diego has a large military population. These families deal with deployment, separation, and reunification and the many associated financial challenges.

Key Activities: 

  • Organized personal finance resource events for veterans and active duty military (some of whom were transitioning out of the service) and their families in partnership with Fleet and Family Services.
  • Delivered workshops for San Diego residents on budgeting, creating financial goals, bank products, tax rights/responsibilities, retirement planning, credit repair, and investing basics. The workshops took place at branch libraries and other locations serving military families.
  • Provided one-on-one financial counseling with assistance from Accredited Financial Counselors who were spouses of military service members.
  • Conducted a teen financial literacy video program with local public schools. High school students in the San Diego Unified School District created a series of educational videos on financial topics relevant to young adults. The students shaped a concept and then pitched their ideas to librarians and representatives from Fleet and Family Services. The video productions were considered co-curricular activities of the English and drama departments at participating schools.
  • Established financial literacy centers at six participating library branches to distribute resources and to promote relevant collections and learning opportunities.

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