Springdale Public Library, Springdale, AR

Springdale Public Library collaborated with the local school district to improve the financial literacy of immigrant families with school-age children. The library organized a series of family finance events (with translation services) at selected public schools. Parents and children attended together. Each event encompassed a rotation through four financial literacy sessions led by educators from Credit Counseling of Arkansas, the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, the Economic Opportunity Agency serving northwest Arkansas, and Economics Arkansas. Session topics included: bank products and services; comparing credit opportunities; obtaining and reviewing a credit report; how to build or repair credit; making good decisions about large purchases; saving for college; avoiding financial fraud; and teaching children about money. Participating children received age-appropriate learning materials about money concepts. Parents obtained resources to improve household financial management and had the opportunity to enroll in more in-depth, topical workshops.

Key Activities: 

  • Established depository family financial literacy collections in the libraries of four collaborating schools, and conducted classes on getting ready for college, planning financially for the future, and understanding the difference between needs and wants.
  • Conducted 20 public programs, differentiated by audience segment, with a particular emphasis on immigrant families and language-minority individuals. Below is a summary of the public programs:
Low- and Moderate-Income Families

o    Family financial workshops conducted in partnership with local middle schools

o    School based and inclusive of students and their families

o    Focused on financial basics, including budgeting, saving, and credit


o    Library-based and inclusive of parents and other caregivers

o    Focused on foundational money concepts and skills


o    Library- and school-based and inclusive of parents

o    Focused on saving and paying for college, basic financial management, managing credit and debt, and understanding the cost of car ownership


o    Library-based

o    Topics included mastering financial management, improving credit, home-buying 101, and understanding contracts

o    Programs delivered in English and Spanish

o    Programming included a special series delivered in partnership with the Arkansas Securities Department on investing basics, recognizing and avoiding financial fraud, and retirement planning

Marshallese Families

o    Hosted in partnership with, and at, Marshallese churches in the area

o    Topics included saving, controlling spending, understanding credit, managing household finances, and coping with the cost of living in the United States


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