Need to Get Wallet-Wise? A Librarian Knows How to Help

Posted by Carol Kando-Pineda on June 01, 2016 at 11:18 AM

Book lovers have always flocked to their local library to pick up a favorite classic or the latest bestseller. But today’s patrons also want and need a whole lot more.

Libraries are a community’s most trusted source for all kinds of information, guidance, and connection. Through their partnerships, librarians reach well beyond the walls of their branches. Today, they’re teaching patrons on myriad topics that include citizenship, resume writing and how to plan their spending, manage their credit, deal with debt, and steer clear of scammers.

Recognizing that libraries anchor their communities – and librarians have their fingers on the pulse of what people are doing and learning, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) formed a collaboration with the American Library Association years ago.

This collaboration has helped the FTC to support librarians as they help diverse groups of people navigate a complicated marketplace and, in turn, we learn from them about the needs and concerns of their patrons.

We learned from them what the people they serve need to know about managing their finances and troubleshooting debt. What kinds of scams they experience. And what’s the best way to reach them.

The responses we received led to the development of online resources at to address those needs for: people with challenges reading Englisholder patrons, Spanish-speaking individuals, identity theft victimsnew arrivals, and families looking to start a conversation with kids about digital literacy and living life online. Soon we will be releasing tips and tools to address the particular consumer challenges military families face. 

We’ve also made free copies of bookmarks and other print resources available to librarians to give out or use in community programming. We work to support librarians in other ways that include hosting webinars to address supporting materials on a variety of topics and how to develop a plan for sharing with patrons. Additionally, to assist with digital communication, we have designed tips and videos to be short, snackable content that librarians can add to newsletters, web sites, or social networks.  

The FTC’s collaboration with trusted librarians around the country expands our reach exponentially. Together we can get people the information they need to balance their budget, find ways to save, or plan for the future.

Carol Kando-Pineda

Counsel, Division of Consumer & Business Education

Federal Trade Commission