February 2022 Spotlight: RILA Financial Literacy Roundtable

Saturday, February 05, 2022 11:54 AM | RILA Communications (Administrator)

Welcome to the RILA Bulletin Spotlight Series, where we feature the important work of a different RILA or RI library section, committee, roundtable, initiative, or organization in each issue.

Questions or suggestions for this column? Please send an email to communications@rilibraries.org.

February 2022 Spotlight: RILA Financial Literacy Roundtable

In honor of 2022’s Money Smart Week (April 9-16), we asked RILA Financial Literacy Roundtable (FLRT) Chair Jen Linton to take the spotlight for this issue. Jen is a Reference Librarian at Warwick Public Library.

What is the mission or purpose of the RILA Financial Literacy Roundtable (FLRT)?

To support and promote financial literacy programs at libraries across the state

What made you personally interested in being involved with this program?

I'm a longtime fan of personal finance books. I still have my dog-eared copy of Suze Orman's The Road to Wealth, which was the first book that talked about money in a way that made sense to me. When the opportunity to join FLRT arose, it was an easy decision. It's been great to connect with librarians around the state. My hope is to collaborate and find new ways to spread information to patrons and empower them to make informed choices about their finances.

What is the FLRT’s proudest achievement?

FLRT members recorded a Rhody Radio show that featured our favorite Financial Literacy books. The process was more fun than I expected, and I added books to my own reading list.

What ongoing challenges does this program face?

Finances are awkward to talk about. Personally, I've noticed that patrons tend to check out financial books but don't attend programs. I would love to find ways to bridge that gap, or at least find more passive programming opportunities.

If money and time were not an issue, what is the FLRT’s number one wishlist item to support its mission or purpose?

Oh, wow! I've been keeping an eye on the new RI financial literacy standards for students. I love the idea, and my dream would be for all ages to have access to content that will help them gain confidence with their money. Consistent, quality programming for all! (A librarian can dream.)

What partnerships with other groups or individuals (inside or outside of RILA) have been most beneficial for the FLRT to meet its goals or objectives?

Money Smart Week (created by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago) is a free annual event that can be promoted by all libraries. A variety of programs are offered for all ages, and marketing materials are available to download. It's a quick and easy way to offer financial education to patrons. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is also a huge asset when it comes to free materials to give to patrons. Publications can be ordered online covering a number of topics.

Is the FLRT looking for new members, and how can those interested get involved?

Absolutely! If you're interested in all things financial literacy, send an email to flrt@rilibraries.org.

What book are you reading now that you’d like to promote?

Currently reading a NetGalley copy of Hello, Molly! by Molly Shannon, which has been a surprise. I was expecting an upbeat, behind-the-scenes look at SNL, but so far it has been a candid and heartbreaking look at her upbringing. Hard to put down!