Extension News

Smart investing@your library® Goes Statewide


Ames, Iowa-- Across the state of Iowa, 25 rural libraries are getting ready to welcome a new initiative: Smart investing@your library®. This program is made possible by a grant from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation through Smart investing@your library®, a partnership with the American Library Association.


This special grant program funds public library efforts to provide library patrons with access to effective, non-commercial investor educational resources. The Iowa project is a collaboration among the State Library of Iowa, the Ames Public Library and Iowa State University Extension.

“This is a win-win situation for the parties involved,” said Cindy Fletcher, ISU professor and extension family resource management specialist. “It is a great opportunity for ISU Extension to work with local libraries to educate Iowans about wise saving and investing.”


“Iowa’s libraries empower people to make decisions and solve problems,” said State Librarian Mary Wegner. “We are delighted to partner with Iowa State University Extension and the Ames Public Library to provide these classes about financial literacy in rural communities in the state.”

The public libraries that received grants will use a variety of technologies and outreach strategies to bring quality financial and investor education opportunities at no cost.
Participating libraries will also receive $575 worth of library books and DVDs about investing to add to their collections.


Libraries will host courses that combine face-to-face and online learning taught by Iowa State University Extension family resource management program specialists during the 18-month program. Three different courses will be offered at six weeks each: one for those who are first-time investors, one for those investing for retirement, and one for retirees.


“The courses will provide information tailored to each age group and will encourage participants to learn more and then take action,” said Fletcher. “The course encourages people to either start saving and investing or to take a second look at their current situation and make changes.” Classes will be held this fall and in spring 2011 at the locations listed below.

Through the program, students are empowered to make smart financial decisions, both for long-term investing and day-to-day money matters. The program is especially concerned with helping those who might otherwise have limited access to important information relevant to their financial well-being.


Check out the list of participating public libraries for one near you:


Anita Public Library    
Bayard Public Library      
Buffalo Center Public Library      
Chariton Free Public Library   
Charles City Public Library    
Matilda J. Gibson Memorial Library  (Creston)   
Norelius Community Library (Denison)   
Hamburg Public Library    
Hawarden Public Library
Robert W. Barlow Memorial Library  (Iowa Falls) 
Kalona Public Library   
Keokuk Public Library      
Lake City Public Library                                              
Le Mars Public Library                                             
Leon Public Library      
Marengo Public Library     
Ross & Elizabeth Baty Public Library(Monticello)      
Mount Pleasant Public Library    
New Hampton Public Library                          
Oelwein Public Library    
Perry Public Library     
Pocahontas Public Library                                  
Bertha Bartlett Public Library  (Story City)      
Robey Memorial Library (Waukon)    
Winterset Public Library    

About Smart investing@your library®

In its first three years (2007-2009), Smart investing@your library® awarded grants totaling $3.2 million to 43 public libraries and library networks throughout the United States. Smart investing@your library® is administered jointly by ALA and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation. The program supports public libraries in their efforts to meet investor education and protection needs at the community level. Participating libraries and their community partners are helping individuals access unbiased, quality resources and educational opportunities at library facilities, at home via the Web, at the workplace and at other locations throughout their communities. Reaching out across the community, these libraries ensure that their patrons can easily find the information they need to improve their financial decisions.


Contacts :

Cynthia Fletcher, Human Development & Family Studies, 515-294-8521, cynthia@iastate.edu

Kassi Williams, Extension Communications and External Relations, 515-294-9915, kassi8@iastate.edu