Brunswick library gets $92K financial literacy grant

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BRUNSWICK — Curtis Memorial Library has been awarded a $92,000 grant to develop a community-wide financial literacy program.

The library was one of 21 selected nationwide by the American Library Association and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. This is the second time Curtis Memorial has received the award. 

The grant is part of the “Smart investing@your library” program, aimed at supporting U.S. public libraries to meet local financial education needs. 

The library received the same grant four years ago for a similar program aimed at local women. That experience was an “outstanding success,” library volunteer coordinator Jessica Flaherty said, prompting Curtis to broaden its approach. 

The new grant help develop a year-long series of workshops, training seminars, and events aimed at providing people with easy-to-use skills to encourage financial health. The program is expected to run from September to July 2016.

Topics will range from basic budgeting and savings strategies, to more specific subjects, like planning for marriage, starting a family, or saving in the household food budget by cooking at home, Flaherty said.

Most courses will be held at the library, but in conjunction with partners including the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program, Tedford Housing and United Way, the program will travel to people who might not come to the library frequently, Flaherty added. 

The money will also be used to build the library’s collection of financial books and materials, with the aim of becoming a resource for managing personal finances.

“It’s always going to come back to making the library a place to get unbiased information,” Flaherty said. 

Peter L. McGuire can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or pmcguire@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter @PeteL_McGuire.

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