This story appeared in Bank Digest.
Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) joined Consumer Financial Protection Director Richard Cordray and local librarians at the Marian J. Mohr Memorial Library in Johnston, R.I., to announce a new partnership to improve financial literacy in Rhode Island. According to Reed's press release, the partnership, to be run through public libraries across the state, seeks to broaden access to financial education tools and assistance to consumers on topics ranging from managing credit card debt to student loans.
"Whether it is assisting unemployed Rhode Islanders or engaging young people in reading programs, our libraries are always there for us, so I'd like to thank Rhode Island's libraries for once again stepping up to fill a pressing community need," said Reed. "Financial literacy is a lifelong endeavor, and that is why libraries are the perfect partners for expanding access to financial literacy resources in our communities. I commend the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for having the foresight to partner with them, and I'd like to thank Director Cordray for making Rhode Island part of this important new effort."
"Senator Reed and the Bureau share the same goal of wanting to educate and empower consumers to help them make responsible financial decisions. So today I am glad to announce an important partnership with Rhode Island's Office of Library and Information Services to make this state's already trusted libraries into neighborhood centers of financial education," said Cordray. "This builds on a national pilot project we announced in April. At that time, we had partnered with nine libraries across the country. In just two months, that has grown to more than 50 library systems, which includes nearly 400 library branches. Adding Rhode Island to this partnership means another 48 public libraries that include 70 branch locations. That is about one million more people who will have access to free financial education materials, resources, and trained librarians."
In addition to the partnership announced today, Director Cordray announced his agency will soon release a new toolkit to assist libraries in building local partnerships for financial and consumer information.