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Money Tip$ Make it Work! - Financial Literacy Workshops

Orange County Library System
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Innovation Summary

With grant funded support, the Orange County Library System partnered with the Rollins College Crummer School of Business to develop and implement financial literacy workshops tailored for people of modest income, especially employees in the service industry.

The library also partnered with the Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association to promote the workshops directly to the target market and offer them on site at local hotels.

The workshops held at the library were scheduled with simultaneous children’s programs so as to make it easier for parents with children to attend. The workshops held in the hotels dealt directly with issues many hotel employees face with personal finance.


Innovation Leader: Paolo Melillo, Branch Manager, melillo.paolo@ocls.info

Problem Statement

 - Orange County is a service based community which has been hit very hard in the economic downturn. As travel slowed and occupancy dwindled, local service industry workers faced challenges to their financial well being. Orlando ranked 10th in the U.S. for average consumer debt and was leading in foreclosures and bankruptcies. The need to empower the community with financial know how increased dramatically.

- Many patrons with children stated they wanted to attend library programs but did not because of child care issues.

- Many service industry workers had a hard time visiting a library branch to attend programs.

Innovation

By partnering with the Rollins College Crummer School of Business to develop and implement the workshops we were able to leverage our resources and give credence to the presentations. Our partnership with the Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association enabled us to promote the workshops to hotels and offer the workshops on site to employees.

We developed simultaneous children’s programs at the branches to make it easier for patrons with children to attend the workshops. The library and Rollins College recorded the content of the workshops in video format and loaded them on a dedicated web page. This makes the workshops available for everyone at any time.

Progress

We were able to offer eight workshops at four local branches. In order to make it easier for parents to attend, we offered simultaneous children’s programs. One hundred and eighteen patrons attended the workshops and seventy six children participated in the juvenile events.

The workshops were also offered at five local hotels. Ninety-nine employees attended the on-site workshops.

For those unable to attend a workshop in person, the library loaded the entire content in a video format to a dedicated web site. These workshops in video format have been viewed over 384 times in February and March, 2012.