Feb. 25, 2013

For more information, contact
Anson Smith at 203-332-5229

HCC Library Receives $100,000 Grant

For Financial Literacy Program

BRIDGEPORT - The Housatonic Community College Library has received a $100,000 grant for an 18-month financial literacy program. The grant has been awarded by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation and the American Library Association (ALA) as part of Smart investing@your library®.

Under the new grant-funded initiative, Housatonic Community College Library and the Bridgeport Public Library will work together and with other partners to help young residents acquire knowledge and skills essential for sound financial decision-making before, during and after college. Among other topics, the instructional program will encompass banking basics, introduction to credit, how to pay for college and maintain financial aid, introduction to investing and how to avoid financial fraud.

“We at the library are delighted to receive this grant,” said HCC Director of Library Services Shelley Strohm. “It will enable us to build our collection in the areas of personal finance, investing and other financial topics. This, in turn, will support the workshops.”

“The Bridgeport Public Library is very excited about this opportunity to partner with out next-door neighbor, Housatonic Community College,” said Bridgeport City Librarian Scott Hughes. “Working with the college and other partners in providing greater financial literacy to the Bridgeport area community is a win for Housatonic, the Bridgeport Public Library and, most of all, the Bridgeport area community.”

The grant-funded workshops, which will accommodate 800 attendees, will be conducted by representatives from the Connecticut Department of Banking, the Educational Credit Management Corp. Foundation College Place, and Housatonic librarians, faculty and staff. Through the workshops and self-study materials available in the college library and public library, participants will have the opportunity to increase their knowledge of basic financial principles and learn how to build a secure financial future.

Housatonic sought the grant to address a community need for basic information on financial topics and to empower young people to achieve their financial goals.

HCC is the only community college library in the U.S. to receive this grant. It joins public libraries in Hartford; Estes Valley, Colo.; Fayetteville, Ark.; Georgetown, S.C.; Birmingham and Huntsville, Ala; Cincinnati and Port Clinton, Ohio; Portland, Ore.; Troy and Niles, Mich.; San Diego, Calif; and St. Louis, Mo.

For more information about the new program, contact Strohm at 203-332-5072 (sstrohm@hcc.commnet.edu) or the Bridgeport Public Library Community Librarian John Soltis at 203-337-9676 (jsoltis@bridgeportpubliclibrary.org).

Smart investing@your library® is a partnership between the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA)—a division of the American Library Association—and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation. The program supports public libraries and community college libraries across the country in their efforts to meet financial education needs at the local level. Visit http://smartinvesting.ala.org for details.

The FINRA Investor Education Foundation supports innovative research and educational projects that give underserved Americans the knowledge, skills and tools necessary for financial success throughout life. For details about grant programs and other FINRA Foundation initiatives, visit www.finrafoundation.org.

FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is the largest non-governmental regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. FINRA is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation and complementary compliance and technology-based services. FINRA touches virtually every aspect of the securities business—from registering and educating all industry participants to examining securities firms, writing and enforcing rules and the federal securities laws, informing and educating the investing public, providing trade reporting and other industry utilities and administering the largest dispute resolution forum for investors and registered firms. For more information, please visit www.finra.org.

The Reference and User Services Association is the foremost organization of reference and information professionals who make the connections between people and the information sources, services, and collection materials they need. The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 60,000 members. Its mission is to promote the highest quality library and information services and public access to information. For more information, please visit www.ala.org.