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Need accurate and free financial information? Ask a librarian

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National Public Radio’s “Your Money” segment on Saturday, Feb. 28 highlighted the “Smart investing @ your library” campaign, a partnership between the American Library Association (ALA) and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation.

“Smart Investing @ your library” helps to fund library efforts to provide patrons with unbiased financial education resources. The program is sponsored by FINRA and administered by the ALA’s Reference and User Services Association (RUSA). It has awarded more than $1.7 million to 25 libraries across the U.S. to date.

In the interview, FINRA President John Gannon said that “the current economic climate has made libraries a more vital institution in communities” because libraries have the ability to reach large numbers of people who may need more information to make important financial decisions. “Whether that’s women facing retirement, teens or even younger people who are still in school, it’s figuring out how to get that information to people,” he said.

ALA’s Public Information Office (PIO) has helped place this and many other stories about the vital role libraries play during tough economic times. Other stories that have ran recently include CNN Money, NBC Nightly News, Washington Post, Parade Magazine, The New York Times blog Freakonomics, CBS Evening News on Dec. 31 and Feb. 2, CNN Newsource as it appeared on Los Angeles’s KCAL-TV and an op-ed in the Huffington Post.

Stay tuned…

Submitted by Jennifer Petersen, Public Information Office

Libraries celebrate Teen Tech Week, March 8 – 14, 2009

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At a time when disposable income is shrinking dramatically, teens from coast to coast are thinking twice before shopping in malls, buying movie tickets or spending money on video games. Service to young adults in our nation’s libraries has become more important than ever. During Teen Tech Week, March 8-14, teens will take advantage of the many free tech resources available at their school and public libraries.

Teen Tech Week, sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association, is an opportunity for libraries to showcase the many free tech resources available to teens, including gaming, audiobooks, online homework help and more. This year’s theme is Press Play @ your library, which encourages teens to literally “press play” on digital devices @ their libraries, such as mp3 players, DVD players, gaming controllers, or by sharing their own videos, music and digital artwork with others library users.

Macey Morales, manager of ALA Media Relations, sat down with Stephanie (Stevie) Kuenn, communications specialist, Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), to discuss how libraries are celebrating Teen Tech Week, and the informational resources available through the Teen Tech Week Web site (www.ala.org/teentechweek).

Contributed by Macey Morales, Media Relations Manager, ALA Public Information Office