Financial and Employment Literacies

Financial literacy involves the ability to make sound decisions regarding the management of personal financial matters.

Employment literacy is the ability to search for employment, evaluate the appropriateness of a potential job, express one's skills and experiences to a potential employer, and plan for a long-term career.

As you work with patrons to meet their e-government needs, you may need to discuss matters related to their personal finances.  If you are working with patrons who may not fully understand basic concepts related to money management, there are a variety of online resources that can offer them an introductory overview to these concepts. 

To help patrons develop their financial literacy skills, check out:

  • Tech Goes Home (a pathfinder to resources focused on popular personal finance topics, including home mortgages, college financial aid, and income taxes)
  • Lessons created by Club Digital (in both English and Spanish) on topics such as managing money online and saving money through online tips and resources.
  • Basic money management tutorials developed by Goodwill Community Foundation (GCF) International.
  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) focuses on mortgages, student loan debt, and credit card debt. Highlights of the bureau's website are:
    • Ask CFPB - searchable answers to financial questions like those below and the ability to submit your own question.
      • "How do I dispute an error on my credit report?"
      • "I can't pay my mortgage loan. What should I do?"
      • "How does foreclosure work?"
    • Get Assistance - where and how to get help with mortgage and student loan debt, credit discrimination, or filing a complint against a financial services provider.
    • Participate - submit comments on proposed rules and regulations, as well as on various financial literacy campaigns and projects.
    • Includes financial education resources from 20 federal agencies
    • General site is available in both English and Spanish but many of the resources are only in English
    • Organized by specific information resources for
      • Major life events
      • Particular age groups
      • Members of specialized groups such as the military or small business owners
      • Currently popular topics
    • Designed specifically for the public
    • Basic layout is very easy to use
    • The "Benefit Finder" takes patrons through a number of questions in a survey style format.
    • Four-lesson curriculum supplement for middle school math classes, teaching grade 7-9 math concepts using real-life examples from personal finance
    • The 86-page book is a teacher's guide with lesson plans, reproducible activity pages, and teaching tips
    • Available for immediate download
    • Though geared toward students, this could be an excellent course to run in the library for parents and children together, reaching both audiences simultaneously. Instructors would need a basic understanding of math to teach this course; volunteers from local universities might be good partners to reach out to.

As many local, state, and federal government agencies now require job seekers to apply online for employment opportunities, providing e-government assistance may also require you to help patrons develop their employment literacy skills, ranging from job hunting to resume writing to networking. There are many resources available for patrons who may be struggling to develop these skills, including GCF's tutorials and the Beehive's online guides.