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New Hanover County Library: Spurring Economic Development?

For the first time, the New Hanover County Public Library is observing Money Smart Week, a national initiative from the American Library Association and Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Events are designed to enlighten young children, teens and adults about money management and financial psychology. It’s all part of a county-wide effort to spur economic development.

In the past year, the library has introduced a range of programs to improve local financial literacy, thanks to grants they’ve won from PNC Bank and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Why such a targeted cause? Library director Harry Tuchmayer says his staff is involved in a countywide strategic planning effort to encourage startups and create an incubator environment for small businesses.

"And the library has always been a great resource for people to find information on how to do a business plan, or those kinds of things—doing the research for locating a good place, for example. We’ll also give them the tools for how they can manage their money better, so they can either save for that goal, or organize their payrolls and things like that."

Tuchmayer says he’s actively angling the library to help support this and other county initiatives—including raising school scores and literacy rates, and improving public health, with a focus on reduction in obesity.

***Families are invited to these Money Smart events on April 5:

  • 12:30 p.m. - Money Habitudes is a fun game about personal financial values and choices for teens ages 14-18. It is free but space is limited so please preregister on the online calendar at www.nhclibrary.org.
  • 1:30 p.m. - Stone Soup is a play based on a classic folk tale about sharing and using what you have on hand. Presented by Rags to Riches Theater, it’s suitable for young kids and their parents.
  • 2:30 p.m. - Rapping Edutainer Johnny Deas makes finances fun for ages 10 and up!
  • All afternoon -  Kids and parents can play together with puppets, costumes, and games about money. These will be available in the Children's Room on the second floor.
  • All afternoon - popcorn, pizza, and refreshments will be served in the third floor lobby.

Money Smart Week continues with a workshop for adults on Monday, April 7, titled 'The  Elephant Made Me Do It.' Syble Solomon, a popular speaker/blogger about the psychology of money and the author of Money Habitudes, will lead the workshop.  Participants will learn to recognize what motivates their personal financial choices, and get help taming any self-defeating habits that are rampaging through their credit ratings. This program will be at the Northeast Library located at 1241 Military Cutoff Road at 6 p.m. It's free but space is limited and pre-registration is required.