Brooklyn Public Library : Uncovering what financial literacy means

Uncovering what financial literacy means with theBrooklyn Public Library.

Unveiling the Vision

Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) stands as a pillar of educational equity in New York City, illuminating the path to knowledge for every community member. Recognizing the critical role of financial literacy in empowering individuals, BPL set forth on a mission to break down complex economic barriers and foster a financially savvy citizenry.

Dialogues for Discovery

Our journey began with a question: How does financial knowledge intersect with the lives of our patrons? We crafted surveys not just as a formality but as a gateway to genuine conversation. We sought to hear the unspoken, to understand the relationship our community has with money, beyond mere transactions.The narrative that emerged from our dialogues was clear: financial decisions are not just logical choices but deeply emotional ones. Our patrons shared their stories, revealing that money is as much about life’s stresses and joys as it is about bills and budgets.

We approached our data with the intent to understand, not just quantify. This led us to valuable insights that would shape a program addressing the needs of the heart just as much as those of the wallet. Engagement is what creates workable, effective data gathering. With each outreach, BPL sought to forge connections, and build a shared vision of financial wellbeing. Our message went out not just in words, but in listening, in understanding, and in building together.

A Syllabus with Substance

The result was the ‘Take Charge’ series – a syllabus crafted from the ground up with community input. It wasn’t just about imparting knowledge, but about creating a space where financial understanding could thrive, bolstered by practical skills and emotional intelligence. We established a digital platform that mirrored the evolving needs and voices of our patrons. This microsite became a tool for continuous insight, enabling BPL to adapt and evolve in real-time, always in sync with the heartbeat of the community.

Our insights turned messaging into a conversation starter, turning complex financial concepts into relatable, shareable stories. Each piece of content was a spark, designed to ignite interest and understanding, and to spread the fire of financial empowerment across the community.

The pilot phase of the ‘Take Charge’ series was a testament to adaptability, with participant feedback shaping each iteration. It was a collaboration in the truest sense, with the community as co-creators of their financial literacy journey.


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