Jamie Lusch / Mail Tribune Jackson County Library Services has added books and other items in English and Spanish to assist those with personal finance and disaster recovery.
Jackson County Library Services is expanding its personal financial collections in English and Spanish after receiving a $ 5,000 grant.
The additional tools and resources will ensure residents have the information they need to make critical money decisions to fix, rebuild and restore after the September 2020 wildfires and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, library officials said.
Residents of disaster areas face many challenges, including filing claims, accessing government funds, managing insurance company lump sums, and paying for their immediate expenses when their income is disrupted.
The $ 5,000 grant from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s Investor Education Foundation will help provide tools to perform these tasks.
“Many of us have no experience with these decisions. Nevertheless, we have to get it right the first time, otherwise we will face long-term financial consequences. Fortunately, the library has information that can help, ”says Gerri Walsh, chairman of the foundation.
Many of the information resources are already at local libraries, and more are organized and on the way, said Elanna Erhardt, business librarian for Jackson County Library Services.
Items can be found by searching the library system catalog at jcls.org.
Offerings in English include ‘The Fire Smart Home Handbook: Preparing for and Surviving the Threat of Wildfire’, ‘Nolo’s Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home’, ‘Budgeting 101’, ‘The Money Saving Mom’s Budget’, ‘The Complete Guide to Personal Finance for Teens and College Students, “” Raising Financially Confident Children “and” Essential Retirement Planning for Solo Agers. “
Resources in Spanish include guides on banking, budgeting, shopping, staying safe from hackers, making a will, buying your first home, and investing.
The library branches of Medford, Ashland, Rogue River and Eagle Point have Take & Make packages for teens and children with individual and family activities to learn about personal finances. They include instructions for activities, supplies, and treats, Erhardt said.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 15 branches of the library system are currently closed for personal browsing, but customers can hold books and other items and then collect them from a branch of their choice.
Customers can also describe their area of interest and ask a librarian to create a list of up to 15 titles for them to view. The application form is at jcls.libwizard.com/f/jcls_discovery.
Librarians are available to answer questions and assist with research on a variety of fronts, including small business resources, university financial aid, help for wildfire survivors, distance learning support, and COVID-19 vaccinations.
Send your questions or requests to [email protected] or call 541-774-8689 or 541-774-6996.
In addition to funding more personal financial items for the library system, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Investor Education Foundation helps people avoid falling victim to fraud.
The foundation estimates that consumer financial fraud costs Americans more than $ 50 billion a year – and mainly occurs after major natural disasters. Since its founding in 2005, the National Center for Disaster Fraud, which is part of the United States Department of Justice, has registered more than 100,000 disaster-related complaints from all 50 states. Financial fraud makes troubled times even more difficult for people recovering from the trauma inflicted by disasters, foundation officials said.
The foundation has issued a warning with practical guidelines to help residents protect themselves from fraudulent financial schemes. For information, visit www.saveandinvest.org/disaster-fraud-Oregon.
“Recovery follows a disaster, but the path can be smooth or very bumpy,” said Walsh. “Financial fraud can be one of the biggest pitfalls along that path. Jackson County Library Services has information to help people avoid the financial pitfalls and better visualize the path to recovery. “
For more than 15 years, the FINRA Foundation has provided funding, staff training and programs to build the capacity of public libraries to meet the financial educational needs of people across the country. Much of this has been accomplished in partnership with the American Library Association through a program known as Smart investing @ your library.
Reach Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @VickieAldous.