New York Public Library Creates Financial Information Hub
The New York Public Library is helping New Yorkers better understand the financial landscape. NY1's Money Matters reporter Tara Lynn Wagner filed the following report.
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Finances come in many different forms.
“Capital markets, credit, saving, investing, special security, retirement planning,” says McGraw-Hill Companies Chief Executive Terry McGraw.
If that list alone was enough to make your head spin, luckily there's a place you can go for help. The New York Public Library has created a financial information hub at the Science, Industry and Business Library on Madison Avenue. The recently-unveiled Financial Literacy Central contains more than 1,500 books on a variety of financial subjects.
“People still read books,” says New York Public Library President Dr. Paul LeClerc. “They still use books. They still take books out.”
But books are only the beginning. Patrons will also have online access to business and financial databases, including Standard & Poors, which is part of the McGraw Hill Companies. McGraw says understanding investments is more vital than ever because as Americans live longer, we need to make our money go further.
“The question is, how do you invest for the future?” says McGraw. “What kinds of investments do you make? What do you do with Social Security? How do you financially plan for retirement? What are all of those issues as they pertain to you, whatever your age and whatever you're economic situation is.”
But LeClerc says often times, people cannot find the answers they need because they do not even know the right question. He says that's where the dedicated staff comes in.
“Librarians are like navigators,” says LeClerc. “They help you move through the sea of information, and we've got the best librarians in the world I think.”
Not only will trained librarians helm the desk, specialized classes will be held regularly, and twice a week, members of the Financial Planning Association will be on hand to conduct private half-hour consultations. Based on Job Search Central – which is located on the same floor – library officials say they expect as many as 20,000 patrons to visit SIBL's newest center by year's end. They'll find advice that will pay dividends and, at the same time, won't cost them a dime.
“That's the important thing,” LeClerc says. “All of the services here are free – everything, everything, everything is free.”
For a list of classes or to register for a free one-on-one session with a financial advisor, visit NYPL.org.