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Plumas County Library receives grant to expand personal finance offerings

The Plumas County Library announced plans to expand its personal finance collections following receipt of a grant from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation (FINRA Foundation).

The additional tools and resources will help ensure that residents have the information they need when making critical money decisions as they repair, rebuild, and recover following the Dixie Fire.

“When disaster strikes, the community comes together,” said Library Director Lindsay Fuchs. “Part of that is making sure community members have a place to get resources, access to WiFi and computers, and more. The Library serves as one of those locations. We want everyone to have access to information as they continue to make choices for themselves post-Dixie Fire.”

FINRA Foundation President Gerri Walsh noted, “Many of us lack experience with these decisions. Nonetheless, we have to get it right the first time or face long-term financial consequences. Fortunately, the Library has information that can help.”

The expanded personal finance collections at the Library are made possible by a grant from the FINRA Foundation. For more than 15 years, the FINRA Foundation has provided funding, staff training and programs to build the capacity of public libraries to address the financial education needs of people nationwide. Much of this has been accomplished in partnership with the American Library Association through a program known as Smart investing@your library .

The FINRA Foundation is also providing the Library with multimedia materials that explain the red flags of financial fraud and what people can do to be vigilant and counter the persuasion tactics that fraudsters use.

It is estimated that consumer financial fraud costs Americans more than $50 billion a year, according to FINRA Foundation research. Financial fraud is especially prevalent following major natural disasters. Since it was established in 2005, the National Center for Disaster Fraud, which is part of the U.S. Department of Justice, has logged more than 220,000 disaster-related complaints from all 50 states. Financial fraud makes tough times all the more difficult for people recovering from the trauma inflicted by disasters. The FINRA Foundation has issued an Alert with practical guidance to help residents protect themselves from fraudulent schemes. (See:www.finrafoundation.org/disaster-fraud-california.)

Ms. Walsh observed, “Recovery follows disaster, but the path to recovery can be smooth or very bumpy. And financial fraud can be one of the biggest potholes along that road. Plumas County Library has information to help people avoid the financial potholes and bring the route to recovery into sharper focus.”

Months after the disaster, PUSD opened its doors to allow the Library to take temporary shelter within its classrooms, first at the Greenville Elementary School and now at the Greenville High School. The Library is now open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:30am-1:30pm and 2pm- 6pm, and Saturdays from 11am-3pm at Greenville High School (117 Grand St in Greenville, CA 95947) Room #402. The Library has expanded its collection through donations, grants, and County funding, and is continuously adding more material to the almost two thousand books, DVDs, and audiobooks already on its shelves. With the FINRA grant, the collection has expanded into financial and math-based books for all ages. More information about the Library, as well as all current events and offerings, is available on the website at www.plumascounty.us/2875.

The FINRA Foundation supports innovative research and educational projects that give Americans the knowledge, skills, and tools to make sound financial decisions throughout life. For more information about FINRA Foundation initiatives, visit finrafoundation.org.

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