The New York Public Library and The McGraw-Hill Companies Open 'Financial Literacy Central'

Free Personal Finance Resources and Tools Offered by the Science, Industry and Business Library Expected to Benefit 20,000 New Yorkers by Year End

Jun 03, 2010, 13:27 ET from The McGraw-Hill Companies from ,The New York Public Library

NEW YORK, June 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The New York Public Library and The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP) today unveiled a new information hub in the heart of Manhattan that is dedicated to improving New Yorkers' personal finances.

Financial Literacy Central, located at 188 Madison Avenue at 34th Street in the Science, Industry and Business Library (SIBL), provides the public with free one-on-one sessions with financial planners through the Financial Planning Association; computer access to popular business and finance databases; 1,500 books on a wide range of financial topics – including more than 100 McGraw-Hill Education titles donated by The McGraw-Hill Companies – and financially focused classes.

The new center, which is expected to reach 20,000 patrons by the end of the year, will complement the City of New York's Office of Financial Empowerment by offering another educational resource to help New Yorkers make sensible money decisions. In addition, librarians at The New York Public Library's 90 neighborhood branches are being trained to help patrons find authoritative online resources about personal finance issues.

"Education is the key that unlocks economic empowerment. As we open the doors to this world class facility, we also help open the doors to a secure financial future for tens of thousands of New Yorkers," said Harold McGraw III, chairman, president and chief executive officer of The McGraw-Hill Companies. "The New York Public Library is one of the city's most vital institutions, and we are proud to expand our partnership and support of its ongoing mission of inspiring lifelong learning, advancing knowledge, and strengthening our communities."

"During these difficult economic times, New Yorkers are paying close attention to their personal finances, and more than ever are in need of advice and assistance in planning for the future," said Dr. Paul LeClerc, president of the New York Public Library. "The opening of this new Financial Literacy Central at the Science, Industry and Business Library will provide patrons with the best financial resources available, as well as consultations with personal finance experts, all for free. This is yet another critical service the Library will provide its patrons in an ever-changing world. We are proud to partner with The McGraw-Hill Companies, which shares our goal of providing increased education and insight to the public."

New York City Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan Mintz also attended the event, noting that Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proclaimed June 3 as Financial Literacy Day.

The establishment of Financial Literacy Central and the training of librarians at neighborhood branches are made possible through Financial Literacy Now, a campaign led by McGraw-Hill and which includes the Library, the Council for Economic Education, Working in Support of Education (w!se), Literacy Partners and Talking FinLit.

The new space is housed in the McGraw Information Services Center on SIBL's lower level.

The center's resources and digital tools include:

  • Desktop computers loaded with financial databases and information from Standard & Poor's, a subsidiary of The McGraw-Hill Companies; Dun & Bradstreet; Morningstar, and other financial services providers.
  • Links to online resources from the Social Security Administration, Financial Regulatory Industry Association (FINRA), the City of New York, and others.  
  • Leading McGraw-Hill Education personal finance books, including How to Retire Happy, Safe Money in Tough Times, and Stocks for the Long Run.
  • Free consultations with members of the Financial Planning Association on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

These features supplement the Library's full slate of regularly-scheduled classes on such topics as how to start investing, retirement planning, and precautions to take to avoid financial fraud and scams.

Financial Literacy Central is modeled after the Library's popular Job Search Central, which opened last year at SIBL to help unemployed New Yorkers by providing free job-hunting resources.

About Financial Literacy Now

Financial Literacy Now was launched in November 2009 and is focused on giving teachers, students and the public the resources they need to improve their understanding of important financial principles. In April, the campaign began connecting a wide range of financial experts with at least 28 New York City public high schools to share their insights on such topics as investing, credit cards, and banking. For more information about Financial Literacy Now, visit and stay up to date on Twitter @FinLitNow and Facebook.  

About SIBL

SIBL is a premier public business library with comprehensive print materials, e-resources, and services for start-ups and established businesses seeking expansion, and for job seekers from entry to executive levels. Library staff provide roving assistance and consultations, and advisory services are offered on-site by experienced business owners, career coaches, and a financial specialist.

About The New York Public Library

The New York Public Library operates 89 libraries (including research and branch libraries) in the boroughs of the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island.  It is one of the world's most recognized and respected library systems with collections of more than 50 million items, staff of 2,700 and an annual budget of $254 million. It serves an immensely diverse range of users, from pre-school children to adults needing basic literacy skills in English or help in bridging the digital divide, to world-class writers and scholars. The Library currently receives 18 million visits annually by users to its physical sites and more than 26 million visits by those who use its resources via the Internet.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies

Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies is a global information and education company providing knowledge, insights and analysis in the financial, education and business information sectors through leading brands including Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, Platts, and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2009 were $5.95 billion. Additional information is available at  

Release issued: June 3, 2010

Contacts for The McGraw-Hill Companies:

Frank Briamonte

Senior Director, Corporate Communications

(212) 512-4145 (office)

(201) 725-6133 (mobile)

Jason Feuchtwanger

Director, Corporate Media Relations

(212) 512-3151 (office)

(347) 419-4169 (mobile)

Contact for The New York Public Library:

Jonathan Pace

Press Representative

(212) 592-7710

SOURCE The McGraw-Hill Companies; The New York Public Library