Enhancing Financial Information Literacy in Italian Public Libraries: A Preliminary Study

  • Laura BallestraEmail author
  • Piero CavaleriEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 676)


High rates of financial illiteracy among households represent a serious problem not only for the individuals but for the entire community. Public libraries could be proactive in community financial education and financial information education. For the first time, Italian public librarians were surveyed on whether their libraries were involved in offering financial literacy education programmes or financial information services. We also investigated the self-confidence and real competence of public librarians in basic finance and financial information. Respondents represented was 1.5% of Italian public librarians. Findings suggest that Italian public libraries are not perceived by patrons as suppliers of financial information and that only few courses have been offered to patrons about basic finance and financial information in Italian public libraries. Librarians are not confident about their competence in finance and financial information. Moreover, confidence in these fields is higher among male librarians that in female librarians. Study levels and formal economic studies have no influence on levels of confidence and proactivity. The only factor that appears to influence libraries’ activities is the participation of librarians to specialized vocational courses. We recommend that Italian public libraries, professional associations and other national organizations organize courses of financial information and basic finance for Italian public librarians.


Information literacy Financial literacy Financial information Public libraries Italy 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Carlo Cattaneo University LIUCCastellanzaItaly

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