Recipe for Success
Greenville County Library System, SC
Marketing Professional Certificate, Tulane University, New Orleans, 2007
Ambidextrous with a hammer and replaced her own roof. Last summer, she exhibited her artwork, a combination of drawing, painting, and collage on panel
Photo by Shelley Pollaty
In order to meet the needs of the Greenville County Library System’s community, Trinity Behrends goes the extra mile and digs into community and library data to learn more about patrons and the people who don’t use the library. She asks: What more can the library do to get its message out?
This drive, combined with her marketing skills, helped her and her team develop Your Recipe for Success, a financial literacy program that attracted more than 2300 people to 19 classes and 12 off-site outreach sessions. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation funded the program with a $50,000 grant.
Most of the attendees were women aged 18–64, including many heads of household with lower incomes—the group Behrends had hoped to reach.
“If we come up with a winning [concept], I am absolutely confident that people will drive as far as they need to for a free program,” Behrends says.
She also wanted financial information to be approachable and people attending to feel that they would be comfortable in the classes. That’s why she focused on the Your Recipe for Success cooking theme.
Additionally, Behrends wanted to measure the impact of the program, and she developed surveys to evaluate it, says Beverly James, library executive director.
Overall, nearly 90 percent of people responding to the exit survey said that they were either likely or very likely to change how they manage their finances because of the workshops.
Two thirds of respondents indicated they had begun to use library resources for financial information. Correspondingly, the library saw use of its financial databases NetAdvantage and Valueline rise and circulation of other resources increase, according to Behrends.
These results helped the library successfully apply for a second grant from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, resulting in an award of $60,000, James says.
“[Behrends] is always bringing to the table the perspective of the library users,” James says. It’s a key ingredient to her winning recipe.