What do GMO labels, petition signatures and excise taxes have in common?

Click here to visit the Living Voters GuideThey are all initiative measures on the 2013 ballot. If you are a registered Washington State voter, you will be asked to weigh in on each of these soon. The election is only three weeks away, do you feel informed and ready?

The Washington Secretary of State’s Online Voters’ Guide is a great official source of information on the initiative measures, but it doesn’t explore all the different aspects of the initiatives. As you form your decision, it can be useful to consider the different strengths and weaknesses people have come up with on both sides of the argument. Continue reading “What do GMO labels, petition signatures and excise taxes have in common?”

Money Smart Week: Learn to invest

Investing information is notoriously steeped in jargon and the underlying concepts themselves aren’t exactly the most user-friendly. Whether you are planning to start investing on your own, or just want to be more informed when you talk to your broker, there are many different tools you can use to get up to speed.

photo by cc attribution by 401(K) 2013 on flickrOf course, the library has a wide variety of print books about investing but there are lots of other format options like eBooks. For your listening pleasure, we have audiobooks on CD about investing and also downloadable eAudio items.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), a regulator of securities firms, has put together some fantastic information tools for the beginning investor. You’ll learn how to open a brokerage account, evaluate risks and start building a portfolio. Continue reading “Money Smart Week: Learn to invest”

Happy Money Smart Week!

photo by cc attribution by 401(K) 2013 on flickrThis week Shelf Talk is highlighting financial literacy topics for Money Smart Week! Money Smart Week is a national campaign to help increase consumer awareness about all things money. Hundreds of different organizations participate, including libraries. The campaign started in Chicago in 2002 and has quickly spread across the country.

There are a myriad of ways one can be money smart. For some, that might mean budgeting, couponing, saving for college, getting out of debt or planning an estate. Continue reading “Happy Money Smart Week!”

Start-up at the library – what do you need to launch your business?

Do you have a fantastic business idea? Are you planning give it a go, but don’t have a lot of formal business training? The library has some tools to help you out. In addition to our collection of general startup guides, below are some other useful resources. Continue reading “Start-up at the library – what do you need to launch your business?”

Crash: Bank Failures and Other Economic Catastrophes

You don’t have to look far to find news that illustrates how we are still struggling to dig our way out of a severe economic crisis.

How did we get in this mess again? As it was happening, there were lots of articles about housing market bubbles, bank failures, subprime lending, bailouts, securities scandals and other catastrophes that brought us here. If you want to explore some behind-the-scenes stories about what happened, there have been a number of recent exposés that explore the gory details of what took place in banks, at investment companies, on Wall Street, and in political circles. Of course, you’ll find no shortage of finger-pointing and theories from various perspectives.

If I’ve piqued your interest, have a look at this list of non-fiction books and movies that help tell this story. Many of these books are currently featured in a display in the Small Business collection on the 7th floor of the Central Library.

If you like this list, you also might enjoy listening to Kirsten Grind who will be at the Central Library on July 26 to discuss her new book The Lost Bank: The Story of Washington Mutual — The Biggest Bank Failure in American History.