Thinking Money

Traveling Exhibition Application Guidelines

Thinking Money


Date application posted: November 2, 2015

Questions? Contact the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5045, or

Table of Contents

I. Project Overview

In partnership with the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, the American Library Association Public Programs Office is seeking sites to host Thinking Money, a national exhibition that explores financial literacy topics in an engaging manner for intergenerational audiences consisting of youth (ages 10–16) and their parents, caregivers and educators. The exhibition will travel to 50 sites.

The traveling exhibition is made possible through the support of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation. The FINRA Foundation funds innovative research and educational projects that give underserved Americans the knowledge, skills and tools necessary for financial success throughout life. FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is the largest non-governmental regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. FINRA is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity.

Thinking Money will tour from August 2016 through July 2018. Selected libraries will host the exhibition for five to six weeks. The exhibition requires approximately 1000 square feet of space for optimal display. Each site will receive a programming allowance of $1000 to support public programs related to the exhibition.

The Thinking Money Exhibition

Thinking Money encourages visitors aged 10–16 and their parents, caregivers and educators to reflect on their financial futures. Library patrons will participate along with a cast of graphic characters and digital activities to determine how they can make good financial decisions.

Physical Details

  • The exhibition requires approximately 1000 square feet of floor space for optimal display.
  • The exhibition is composed of two Nomadic brand tripod units offering six panel walls; two Nomadic brand 8-foot units offering four panel walls; two iPads on stands, offering interactive experiences; and four hands-on activities, plus power strips and tools.
  • The exhibition will travel in 14 shipping containers, each measuring 18" x 18" x 42".  Each crate weighs approximately 58 lbs. for a total of 812 lbs.
  • The exhibition will require approximately two people one day to set up.

Orientation Workshop

There will be an in-person orientation workshop at the 2016 ALA Annual Conference for the exhibition on June 24, 2016. The Project Director from each exhibiting library must attend this full-day session. Details will be emailed directly to Project Directors. ALA will provide a stipend to cover the costs of one round-trip flight (up to $600) and two nights in a conference hotel.  Meals and snacks at the workshop will be provided. The workshop will:

  • Review the exhibition’s content and learning objectives
  • Offer tools and tips for audience engagement and marketing
  • Explain programming support available from the FINRA Foundation and ALA
  • Review and answer questions about the program evaluation plan and expectations, tools and processes
  • Demonstrate the exhibition itself, including how to install and de-install it
  • Provide time for peer networking and sharing programming ideas

Support Materials

  • An online Site Support Notebook will include programming, publicity, and resource and logistics information.
  • An online community discussion group will allow exhibiting libraries to share programming ideas and experiences.
  • A series of online, self-paced training modules will help library staff acquire expertise in the personal finance topics and information resources related to the exhibition. At least one staff member from each exhibiting library will be expected to complete these online modules.
  • Additional financial education tools and ideas are available at Smart investing @ your library®.

Program Evaluation

ALA is partnering with New Knowledge to evaluate the exhibition tour. Evaluators will not assess your performance, but instead will help ALA and participating libraries optimize the exhibition learning experience for library patrons. Below is a list of things to expect if your library is chosen to host the exhibition:

  • As you prepare for the exhibition: Attend the orientation workshop at the 2016 ALA Annual Conference and meet the evaluators in person. You'll hear more details about specific evaluation activities and meet other librarians working on the project.
  • Immediately before you host the exhibition: Join a conference call or virtual meeting facilitated by New Knowledge. During the call, you'll be joined by representatives from ALA, the FINRA Foundation, and the other libraries hosting the exhibition during the same six week period as your library. This will be your exhibition “cohort,” and you’ll be encouraged to stay in touch and share ideas and experiences. Other libraries that have already hosted the exhibition (or a similar exhibition) will be on hand to provide guidance and answer questions.
  • While you’re hosting the exhibition: You’ll be surveying library patrons and entering the survey data online. We want to know what people learn from the exhibition and from concurrent financial literacy programs offered by your library.
  • Immediately after your hosting period ends: Members of your library staff will be asked to give feedback and record basic information about how you observed patrons interacting with the exhibition and related programs and materials. You’ll have all the necessary guidance in advance so you know what insight is most valuable.
  • Your library might be selected as a case study site for more in-depth exploration. If this happens, a New Knowledge researcher will visit in person to talk to library patrons and staff, and attend a Thinking Money program or event.

Requirements for Host Sites

All public libraries chosen to host Thinking Money are required to do the following:

  • Sign a contract with the American Library Association agreeing to programming, publicity, evaluation, reporting and other project requirements.
  • Present a minimum of four public programs, events or activities related to the personal finance themes explored in the exhibition. These may include an opening event for the exhibition and/or educational programs and activities offered in collaboration with community organizations, schools, universities, community colleges or government agencies. To ensure that all programming is strictly noncommercial, the public programs may not be offered in conjunction with financial services firms, including banks, investment advisers and brokerage firms. For programming ideas and examples, see Smart investing @ your library®.
  • Market the exhibition and programs in the community.
  • Allow the public to view the exhibition and attend programs free of charge.
  • Provide three concise reports: a programming allowance request form; an exhibition condition form; and a final programming report to the exhibition sponsors. ALA will provide the necessary forms.
  • Participate in the exhibition evaluation. This includes carrying out surveys and submitting data, as outlined above.
  • Appoint one staff member as the Project Director of the exhibition. The Project Director is responsible for attending the orientation workshop at ALA’s 2016 Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida, overseeing programming and marketing of the exhibition, and assuring that the exhibition is set up, displayed and taken down according to the project guidelines.
  • Agree to all publicity requirements, including use of designated exhibition credits and/or logos on all local publicity materials, both print and online.
  • Show that the library has sufficient space to display the exhibition (approximately 1000 square feet in one area of the library, plus space to store the shipping crates), and can provide security for the exhibition (by monitoring the exhibition at least every half-hour during peak times and every hour at less busy times).
  • Provide sufficient electrical outlets nearby to power the iPad stations.
  • Be responsible for the condition of the exhibition. Sites will be held responsible for damage to or loss of the exhibition when it is under their control. Minor repairs will be carried out and paid for by the American Library Association.
  • INSURANCE: Each host library must add the exhibition to its institutional insurance coverage or purchase an insurance rider. The value of the exhibition is approximately $55,000. The exhibition should be insured from ten days before the first day of the exhibition period to ten days after the closing date.

II. Award Information

Fifty public libraries are hosting the exhibition, starting August 2016 through July 2018. Each host will receive the following:

  • The traveling exhibition for a five- to six-week loan period (shipping costs are paid by the sponsors).
  • A $1000 allowance for exhibition-related programming. Please note that these funds may not be used for computer hardware or to pay cash or cash-equivalent incentives (including gift cards and the like) to program participants.
  • An online Site Support Notebook, with shipping and installation instructions, suggestions for programming and a full publicity kit, including downloadable promotional materials and templates for press and social media outreach.
  • Technical and programming support from the ALA Public Programs Office throughout the tour.
  • Staff training through a required orientation workshop and a series of online, self-paced modules on personal finance topics.
  • Repair of reasonable wear and tear to the exhibition.

III. Contact Us

If you have questions about the exhibition or the application, contact:
American Library Association Public Programs Office
1-800-545-2433, ext. 5045

To access the application system, sign in with your profile.