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Libraries and financial literacy

Péter Kiszl (Institute of Library and Information Science, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary)
Bea Winkler (Institute of Library and Information Science, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary) (Hutÿra Ferenc Library, Archives and Museum, University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest, Budapest, Hungary)

Reference Services Review

ISSN: 0090-7324

Article publication date: 25 April 2022

Issue publication date: 22 November 2022




The recent financial crises and the economic problems caused by the pandemic highlight the importance of financial literacy (FL). Libraries have an essential role in developing informational literacy and promoting access to information. In this study the authors seek to identify, based on the published literature, in which areas and in what roles libraries engage in the development of FL, and what options are available for those who intend to set out in this direction in the near future.


The basis of the research is a review of the literature, as comprehensive as possible, achieved by keyword- and discipline-focused searches run in the Library, Information Science and Technology Abstracts (LISTA), the Web of Science (WoS) and the Scopus database. At the beginning of the study, the initial list of results had 765 publications, but this number decreased significantly after removing duplicates and sorting the results. Finally, 138 publications were included in the analysis.


Libraries engage in the development of FL mostly through their collections, with recommendations, through education, by organizing programs and through information service. Most successful methods do not require any specialized FL knowledge from librarians. Necessary competences are more related to organizational skills, cooperation with partners and creativity.

Research limitations/implications

The study is based on publications which include the term financial culture, any of its synonyms, or broader or more specific terms and which are related to libraries in the manner described in the search strategy. The international literature databases chosen for the searches limited the scope of the articles available for inclusion.


The study summarizes the results in libraries related to FL from the past 10 years. There has been no other similar summary published recently applicable in practice.



Funding: This research was supported by the János Bolyai Research Scholarship of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the ÚNKP-21-5 New National Excellence Program of the Ministry for Innovation and Technology from the source of the National Research, Development and Innovation Fund.


Kiszl, P. and Winkler, B. (2022), "Libraries and financial literacy", Reference Services Review, Vol. 50 No. 3/4, pp. 356-376.



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