Pharos Library Project

UntitledThe Pharos Library Project is an effort to promote financial literacy on an ongoing basis in the community. The goal is to help libraries become the focus of economic education by building a curriculum of various financial subjects. Like the lighthouse of Alexandria we want to shine the bright light of knowledge to teach people how to navigate the world of economics and make good financial decisions to achieve their goals.

The Lighthouse of Alexandria, sometimes called the Pharos of Alexandria was a tower built around 250BC, about 450 feet tall. Using mirrors and burning wood, sailors 30 miles would use it to avoid the shallow reefs when approaching the port city that Alexander the Great built on the Mediterranean shore of northern Egypt. It was regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Nearby was the Ancient Library of Alexandria, also built around 250BC. It was one of the largest and most significant libraries of the ancient world. With its collections of works, lecture halls, meeting rooms, and gardens, the library was part of a larger research institution called the Museum of Alexandria, where many of the most famous thinkers of the ancient world studied.

Content for these workshops is derived from programs Cygnet Institute has designed, field tested and have been in use since 1989. As we expand these financial workshops, we will need to incorporate additional professionals in the respective communities who might be interested to become presenters in the Institute’s Financial Education Series. We anticipate that the more technical information will be presented by professionals with expertise in the relevant topic. Topics that do not require deep level subject expertise will be delivered by certified teachers. In order to protect the quality of the program and the reputation/image of the libraries, we intend to impose certain criteria on those who want to participate as instructors and presenters. The two main areas involve adherence to the Fiduciary Standard and incorporating in the presentation elements that encourage participants to utilize Critical Thinking.

Critical Thinking is best described by William Graham Sumner as . . . the examination and test of propositions of any kind which are offered for acceptance, in order to find out whether they correspond to reality or not. The critical faculty is a result of education and training. It is a mental habit and power. It is a prime condition of human welfare that men and women should be trained in it. It is our only guarantee against delusion, deception, superstition, and misapprehension of ourselves and our earthly circumstances.{Sumner, W. G. (1940). Folkways: A Study of the Sociological Importance of Usages, Manners, Customs, Mores, and Morals, New York: Ginn and Co., pp. 632, 633.