NEW PHILADELPHIA -- If you are more concerned about money these days, you are not alone. And you don't need to be alone in finding helpful information to better manage your money. The Ohio State University Extension's Tuscarawas County office and the Tuscarawas County Public Library System are teaming up to provide financial resources to the community.

"It is no secret that people are facing difficult financial times," said Christine Kendle, Family and Consumer Science Extension Educator with Ohio State University in Tuscarawas County. Finding oneself in economic hard times is easier than many imagine. Kendle explains, "Sometimes it is just a matter of someone becoming ill or having their hours decreased at work. The dividends someone was expecting from an investment didn't pan out. With less money coming in and ever-increasing expenses, people can quickly find themselves in trouble financially."

When we are faced with difficult financial times, Kendle recommends having a plan in place. "At OSU Extension, we have many resources available to help people make good financial decisions. We are seeing more requests for these types of information."

Debbie Tristano, Assistant Director and Adult Services Manager at the Tuscarawas County Public Library, has also seen an increase in requests for financial resources. "We have seen an increase in the number of financial materials checked-out from all locations. We have those materials available to the public and also have reference assistance available to answer questions that people might have."

The Tuscarawas County Public Library's Director Michelle McMorrow Ramsell has noted the need for increased financial resources and had been looking for a way to better assist county residents. "This partnership presents an exciting possibility, a very beneficial program for the community."

Basic budgeting, wine spending, credit, financial scams, and identity theft are among the topics to be covered at monthly Money Matters programs throughout 2009. The first program entitled, "Budgeting Basics." will take place on Thursday, Jan. 8 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Main Library. The program will teach tried and true methods to track spending and help participants set up an effective budget.

The partnership between OSU Extension and the Public Library presents and excellent opportunity for county residents. Tristano said, "We are very excited about partnering with Chris and OSU Extension to provide these financial classes to the public in order to teach a wide audience. The classes will be offered at our New Philadelphia, Bolivar, Strasburg and Tuscarawas locations throughout the year."

All programs are open to the public and offered free of charge, however, registration is required. Registration will be handled through OSU Extension. For information, contact the Tuscarawas County office of OSU Extension at (330) 339-2337 or the Tuscarawas County Public Library at (330) 364-4474.