Barbara M's blog

The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease

We’ve been told many times that the public library is one of those institutions that people love, don’t think much about, and expect will always be there. Well folks, we’re in trouble. We’re staring into the face of county, state, and federal funding cuts, as soon as a month or so from now.

On the county level, where our staffing and operating budgets originate, we’re looking at a possible 10% budget cut or more. At the state level, where most of our databases, our telecommunications discounts, and a lot of our programs are funded, we’ve been told to expect a 70% reduction. If we lose our state funding, all the matching federal grants will also go away. The federal government sponsors the big IMLF granting program from which we derive money for programs like our Summer Reading Programs.  

Let me put that in dollars. The proposed cuts for 2012-2013 are $28 million plus $5 million for the K-12 programs plus $8 million in federal funding, for a total of $41 million. Given who, across the state, uses library computer services, databases, programs, and other services that this money funds, these cuts will affect every community, school, and institution of higher learning in Texas.

If you’re inclined to help, it looks like sending your comments to your State representative about what the library means to you will make a big difference. Our management went to Austin last week and delivered the comment cards you have written to date. The legislators who saw them were impressed. On behalf of all our customers, we’d appreciate you being the squeaky wheel.

Here’s a link to help you find your state legislator. On the right sidebar, scroll down to "Who represents me?" and put in your address.    

Thanks a million, or forty-one. Barbara Mitchell, Librarian

Yes, We are Open Thursday

Yes, the library is open Thursday, February 17. The college's classes are cancelled today because they are celebrating their Conference Day 2011,  but the library is open for business as usual.

Image from Flickr: cc: Open, by matthileo

Tax Forms Update

The 1040 instruction sheets have arrived. We have the instruction sheets that go with Form 1040, Form 1040 EZ, and Form 1040 A.

In case you haven't heard, the government has extended the tax fililng deadline this year to Monday, April 18th.

If you need schedules that we don't stock, you can go to the Internal Revenue Service website, find them in "Forms and Publications", and download and print them off. Or, we can do that for you. We're here to serve.

Library: Home of the Brave

This week we salute the droves of mature adults who enter this library every month, put on the armor of courage, troop into our computer lab, and dare to begin the amazing, confusing, frustrating, and illuminating adventure that leads to computer literacy. 

This link is for you. A group of young children are given ‘old technology’ (think of ‘old’ as belonging to 1990 and before) and are asked to figure out what it’s about. You will see that they are as lost with old technology as you are with today’s. And then they figure it out. Just like you do.

We’re all in this together. We applaud you, the brave and the tenacious!

AARP Tax Aide

AARP Tax Aide begins this Wednesday--February 2nd. Trained volunteers from the American Association of Retired Persons help individuals file simple tax returns. The service, in Room L129, extends Mondays from noon - 4 p.m., Wednesdays from 10 a.m - 4 p.m., and Saturdays, from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. from now until April 18th.

Because of IRS systems delays, neither the AARP nor anyone else will be able to file income tax claims that contain the following until February 14th:

This Just In: Instructions for 1040 A

A quick update. The 1040 A Instruction sheets have arrived! As of 2:30 this afternoon. The other piece of news you may want on this last day of January is that we are out of 1099 Miscellaneous forms. Malcolm Purvis Library, at 510 Melton Street in Magnolia, has a good supply. They will be open until 8:00 this evening. Their phone number (metro number) is 936-442-7704. More tax information later...

eReaders

Electronic reading devices--eReaders--were a popular gift item this holiday season. People have been coming in asking for tips on how to download electronic library books to their new eReaders, and circulation has skyrocketed. Fantastic!

Others have expressed dismay that their brand of eReader won't accept library books. Yes, only the Barnes and Noble Nooks, the Sony Readers, the Kobo eReader, Literati Reader, Pandigital Novel, and Pocketbook Pro accept our OverDrive ebooks.

By the way, the Digital Media catalog also stocks electronic formats for reading on various computers and listening to on a number of audio devices.

Tax Forms Update

Tax forms are trickling in every day now. We have high hopes that by the end of the month our shelves will be full. We now have the basic forms for 1040, 1040A, and 1040 EZ, Publication 17, and a few Schedules to get you started.

The AARP Tax Aide will begin again on Wednesday, February 2.  Every year volunteers from the American Association of Retired Persons help the elderly and low income earners file their tax returns. They will be here in our first floor meeting room, L129 Mondays (noon-4:00), Wednesdays (10:00-2:00), and Saturdays 11:00-3:00).

Tax Forms Update

New arrivals as of Monday, January 10:       

Form 1040, Form and Instructions for 1040 EZ; Schedule D-1 Continuation Sheet; Schedule M Making Work Pay & Gov't Retiree Credits; Form 3903 Moving Expenses;  Form & Instructions for 8283 Non-Cash Charitable Contribution; Form 8606 Non deductible IRA's;  Form 8812 Additional Child Tax Credit.  

Also here: Publication 17 Your Federal Income Tax, W-2, W-3, W-4, 1096, and 1099 Miscellaneous forms.

TAX FORMS LATE!

Remember that tax break Congress gave us just before Christmas? That's the good news. The bad news is that it delayed the printing and shipment of our tax forms.

On December 22nd we received this email notice from the IRS:

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