Category Archives: Library Services

Awesome Box at the Main Library

By Jessica Dunkel, Reference Department

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Click image to go to our Awesome Box website!

Have you ever read or watched something from the library that you absolutely LOVED and wanted to tell everyone about? Well now you can! Next time you check out something awesome from the library, return it to our Awesome Box. From there, we’ll spread the word that it is awesome!

What is an Awesome Box?

  • An Awesome Box is a book drop for library items you think are awesome! It’s just like a regular book drop. But instead of putting items back on the shelf after you return them, we make a note of what you put in the Awesome Box and share it with everyone so they can know it’s is awesome, too!

What kinds of things should I put in the Awesome Box?

  • Any library materials including books, DVD’s, or Audiobooks you find awesome. They can be helpful, mind-blowing, your all-time favorites, etc. Whatever you think other people would enjoy knowing about.
  • Basically, if it was fantastic, helpful, amazing, valuable, entertaining, or just all-around awesome, put it in, so that everyone knows how good it was.

img_1271Does putting items in the Awesome Box actually return them?

  • Yes – if you put an item in the Awesome Box it will be returned to the library (and then Awesomed!)

Where can I see what people have put in the Awesome Box?

  • You’ll find what people have “Recently Awesomed” on our Awesome Box bulletin board just inside the Main Library’s entrance.
  • For a full list of what has been “Awesomed” in the past 30 days at our library, visit this website from our homepage: https://wcpltn.libib.com/i/recently-awesomed. You’ll also find links to everything that our patron’s have declared Awesome, including movies and Awesome books for adults, teens, and kids.

So the next time you’re returning something, remember: the awesome things go in the Awesome Box!

 


References:

Get free online Magazines with ZINIO!

By Jessica Dunkel, Reference Department

Did you know that having a Williamson County library card gives you access to a large selection of free online magazines? Our magazine database, Zinio, is a wonderful way to get your magazine fix without having to visit the library! (We do love when you visit, but we also appreciate instant access to free things. We’re sure you do, too.)

After you create an account (directions listed below), you can log in and start reading immediately on your home computer, laptop, tablet, or smart phone. You can also get the Zinio App and read wirelessly on your iPad, iPhone, Android, or Kindle HD/HDX.

Zinio gives you access to over 60 different magazines. A few titles include Good Housekeeping, National Geographic, The Oprah Magazine, Rolling Stone, Newsweek, Cosmopolitan, Reader’s Digest, Food Network, Seventeen, Country Gardens, Weightwatchers, Popular Science, Women’s Health, The Economist, Bloomberg Business Week, Dwell, and many more!

Still not convinced that you need Zinio in your life right now? Here are some more cool features:

  • If you’re hooked up to a printer you can print the pages you want to keep, like recipes, articles for school projects, or those top 10 lists you want to hang on to.
  • Because you have instant digital access, you’ll always have the latest issue as soon as it’s published.
  • You’ll also have access to older issues so you can check out what you may have missed.
  • The magazines are simple to navigate. You can flip through pages one by one or select a specific page in the page overview feature. There’s a zoom feature if you want a closer look at the pictures or text. And if flipping through each page doesn’t appeal to you, there’s an option to scroll down through the magazine like you would on a normal webpage. Here’s a preview:

zinio

Screenshot from Prevention Magazine December 2015

How to get Zinio

  1. Go to http://lib.williamson-tn.org/
  2. Select eLibrary Digital from the menu on the left
  3. Select Databases by Title
  4. Click on V-Z
  5. To read magazines on your internet browser: click on Zinio Online Magazines
  6. To read magazines on an iPad, iPad, iPhone, Android, or Kindle HD/HDX: click on Zinio Information / FAQ for instructions

Discover or catch up on your favorite magazines instantly with Zinio! As always, call us at the Reference Desk at 615-595-1243 if you have any questions. Happy reading!

What Our Library Patrons Are Thankful For

During the month of November, we asked our patrons to share what they were thankful for. The entire month our interactive display just kept growing and growing until we had to attach the responses to the furniture beneath the display.  We had responses ranging everywhere from coffee, to politics, to sobriety, but by far what our patrons are most thankful for were their family and friends.  It’s a good community we’re working with here.

Here’s the unedited list of all of the responses we received. Thank you for sharing with us.

  • img_1051God
  • My family and friends
  • My therapist
  • God and Jesus
  • Friends and family
  • Post-it notes
  • Books and libraries
  • Me
  • My family
  • Dumplings
  • Friends and family
  • Family
  • That I have a family
  • Family and friends
  • For God and my family
  • Cute boys
  • Fuzzy friends (my pets)
  • Freedom
  • Food
  • People
  • The hope that is found in Christ
  • Food, God, hope and the Bible
  • Quadruple shot espressos
  • For god, family and my community
  • That I don’t personally know any Trump supporters
  • That God considers me
  • Food, friends and family
  • Doing great in class because of my teacher
  • The gift of family and a fresh new year to live to the fullest
  • For God and Jesus
  • This library and electronics
  • Friend of the Williamson County Public Library
  • My health, my family, my friends and all of God’s blessings
  • A loving mother and father
  • Family (and my brother)
  • My family and my life
  • My beautiful friends, even though we are separate
  • Friends and family
  • Us
  • Elie, Aiden, Asa and Ethan, rain and coffee
  • My family and dogimg_1054
  • What I have and all my friends and family
  • Harambe (the gorilla)
  • For God and God alone
  • This library
  • For my wife and kids
  • Jesus, love
  • Pokemon Go
  • Food
  • A great book
  • Small acts of kindness
  • Good health, family and beautiful earth
  • For food on my table, a bed to sleep in and a roof over my head; also that my Momma and Daddy love each other and we’re all healthy; I’m thankful that the sun came up this morning and that we live in a country with freedom for all, and definitely the pursuit of happiness
  • My family, my jog, my boyfriend and Twenty-One Pilots
  • Thankful god has blessed me to live 43 years.  If he does nothing else for me, he has already done enough
  • The library
  • The amazing school I go to
  • Faith
  • Books and the library
  • For my family and friends, for God and Mary and Jesus
  • Libraries!
  • For kindness in all its forms
  • For my kids, family and the path Goad has for me and my dearest friend
  • For wonderful parents and late husband
  • For the right to be heard
  • My cat, my jobs, my friends, my boyfriend, Dr. Brunner, the refugee center, Happy Thanksgiving!
  • Very thankful for my mom
  • My sobriety – one day at a time
  • For my best friend
  • For NPR, national public radio, its great broadcasts and programs and for the kind people and wonderful atmosphere of the Franklin (WC) public libraries
  • Dolores and her wonderful staff and this beautiful library
  • For good health and lots of love from my family and friends
  • For my son!  Family!
  • For my family and other stuff
  • For the ocean
  • Our republic and the 2nd amendment and furry cats
  • My diagnosis
  • My awesome husband and kids
  • God and everything he’s given me and my family and friends
  • For god making us!
  • My mother, my cat and Trader Joe’s mac n cheese
  • New friends, music, beauty
  • My family, a God who loves me, a great job, my cat (most of the time) and living in a democracy
  • My mother and the love she has for her kids
  • New friends and family in Franklin, TN
  • Thanks to God for giving such a beautiful life
  • For easy ways to cheer someone on a gloomy day
  • For libraries!
  • The power of prayer and my new job and friends, and dressing
  • My family and friends
  • Thankful that Christmas is coming soon
  • For my mom and grandma and dad; I have three wonderful kids and their dad is OK, and to be alive and healthy and I love the Lord
  • Our President and first lady Barack and Michelle Obama
  • Random acts of kindness

    img_1060

    Someone left us a little origami menagerie.

  • A good job and friends who I like to work with
  • For education, parents and kids; for my life and such a loving family and friends, for everything and mom and dad; for all good things in this world and things that give hope that is light at the end of the tunnel
  • My life and everything else
  • For each new sunrise—each day is a new beginning
  • For my friends and family, especially my son
  • For my cat, Stevie, and Nintendo Funk
  • For the opportunity to start over in some situations, righting your wrongs
  • My friends, family and home/belongings
  • My best friend, my family and boyfriend, music and marching band, my other close friends, reading and the library, God and how he saved me and how he still loves me unconditionally, even when I mess up, Camp Crestridge
  • For my family and friends, for food and my safe home, for my city and each day of my life
  • Being able to learn and grow. To do the best I can
  • For my mother
  • My family: mom, dad, brother, cousins, uncles, etc.
  • For everything…family friends, scouts, God
  • For gymnastics and family
  • That I’m getting my gender reassignment surgery and moving to Canada
  • That Trump is now our president
  • For crunching leaves, laughter and the anticipation that Christmas is coming, and coffee
  • Family and friends, and books

Career Transitions

By Stephen McClain, Reference Department

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Looking for a new job can be either a frustrating experience or an exciting change. Many patrons use the library computers to access job applications or search for a new career. The reference staff is available to help those who are searching for jobs, but there are also many online resources that can answer simple questions and help with the application process. The Career Transitions website is a useful and powerful resource in helping to find a new career. To visit this website, go to www.wcpltn.org, move the mouse over eLibrary (on the left side of the page) and a drop down menu will appear. Click on Databases by Title and then select C-D. From there, click on Career Transitions, which is at the top. Here you can create an account that will save all of your information, but before doing that, it might be best to click on Take a tour of Career Transitions at the top right of the page.

Taking the tour will walk you through the processes of searching for jobs, writing a resume, writing a cover letter, tips and advice on interviewing, and also includes a simulated interview. If you are looking to start a new career and not sure what to look for, the next section provides an area to assess your career interests. After determining your interests and expertise, you can browse career paths and get an idea of what type of salary to expect with your particular experience and training.

Following this section, the tour continues with an area on discovering a new career. In this section, you can assess your career interests by taking a short survey. After deciding your areas of interest, you may browse career paths, salary and growth rates based on your selections or you can match your work experience to a new career.

career transitionsFinally, there is an area to search for schools and programs within a specific geographic area. Simply type in a job or career title (such as Electrician), select the distance you wish to search with your zip code or state and click the green Search button. If there are any schools, programs or courses within the area that you selected, this should produce a list of those results.

  • Many new job seekers, or those returning to the work force, have questions regarding resumes. On the Home page, click on Write a Resume. Here, you can write a professional resume by simply filling in data about yourself and your work experience. Before beginning to create a resume, it may be helpful to gather all of the necessary data, such as name and contact information regarding previous employers, education, and references. Start with your contact info. Type in your personal data and click save. If everything is correct, click the green “Go to next Section” button. Follow the steps and if at any time that you may have a question, click on “What Can I Do Here?” at the top right of the page. This area may answer many common questions regarding building a resume. There are also many helpful articles linked on this page in reference to writing a cover letter, uploading your resume to the web, and information on professional portfolios.
  • 14110060693_e2e54aef56_bMany job seekers ask whether or not they need a cover letter when applying for a job. If the job application does not specifically ask for a cover letter, odds are it is not a requirement. However, including a cover letter can only help your chances of being considered for the position. Click on “Write A Cover Letter” (next to “Write A Resume”). The process is very similar to that of writing a resume using the Career Transitions website. There is also a link to samples of cover letters if you need some help or ideas.
  • The Interview Simulation tab is a great way to prepare for the experience of an actual job interview. Clicking on this tab will first give you an overview of the simulation. Once beginning, users will choose a profile based on the individual’s personal level of experience. Then you will learn about the fictitious “company,” the open position and your profile. Based on this information, you will be asked questions regarding the job opening and your experience. You can choose whether to listen to audio or read the questions. After the questions are presented, three possible responses are given. You, as the interviewee, are to choose the best and most appropriate response. After responding to all of the questions, the simulation interviewer decides whether or not to conduct a second interview and feedback is offered regarding your responses.

With these simple tools on the Career Transitions website, you can create professional resumes, cover letters, gain valuable interview experience and will soon be on your way to an exciting new career. Visit www.wcpltn.org to get started.

Lest We Forget: Lost Library Books

By Stephen McClain, Reference Department

Most true Seinfeld fans will remember the episode called “the Library” way back in 1991. The first scene opens with Jerry in his apartment on the telephone.

JERRY: Let me speak with the head librarian. …Because it’s absurd. An overdue book from 1971? … This is a joke right? What are you? From a radio station?

KRAMER: enters

JERRY: Ya’ got me I fell for it. Alright, OK I can be down there in like a half hour. Bye.

KRAMER: What’s the problem?

JERRY: This you’re not goin’ to believe. The New York Public Library says that I took out Tropic of Cancer in 1971 and never returned it.

KRAMER: Do you know how much that comes to? That’s a nickel a day for 20 years. It’s going to be $50,000.

JERRY: It doesn’t work like that.

KRAMER: If it’s a dime a day it could be $100,000.

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Mr. Bookman

Jerry knows that he returned the book. Turns out he didn’t. Without giving away the ending, he had given the book to George in the locker room during gym class. George dropped it while suffering an atomic wedgie. Just watch the show. It will change your life.

The point here is that library books are often misplaced in obvious locations (such as in the car, under the couch, or next to the bed), but sometimes they are hiding in strange and unusual locales. If you received a notice and need to search for a missing book, here are some spots to explore from a list of actual places that people from all over the U.S. have found lost library books. My apologies in advance for the additional commentary.

  • Between the mattress and box springs (I thought this was reserved for illicit material of the adolescent male. Come to think of it, maybe Tropic of Cancer could be found there. (Look it up.))
  • Inside the box springs (After you return the book, it might be time to shop for a new box spring.)
  • In the crack between the front car seat and the console (…along with old French fries, straw wrappers and hairy nickels.)
  • In the dog house (“Fido; sit, roll over, READ!” Maybe we can blame this one on those dogs playing poker in that picture.)
  • On your own bookshelf, or with your other books (So you have call numbers on all of your own books? That’s how it got mixed up? Weird.)
  • Under the refrigerator (Yeah, be sure to clean off all of the lint and dead bugs before you return it.)
  • In the piano bench (“If you practiced more often, you wouldn’t have forgotten it here. That’s it! We’re not paying for any more lessons.”)
  • On the work bench (I guess it was easier to just watch a YouTube video on how to fix that toaster.)
  • In your fishing gear box (Makes sense. Fishing is boring. You know, you can buy fish, right?)
  • In the car’s glove compartment (Am I the only one who has never actually seen a pair of gloves in the “glove compartment?”)
  • Under the seat of grandma’s car (Over the River and through the woods, to Grandmother’s house we go!)
  • In the bathroom (Yeah. Just keep it and buy us a replacement.)
  • In the deep freezer (I got nothing. Were you maybe looking for your keys when you found the book?)
  • At another library (Because that NEVER happens… firmly plants tongue in cheek.)
  • Under stuffed animals (Beware!  The stuffed animals have gained awareness and are now stealing books to learn and plan world domination.)
  • At your summer home (If this is you, why are you borrowing books from the library? Just buy it.)
  • In the trash/wastebasket (Well, we understand that some people think they belong there.)
  • With the holiday wrapping paper (Were you planning to give the library book as a present?)
  • With the camping gear (Once again, makes sense.  You need something to do while sitting in front of the campfire.)

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This is just a partial list of the odd but true places that patrons have found missing library books. In all seriousness, someone may be waiting on that book that you need to return so please be sure to keep track of your borrowed library materials and returned them on time. We don’t have a library cop like Mr. Bookman from the Seinfeld episode (yes, the character’s name is actually “Bookman”) and you will not rack up a $50,000 fine for anything, but returning materials on time keeps everything running smoothly. Mr. Bookman, the library cop, gets the last word:

“Look. If you think this is about overdue fines and missing books, you’d better think again. This is about that kid’s right to read a book without getting his mind warped! Or maybe that turns you on, Seinfeld. Maybe that’s how y’get your kicks. You and your good-time buddies. Well I got a flash for ya, joy-boy: Party time is over. Y’got seven days, Seinfeld. That is one week!”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9tP9fI2zbE

Resources for High School and College Grads

By Jessica Dunkel, Reference Department

Graduating from High School or College is wonderful. You’ve put so much effort into getting your diploma and now you’re finally done! Congratulations are in order, and unfortunately, so is the brick wall of reality that usually starts with these questions:

What do I do next? Can I afford college? Do I even want to go to college? Can I get a job with my Associate’s/Bachelor’s degree, or will I need an additional schooling? What do I even want to do with my life?

And that’s the million dollar question – what DO you want to do with your life? If you haven’t figured it out, don’t fret – you’re not alone. Even some adults don’t know what they want to do when they grow up (we may look like we know what we’re doing, but that’s very far from true). Unlike us adults, you – my darling, doe-eyed, young reader – have time on your side. And although you have more time to figure things out, how you spend that time is important.

That’s why we’ve put together a long list of resources to get your started. Note: this is NOT an exhaustive list. Putting some serious effort into researching these things can make a HUGE difference in the trajectory of your life, even if you already have a life plan. (Example: having to go back to college to get a second degree after realizing majoring in Psychology was fun, but careers in Psychology are not. True story.)

The list below is numbered, but there’s no real order when it comes to researching. If you feel like you’re all over the place, you’re still doing it right because you’re doing something. The resources below can point you in the right direction regardless of where you’re at.

1. Find out who you are.

Not all of us had a “calling” since birth, or even know what our dream job would look like. So take some time to explore your interests. Volunteer. Take career aptitude tests to see what you’re good at. If you put time into learning your interests, strengths, and values, you’re already ahead of a lot of people.

1Career Tests

Volunteering

Books at the Main Library (click to go to our online catalog):

2. Make a 5-year plan.

I know this sounds daunting and even unrealistic. Like, I can’t even decide what to eat for dinner, how can I make a 5-year plan? The thing is:2
A lot of students think that going to college or getting a job is enough – they don’t need to plan for their futures until later. But what will you do when later becomes now? When you plan ahead, you start envisioning your ideal future. And when you set and accomplish goals along the way, your ideal future becomes your reality.

How to make a general 5-year plan

  • WikiHow: Easy steps to get you started.

If you’re going to college

If you’re not going to college (or aren’t sure)

If you’ve graduate from college

Other tips

  • Create a 5-year-plan Pinterest board for visual inspiration.

Books at the Main Library (click to see the book in our online catalog):

3. Get to work on your plan.

After you’ve envisioned where you want to be in the future, you need to get to work on your goals. Below are some websites and books to help you get started on implementing your plan.3
If you’re going to college

If you’re not going to college

If you’ve graduated from college

Whew! That’s a lot of resources.

Figuring out your life’s path and working towards your goals is definitely overwhelming – but if you take time to find out who you are, make a plan, and work hard on it, you can be sure you’re on the right path – your own.

More Audiobooks!: OneClick digital

By Stephen McClain, Reference Department

oneclickdigital

In this modern, technologically advanced era, there are many ways to access data and entertainment away from traditional sources like the library, theatre or the home stereo. We can walk around during our daily lives with the history of recorded music accessible in our back pockets, watch videos from around the world, and more and more, books are available as well, in either eBook form or in an audio format. Most Williamson County Public Library users who enjoy digital resources like eBooks and eAudio are familiar with Overdrive and Tennessee R.E.A.D.S but there is another resource that may be of interest that is less well known. OneClickdigital is another way for library patrons to access eBooks and eAudio.

71859999_20e265b781_oAs the name implies, OneClickdigital is a simple, user friendly interface with many titles to choose from. To get started, go to the main page of the Williamson County Public Library and click on “eLibrary” in the middle of the page. From there, scroll down until you see “OneClickdigital eAudiobooks” and click on Access the OneClickdigital collection now. This link takes users to the main page of OneClickdigital. Click on “Register” in the upper right corner. Here, you will enter your library card number and fill in other personal information (email address and zip code) to create an account. It’s that simple. You now have access to OneClickdigital’s collection of eBooks and eAudio.

Oneclickdigital may be more appealing to users who find the OverDrive application confusing or intimidating. There is a simple menu at the top left of the main that allows users to browse through selections in eAudio and eBooks. There is also an Advanced Search option where users can search for authors, titles, format, and many other search criteria. The home page regularly displays Featured eAudio and eBooks if you need some suggestions as to what to read next. There are also a number of links at the bottom of the page to help users learn more and navigate the site. Here you will find links for free Kindle Fire, Android and iPhone apps. If you need more information or would like to learn more about OneClickdigital, there is also a link here for a free webinar.

rb_ocd_500pxOneClickdigital is supported by Recorded Books who is a major supplier of digital content to libraries and schools and is the largest independent publisher of audiobooks. The company distributes eBooks and eAudio titles from major publishing houses, along with eAudio titles recorded exclusively for Recorded Books and narrated by professional, award-winning voice actors. Based in Prince Frederick, MD, Recorded Books was founded in 1979. Visit www.recoredbooks.com for more info.

Check out OneClickdigital for both classics like jack London’s White Fang or new, best-selling releases like Star Wars/The Force Awakens. Whether you are reading an eBook on your iPad or listening to an eAudio title, OneClickdigital offers a simple, user-friendly way to access digital content. And be sure to visit OneClickdigital on Facebook for more information, post a comment and connect with other users.

It’s Tax Time!

By Jessica Dunkel, Reference Departmenttaxes

It’s tax season already. To make your life a bit easier, we’ve compiled a list of tax resources below, including FREE tax assistance from VITA for those who qualify. Also, keep reading to find out which tax forms will be available at Williamson County Public Library this year.

Free Tax Assistance

If your annual household income is less than $62,000, you qualify for free tax assistance through VITA. VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) are IRS-certified volunteers who provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing. VITA will be at the Williamson County Public Library on the dates listed below. Make sure to call VITA for an appointment at 615-830-7940, unless you are using their self-help Kiosk which is available on Monday’s at the main branch.

VITA @ Williamson County Public Library

Vita_logo_finalWHEN

VITA will be at the Main Branch of the Williamson County Library from January 30 – April 15, 2016.

  • Saturday mornings, 9:00 am – 12:30 pm (Call for an appointment)
  • Wednesday evenings, 3:30 pm – 7:30 pm (Call for an appointment)
  • Self-help Kiosk and Walk-Ins on Monday mornings, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

You must call VITA at 615-830-7940 to make an appointment for Saturdays and Wednesdays at the Main Library.

EXCEPTIONS: VITA will NOT be at the Main Library on the following days:

  • Monday, February 15 – Library closed: Presidents Day
  • Saturday, February 20 – Library event
  • Wednesday, March 2 – Book Sale set up
  • Saturday, March 5 – Book Sale
  • Monday, March 7 – Book Sale
  • Saturday, March 19 – Library event

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

  • Photo ID for both spouses (if filing jointly)
  • Original copies of Social Security cards of ITINs (for everyone going on the return. VITA sites require this every year; no photocopies!)
  • Proof of income (a W2 for each employer during the tax year, 1099s, Social Security Income, Unemployment, Interest, etc.)
  • Healthcare Form 1095
  • Proof of expenses if claiming any (childcare expenses, education expenses, medical expenses, property tax, itemized deductions, etc.)
  • Proof of mileage if claiming any (must be a written record. Please total any business expenses before arriving.)
  • Both spouses must be present if filing a joint return
  • Last year’s tax return (helpful in explaining difference in refund amounts, consistent filing, etc.)
  • Direct Deposit information (proof of account needed such as a checkbook. Most banks do not give account numbers out over the phone!)

Other VITA locations in Williamson County

VITA will be at other locations throughout Williamson County. All locations have their own specific dates and times. Visit the Library’s tax assistance page and click on “Williamson County Assistance Sites” for additional locations, dates, and times. (Or, click here).

Additional Low Income Tax Prep/VITA Information

Click here for more information on low income tax assistance as well as additional VITA locations throughout the US.

Other Tax Resources

taxes2

If you have other tax questions or are looking for additional forms, visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov.

You can also e-File your Federal Tax Return on the IRS website through software called Free File. Click here for more information.

Another resource for help with income, property, and other taxes can be found here on needhelppayingbills.com.

For information about the State of Tennessee individual tax form (Hall Income Tax), visit http://www.tennessee.gov/revenue/topic/hall-income-tax

Tax Forms @ the Library

According to the IRS, 95 percent of taxpayers filed their tax returns electronically last tax season. As a result, the agency is significantly decreasing the variety of paper forms it offers to agencies like the Library. This year, we’ll receive a limited number of the following federal tax forms from the IRS:

  • Form 1040 and Instructions
  • Form 1040 A and Instructions
  • Form 1040 EZ and Instructions

Once the forms arrive, they will be kept at the Reference Desk on the 2nd floor and will be accessible to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.

Schedules and forms that will not be available in paper form at the Library can be downloaded and printed from the IRS website (www.irs.gov). Reference staff can help you download and print forms at the Library for 10 cents a page.

If you have any questions, please feel free to give the Main Library’s Reference Desk a call at 615-595-1243.

 


P.S. — We were recently sent this lovely email from US Citizenship and Immigration Services, just some really good info…

We want you to be aware of tax scams! Today’s lesson: phone scams.

Do not fall victim to scammers who call and say they are with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)! There has been an increase in aggressive phone scams where people call and threaten you with police arrest or deportation if you don’t pay them.

Even if you do owe taxes…

  • The IRS will NEVER call and demand immediate payment over the phone.
  • The IRS will NEVER try to threaten or intimidate you, demand payment with a prepaid debit card, or ask for your credit card or debit card number over the phone.
  • The IRS will NEVER threaten to call the police or immigration agents if you don’t pay.

If you get a call like this, report it to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration by calling 800-366-4484 or visiting www.tigta.gov. Also, report it to the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/complaint.

Learning Express Library

By Lisa Lombard, Reference DepartmentLearningExpress3

The Learning Express Library is a database dedicated to providing learning tools for people of all ages (ranging from kids in school to adults looking to start a new career, to those looking to become U.S. Citizens) and starts off in a great way. There is a 16 minute video providing an overview of all the tools Learning Express offers. It is also broken down into smaller units for those that only need a quick review on specific sections. The smaller units include: library homepage, registering as a new user, logging in, the about centers,

Each center has a number of different topics to choose from and those topics are further broken down into sub-sections for a quicker find to the areas needed. There are a few important notes to remember: your login will be your library account number, and the Computer Skills Center is ONLY available to those with an account and are signed in. The guidance section for each center is a wonderful starting point to learn about the section.

adult-learning-centerThe Adult Learning Center has four topics to choose from. These topics are building math skills, learning skills to become a better reader, becoming a better writer, speaking while also improving grammar, and a topic for helping to prepare to become an U.S. Citizen. Each topic in this center (except preparing for the U.S. Citizenship test) provides practice sections and eBooks for use, and some topics also provide quizzes and test preparation sections. What is great in the U.S. Citizenship topic is that there are sections for preparing for the exam, how to get a Green Card, and a section that provides the two previously mentioned sections in Spanish. There is also a Spanish Center that has five topics. These five topics are writing, literature/reading, math, GED prep, and a Citizenship Preparation area.

career-centerThe Career Center has a total of six topics. The topics are learning more about different careers (such as green careers, homeland security, fire fighters, nurse, teacher and more), preparing for the Allied Health programs entrance exams, preparation for 16 different occupation exams, information to join the military or become an Officer, improving job search and skills to use in the workplace, and preparation for “WorkKeys Assessments and TOEIC.” The tools used for this center are eBooks and practice exams.

highschool_equivalency_center-iconThe High School Equivalency Center also has six topics. This center is set up wonderfully. The first two topic areas are a great place to start if you need to figure out where your basic skills (math, language, reading and spelling) stand along with tutorials, practice areas and eBooks to help you improve your skills as needed. There are two sections dedicated to the GED (English and Spanish sections). The last two topics focus on preparing for the HiSET test and the TASC Test Assessing Secondary completion. These two topics have practice tests and a tutorial each.

college_prep_center-iconThe College Prep Center has six topics. Three of the topics focus on the ACT, THEA, and SAT. In these three topic areas you will find tutorials, practice exercises, and practice tests. PSAT/NMSQT is another topic that has practice tests and eBooks available for use. There is also a topic called “College Admissions Essay Writing” that provides two eBooks: one on editing skills and the other on how to write a great application. The final topic in this center is AP Exams, with practice exams for the most common AP courses.

college-centerCollege Center has seven topics. Topics cover math, reading, grammar and writing, and a science review topic that uses tutorials, eBooks, and practice sets. The math topic covers eight of the most common math courses offered in college. The science topic only offers chemistry and biology review sections. This center also includes preparing for college placement exams (four prep areas) as well as the CLEP exam. Also to be found are practice tests and eBooks for graduate entrance exams. These exams include the GMAT, GRE, LSAT, MAT, MCAT and PCAT.

school_center-iconSchool Center has three topic areas. The first topic area focuses on Elementary school with math and language arts improvement sections that is geared towards 4th and 5th graders. The second topic focuses on Middle School curriculum in math (6th-8th grade) and English Language Arts (6th-8th grade), eBooks, and other review techniques are available. The topic of social studies is also covered with a section on American History (the U.S. Constitution) and geography through the use of eBooks. The final section is a preparation area for the High School Entrance Exams. The third topic focuses on High School with a total of five sections. These sections contain a further breakdown of each section along with tutorial and eBook sections for use.

computer-skillsThe Computer Skills center has five topics to choose from and starts with the most basic computer skills then moves to learning how to use the internet and all it has to offer. The next topic is learning about and how to successfully use the Microsoft Office products, such as MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint and more. There is also a topic that covers graphic design by using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. The final topic is about understanding how your operating system works. You can choose from Windows (several versions are available) and the MAC operating system.

There you have it, a look into the Learning Express Library and the contents it has to offer for patrons of nearly all ages. Best of luck!

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