Library News

Libraries receiving many fewer tax forms from the IRS

The IRS has reduced its Tax Forms Outlet Program which provided free tax forms to the public at post offices and public libraries. In an email to participating organizations, the IRS Tax Forms Outlet Program Administrator wrote, “IRS appropriations were significantly cut in the 2015 Omnibus Appropriations bill recently passed by Congress. Unfortunately this puts us in a position where we have very few options. We want to honor our commitment to you […] but we cannot deliver nearly what we have in the past.”

Forbes Library will continue to provide the public with free copies of 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ federal tax forms, as well as Massachusetts tax booklets. Other forms and publications, which the library was once able to provide for free, can be found on the IRS website. The library charges 20¢ a page or 30¢ a double-sided sheet for printing. Members of the public may ask a librarian to print forms for them, or may choose to print them themselves. Printing at the library is available from any of the public computers or from any wi-fi enabled device running Windows or OS X.

To find out which tax forms are currently available at the library visit our tax information page or call the reference desk at 413-587-1012.

Forbes Library Writer in Residence Stepping Down

Susan Stinson is stepping down in June after 5 years as Writer in Residence at Forbes Library. “We have been so blessed to have such a talented and dedicated Writer in Residence. Susan has brought her passion for writing, books, history, and libraries with her every day and enriched the lives of many of the library’s patrons. She will be a tough act to follow!” said Lisa Downing, Assistant Director.
The Writer in Residence program started at the library in 2003 when writer, Diana M. Gordon proposed the post as a way to enhance library programming and strengthen the connection between the writing community and the library. The library is currently accepting letters of interest from local writers. Please see the Writer in Residence job description for more information.

25th Annual Giving Tree

GivingTree2014

November 30-January 2

Gifts collected will be shared with children ages 0-16
Gifts should not be wrapped
Please new items only
Gift cards for tweens and teens appreciated

Donations may be dropped off in the Children’s Department from November 30-January 2
Mon & Wed 9-6
Tues & Thurs 1-5
Fri & Sat 9-5

Please contact the Hampshire Community Action Commission (413-582-4237) to be placed on the recipient list.

Distribution of gifts will be Monday, December 22 from 1:00-4:30
Recipients must be on the list, no walk-ins permitted

Forbes Library Awarded Disabilities Grant

Forbes Library, the public library in downtown Northampton, has been awarded a two year grant to improve library services to people with disabilities. The project is being funded through the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners with funds from LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act), a Federal source of library funding provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.  With the help of the grant, Forbes Library will provide equipment, software, staff training, and public programming so as to enhance services to patrons who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, or have vision difficulties. The library will also create a new disability advisory board to increase communication between the library and people with disabilities.
A recent American Community Survey estimated that 7.2% of Northampton residents live with a disability including 5.3% with hearing difficulty and 5.7% with a vision difficulty. Forbes Library has made building and grounds improvements during renovations to improve physical access to the library. Most recently the library has completed fundraising for a handicapped access elevator to be installed in the front entry to provide reliable access into the building.  “The library is committed to providing services to all of its residents and we feel the time is right to address improvements to the services to people with disabilities”, said Janet Moulding, Library Director.

Among the specific objectives for this grant are to make library programs more accessible to people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing; to improve customer service at service desks to  people with disabilities; increase community awareness of library services available to people with disabilities; and to create and maintain an ongoing relationship with the disability community in Northampton.

The grant project will begin this October and be completed in 2016. The library will be collaborating with area agencies and individuals. If you are interested in learning more about this grant or have suggestions please contact Lisa Downing, Assistant Director at 413-587-1017 or by email at ldowning@forbeslibrary.org.