Library News

Form 1040 is here!

Federal income tax form 1040 has arrived and can be found in the reference room, along with forms 1040A and 1040EZ which were already available.

The library also has the 2014 Massachusetts Resident Income Tax and Massachusetts Nonresident or Part-Year Resident Income Tax booklets.

For information about tax forms in the library, where to find forms online, and local tax assistance, please see our community resource page on taxes.

Construction on the new elevator to begin end of February

Notice: Construction on the new elevator will begin the week of February 23 and continue for several months. During this time we will not be wheelchair accessible.

Please contact Lisa in the Business Office for more information or to request home delivery service for library materials, 413-587-1017 or

We apologize for this inconvenience.

All Hamptons Read Announces Kick-Off of the Big Read in the ‘Hamptons

Northampton, MA – February 5, 2015 – All Hamptons Read  will launch its Big Read program in celebration of The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett with a program about American Crime Fiction on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at 7 PM at the Forbes Library. The Big Read is presented by All Hamptons Read, a collaboration of the communities of Northampton, Florence, Easthampton, Southampton and Westhampton.

All Hamptons Read was formed in 2013 when the libraries in the five communities decided to encourage their communities to read the same book and then attend discussions and events to explore the themes of the book. “All Hamptons Read is all about the power of books to bring us together and further our understanding of ourselves and our communities. It is also a celebration of reading as a cultural pastime,” said Lisa Downing, Assistant Director at the Forbes Library.

This year the committee received a “Big Read” grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support their endeavor with additional support by Florence Bank, Easthampton Savings Bank and the friends groups of each of the participating libraries. The Maltese Falcon was chosen from the list of possible books offered by the NEA for several reasons including the popularity of mysteries, the rich history of the area in the 1920s, and the opportunity to explore the cinematic noir genre including the 1941 film adaptation of the book starring Humphrey Bogart. This film will be shown at the Academy of Music theater in Northampton in April as one of the highlights of the program series. Other events in the series include an historical presentation about the Hamptons during the late 1920s, when the book was written, and a dance with the music and the dances of the 1920s in Easthampton. There will be programs for all ages including a birds of prey program in Westhampton, a shadow puppet show in Easthampton, a forensics and crime scene program for teens in Florence, and a youth theater workshop in Southampton. The group is also holding book discussions in each of the communities.

“Maybe you are one of those people who stays up late reading a mystery novel that you just can’t put down or perhaps you are are drawn to the cynical and stylistic film noir Hollywood classics of the last century. There are lots of us out there and All Hamptons Read is a great opportunity to explore the genre in greater depth and have some fun,” said Lyn Keating, Library Director at the Westhampton Public Library.

Copies of The Maltese Falcon are available to borrow from the participating libraries. You can find a listing of all of the events on the website,



Forms 1040A and 1040EZ are here!

Federal income tax forms 1040A and 1040EZ have arrived, and can be found in the reference room.

The IRS has also shipped our copies of form 1040—we can expect to see those here in a week or two.

The library also has the 2014 Massachusetts Resident Income Tax and Massachusetts Nonresident or Part-Year Resident Income Tax booklets.

For information about tax forms in the library, where to find forms online, and local tax assistance, please see our community resource page on taxes.

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 Seeks a New Writer in Residence

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


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