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Jan
24

Free Tax Return Preparation

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It’s that time of year again. Preparing tax returns is often a difficult task for many of us. If you feel you need assistance, there are free tax preparation programs available to you. The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Programs offer free tax help for taxpayers who qualify.  The following information was taken from  http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Free-Tax-Return-Preparation-for-You-by-Volunteers

A limited supply of tax forms will be available at the library by the end of January. Tax forms are also available online. If you need assistance printing a tax form, please stop by the library Information Desk.

VITA
The VITA Program generally offers free tax help to people who make $52,000 or less and need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals in local communities. They can inform taxpayers about special tax credits for which they may qualify such as Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled. VITA sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls, and other convenient locations.

TCE
The TCE Program offers free tax help for all with priority assistance to people who are 60 years of age and older, specializing in questions about pensions and retirement issues unique to seniors. IRS-certified volunteers who provide tax counseling are often retired individuals associated with non-profit organizations that receive grants from the IRS.

Interested in becoming a VITA or TCE volunteer? 
Visit the Volunteer page to find how you can learn to prepare taxes and make a difference at the same time.

Self-Help Tax Preparation
In addition to traditional face-to-face tax preparation, the IRS is offering a self-assistance service at many VITA and TCE locations. If individuals have a simple tax return and need a little help or do not have access to a computer, they can visit one of the participating tax preparation sites and an IRS-certified volunteer will guide them through the process.

Read More→

  
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I would like to take this opportunity to wish all you a healthy and happy new year. As I begin my tenth year here as Library Director I can happily report that your library continues to be as busy as ever (as evidenced by our steadily increasing circulation, and by the number of new programs and services made available in the past year).

Libraries, including ours, need your continued support, however, especially in these times of economic uncertainty.  Fortunately, there are ways to voice and show your support in your own backyard.  Mark your calendar to attend a Library Legislative Breakfast in your area. While the East Longmeadow Public Library (along with other area libraries) has hosted this event in past years, this year’s event will be held at the Longmeadow Public (Storrs) Library.  Scheduled for Friday, February 28th, this event offers you a chance to meet your state legislators and other library supporters from regional and local levels to discuss funding issues facing Massachusetts libraries in the coming year.

Senator Gale Candaras (D), representing the 1st Hampden and Hampshire districts, has been invited to speak, along with representatives from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC), the Massachusetts Library System (MLS), and the C/WMars automated library network.  They will provide attendees with an overview of legislative issues facing their agencies in FY2015.  The theme for this year’s legislative agenda for libraries is “Massachusetts libraries are working to end the digital lockout”. Read More→

  
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Dec
10

We have Playaways!

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Starting today the East Longmeadow Public Library will begin offering Playaway – the first self-playing digital audio book.

playaway webbanner_runnerHalf the size of a deck of cards, Playaway is the simplest and best way to listen to a book on the go and – with no tapes or CDs – can hold up to eighty hours of HD Audio content on each unit.  With every title recorded in HD Audio, Playaway’s audio quality is unsurpassed.  Using clearly marked buttons, Playaway gives listeners the ability to move back and forth within or between chapters and alter the speed of a narrator’s voice.  It even has an automatic bookmark feature that remembers where you left off.  Additionally, Playaway has a universal headphone jack that works with almost any type of headphone or mobility accessory.playaway webbanner_cases

Playaways are shelved on the second floor of the library with the adult audio CDs. Try a Playaway today and let us know what you think.

 

To learn more about Playaways, take a look at this short video.

 

 

  
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bpl logo

Massachusetts State Residents can sign up for a free Boston Public Library eCard via the web! Follow the prompts on the registration form and your eCard number will be emailed to you.

Once you have a BPL eCard you can:

Download digital material from BPL.
Now you not only have access to our library’s CWMARS  Digital Catalog, you also have access to the Boston Public Library’s  Digital Catalog. Through BPL you can download even more eBooks, eAudiobooks, eVideos and music.

Read magazines online or download to your portable device. All completely free!
Zinio Digital Magazines  offers full color, interactive magazines for your enjoyment. You can browse BPL’s collection of popular titles with no holds, no checkout periods, and no limit to the number of magazines you can download. Read magazines on your computer or download the Zinio app for your portable device. Watch a tutorial

Would you like to give Zinio a try? Start here at BPL’s Digital Magazines webpage.

If you have any questions, call the library Information Desk at 413-525-5400, x1508.

  
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Sep
07

Go Mobile with Mango!

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Learn a new language on your Apple or Android phone, free through the library.
Mango iPhone appMango android app 140-120

First create a Mango account. Then take your language learning everywhere you go for free with Mango Mobile, now available for Android and iPhone and exclusive for library patrons!

Whether you’re killing time at the laundromat, waiting for your flight or conversing with locals on an exotic adventure, Mango Mobile makes the world your classroom.

Mango Mobile apps include:

  • Full access to Mango courses offered for free through your library*
  • Interactive phonetic spelling
  • Semantic color mapping
  • Articulated and fluent-speed pronunciations
  • Literal translations and understood meanings
  • Grammar notes
  • Cultural notes
  • Strategic memory building exercises
  • Critical thinking exercises

To start learning from your mobile device, download Mango Mobile Library Edition for Android, iPhone or iPod and login with your Mango Languages username and password.

For the apps to work, you must first have an account with Mango set up through the library and an iPhone or Android mobile device. Download the app for your iPhone/iPod or Android device, enter your Mango Languages login information, download a course and start learning at your own pace with or without an Internet connection!

Happy learning.

 

*Due to techy reasons beyond Mango Languages’ control, not all languages are available on Android devices.

  
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Jun
21

Parents love their libraries.

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Parent and child readingParents, Children, Libraries, and Reading is a new report released in May 2013 by the Pew Research Center. The report reveals that parents have a deep affection for libraries and value their place in the community.

  • 94% of parents say libraries are important for their children and 79% describe libraries as “very important.” That is especially true of parents of young children (those under 6), some 84% of whom describe libraries as very important.
  • 84% of these parents who say libraries are important say a major reason they want their children to have access to libraries is that libraries help inculcate their children’s love of reading and books.
  • 81% say a major reason libraries are important is that libraries provide their children with information and resources not available at home.
  • 71% also say a major reason libraries are important is that libraries are a safe place for children.

The complete report can be found at http://libraries.pewinternet.org/2013/05/01/parents-children-libraries-and-reading/

 

  
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Big Library Read is a pilot program in which libraries worldwide offer a single eBook to their patrons. In addition to creating a global “library book club,” Big Library Read is designed to demonstrate the positive exposure and sales influence library eBook catalogs provide to authors and publishersIt will spotlight one title for a set time period for library patrons around the world to read simultaneously. The program is sponsored by OverDrive, with initial support and participation from Sourcebooks, Inc., a leading US independent publisher.

eBookThe first Big Library Read eBook will be available, from our Digital Catalog,  May 15th through June 1st.  The Four Corners of the Sky is master storyteller Michael Malone’s novel of love, secrets, and the mysterious bonds of families. Malone brings characters to life as only he can, exploring the questions that defy easy answers: Is love a choice or a calling? Why do the ties of family bind so tightly? And is forgiveness a gift to others…or a gift we give ourselves?

The eBook will be available in the following formats; OverDrive Read, Kindle (US only), EPUB, and PDF. Enjoy!

  
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College & CareersParents and students looking for sources of financial aid might want to look at our recently updated list of “Local Scholarships“. It’s located in the “College and Financial Aid” category on our “Subject Guide to Online Resources” page, which you will find on the drop down menu under the Adult Services tab.

You might also like to check out our “College & Career Center” the next time you come to the library. It’s located on the second floor right behind the MassMutual Computer Center, and it contains books on test prep, majors, colleges, universities and technical schools, college life and career exploration, as well as additional information on financial aid.

  
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LIBRARY HOURS

Hours: Monday - Wednesday 9:30 - 8:00 pm Thursday & Friday 9:30 - 5:00 pm Saturday 9:30 - 4:00 pm Closed Saturdays - June, July & August

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