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Making it in Maine: Living the Good Life – a year-long, financial education program beginning in September

February 17th, 2015

SMARTINVEST-LOGO-COLORCurtis Memorial Library has been awarded a $92,140 grant from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation and the American Library Association as part of the nationwide Smart investing@your library™ program.

The Curtis Library is pleased to continue providing community access to better financial and investor information and educational programs thanks to receiving a second grant from the Smart investing@your library™ program.

With this funding, Curtis Memorial Library will develop a community-wide financial literacy program – focused on helping individuals and families who want to learn simple strategies and skills to achieve better financial health.

The year-long series will feature a variety of practical, easy-to-implement educational tools and opportunities for people to access at the library, online and at community partner sites.

“The libraries participating in this grant program make reliable financial information and education readily accessible in their communities,” said Gerri Walsh, President of the FINRA Foundation.

“Libraries are paying close attention to their communities’ needs and aspirations, and can respond in creative, sustainable ways to help residents achieve financial goals for themselves and their families.”

About Smart Investing@Your Library

Smart investing@your library™ is a partnership between the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association, and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation.

The program supports public libraries across the country in their efforts to meet financial education needs at the local level.

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Established in 1876, the American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world.

It strives to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.

For more information, visit www.ala.org.

finrafdn_logoFINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is the largest independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States.

FINRA is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation and complementary compliance and technology-based services.

FINRA touches virtually every aspect of the securities business—from registering and educating all industry participants to examining securities firms, writing rules, enforcing those rules and the federal securities laws, informing and educating the investing public, providing trade reporting and other industry utilities, and administering the largest dispute resolution forum for investors and firms.

For more information, visit www.finra.org.

The FINRA Investor Education Foundation supports innovative research and educational projects that give underserved Americans the knowledge, skills and tools necessary for financial success throughout life.

For details about grant programs and other FINRA Foundation initiatives, visit www.finrafoundation.org.

Living Paycheck to Paycheck?

February 9th, 2015

paydayMany middle-class Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.

If you’re one of these Americans, losing your job can be a very scary thought.

If you do lose your job, here are some suggestions to help make sure you don’t wind up in serious financial trouble.

1. Start putting together an Emergency Fund – bit by bit, dollar by dollar, until you have at least 6 months of living expenses put away.

You may want to consider selling things you own, but don’t really need, on eBay to help build your emergency fund.

eBay Web article: Another man’s Treasure! Sell your trash & clutter

TIP: You can use the Library’s public PCs to create auction listings on eBay.

2. Create or update your resume so that you can begin searching for a new job quickly.

TIP: Visit the “Jobs” Neighborhood on the 2nd floor of the Library near the Reference Desk for books on resumes, how to write a cover letter, how to prepare for a job interview, how to choose a new career, and more.

Be sure to ask a friendly Curtis Librarian for assistance!

3. Start your own side business – New books on entrepreneurship / home businesses are being added to the Curtis Money collection every month.

TIP: “The Simple Dollar” website has a list of 50 Side Businesses You Can Start On Your Own.

NOTE: The Curtis Library has resources to support many types of small businesses.

I made a commitment to completely cut out drinking and anything that might hamper me from getting my mind and body together. And the floodgates of goodness have opened upon me – spiritually and financially.
— Denzel Washington

Tax Form/Instructions Duplication Binder at Reference Desk

February 4th, 2015

IMG_1753Librarian Kate Wing has created a tax form and instruction book duplication binder.

It is at the second floor Ref desk – you can make photocopies from this book or use it for reference.

It is not available for checkout.

In it are:

  • Instructions for 1040EZ
  • Instructions for 1040
  • 1040 Schedule A form
  • 1040 Schedule 8812 (Child Tax Credit) form
  • Instructions for 8812
  • 1040 Schedule B form
  • 1040 Schedule C form
  • 1040 Schedule D form
  • Schedule EIC (Earned Income Credit)

Any other requests can be pulled up on the IRS website and printed for .10 a page.

For example, the 1040 EZ is 43 pages ($4.30 to copy/print the whole thing) and the 1040 is 110 pages ($11.00).

2015 tax forms

February 3rd, 2015

tax-formsThe 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ forms have arrived.

You can find these forms directly across from the Lending Services desk in the Lobby.

NOTE: The library has IRS forms for you to take, not their publications.

Forms & publications are available on the IRS’s website: http://www.irs.gov/Forms-&-Pubs

Alternatively, you can explore your E-File Options: http://www.irs.gov/Filing/E-File-Options.

Curtis is also hosting tax filing assistance from the AARP Foundation – This is a free service to taxpayers with low and moderate income, with special attention to those 60 and older.

You can call the Reference Desk at 725-5242 ext. 510 to make an appointment.

AARP Tax help Appointments

January 20th, 2015

aarptax1 001Free Tax help begins Monday, February 2nd at the Curtis Library.

Your tax return will be filed electronically. You will not need to bring any tax forms.

Times

Mondays 10AM – 2PM
Wednesdays 3:30PM – 7:30PM
Fridays 12:30PM – 4:30PM

Location

2nd floor of the Library near the Reference Desk.

What You Need to Bring

1. Copies of last year’s tax returns
2. Driver’s License or other photo ID
3. Social Security Card, or form from Social Security Administration for each person listed on the return.

Call to Make an Appointment

Call the Library Reference Desk at 725-5242 ext. 510