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Free Tax Help

Free Tax Help

Need help with your taxes? We’ve partnered with United Way of Monroe County to offer free personal tax preparation by a Certified Tax Preparer. This free service helps residents who made less than $58,000 in 2021 file their federal and Indiana state tax returns and claim the earned income tax credit (EITC), if eligible.

 

Virtual Appointments

The Downtown Library is a virtual tax preparation site. Two-visit same-day drop off or two-visit scan options are available February 1–April 12 on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays from 2–6 PM. To schedule an appointment and get more information, please call 812-747-4836 or email MCPLtaxaide [at] gmail.com. You can expect to leave a message with your contact information and a volunteer will contact you to schedule an appointment.

 

Celebrating Black Voices: Jacqueline Woodson & Coretta Scott King Awards Exhibit

Celebrating Black Voices

On Saturday, February 5 from 7–8:15 PM, The Friends of the Library and Monroe County Public Library will host award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater as part of the biennial “Power of Words: Changing Our World One Author at a Time” programming series. The talk is free and open to the public. 

Listen to the internationally acclaimed author, who gives voice to African American life through more than 30 books, ranging from children’s picture books to young adult literature to adult novels. Woodson is a National Book Award Winner for Young People’s Literature for her New York Times bestselling memoir “Brown Girl Dreaming”, among many other awards. The doors will open at 6:30 PM and tickets are not required. Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test is required per the Buskirk-Chumley Theater’s policy.

Top Circulating Items of 2021

Top Circulating Items of 2021

2021 is in the books! We’re taking a look back at the media that kept you entertained and educated last year. We tallied the numbers and here are our top circulating items of 2021!

Planning your 2022 reading list? There are some great options here, including Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. The internationally acclaimed and award-winning author will speak at our February 5 Power of Words event!

MLK Day Celebration

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration Events

This Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we’re celebrating Black lives and remembering the tremendous life and accomplishments of Dr. King with a day full of events and opportunities to serve our community. 

 

MLK Day Activities at the Downtown Library

We’ll start the day at 9:30 AM with a storytime featuring "Hands Up" by Brianna J. McDaniel and "Our Skin: A First Conversation About Race" by Megan Madison and Jessica Ralli, followed by crafts to celebrate Black lives and honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Following storytime, at 11 AM, the Bloomington Peace Choir, a community choir that sings to uplift their spirits and the world, will join us for a short all-ages performance in the atrium.

Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness Temporary Changes

Hand with money in its palm

About

If you are or have been employed by a U.S. federal, state, local, or tribal government or nonprofit organization, you might be eligible for the Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, or the Temporary Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness Program (TEPSLF). 

 

Glitter Gets Everywhere

Kitty, her sister Imogen, and her father all have different ways of coping with the loss of their mother and wife. When her father takes a new job opportunity, the family moves to New York. Though you may think that moving to a different city would stop Kitty from constantly being reminded of her mom, the opposite seems to hold true, and Kitty is reminded of her mom everywhere she goes.

Glitter Gets Everywhere is a great book because provides a heartwarming way to approach the very difficult topic of the loss of a parent. The book would also be helpful if you are coping with the loss of any loved one. Additionally, it contains strong themes of family, connections, and holding onto memories. Recommended for readers ages 8–12.

Reviewed by Kim B., Children’s Librarian

Create-a-Comic Challenge Entries

In November, we challenged you to create an original one-page comic to share with the community and enter to win a gift card to Vintage Phoenix Comic Books! Categories were available for kids ages 7–11 and teens ages 12–19. The winners were randomly selected.

We received 38 original, fun, and imaginative pieces that we've included here. Thanks so much for sharing your creativity with us. You make our work at the Library so enjoyable!

 

Very Peri Books Throughout History

Very Peri Pantone

After a year colored mainly by color-coded COVID maps, “Very Peri,” Pantone 17-3938, was just announced as the 2022 Pantone color of the year! Very Peri is described as a first time ever brand new Pantone color of their creation “whose courageous presence encourages personal inventiveness and creativity.”

The Pantone Color of the Year selection process requires thoughtful consideration and trend analysis. To arrive at the selection each year, Pantone’s color experts comb the world looking for new color influences. These can include entertainment, art, travel, lifestyles, sports, socio-economic conditions, new technologies, social media, and much more.

“Creating a new color for the first time in the history of our Pantone Color of the Year educational color program reflects the global innovation and transformation taking place,” said Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Color Institute.

MCPL Chopped Challenge

MCPL Chopped Challenge winning dish: kidney bean and spelt toast with paprika whipped feta and rosemary pickled beets.

‘Tis the season for cooking and creativity! In November, we held the first MCPL Chopped Challenge! Participants received a take-home kit with three mystery ingredients and three cookbooks to borrow. They were tasked with preparing a dish using all three ingredients, plus their choice of additional ingredients.

We received many amazing, inspired entries. Thank you to all of the participants and congratulations to the winner, Emmi! They were so creative with the mystery ingredients, making a kidney bean and spelt toast with paprika whipped feta and rosemary pickled beets. Browse this photo album to view all of the submitted dishes!

Now that the official prize challenge is over, we’re revealing the mystery ingredients for anyone to try their hand! The mystery ingredients are…

When You Trap a Tiger

Lily’s grandmother, Halmoni, would tell Lily and her sister Sam fantastic stories filled with stars, tigers, and magic whenever they’d visit. But when Halmoni gets sick and Lily and her family move in, the stories have a way of becoming real! Lily soon starts to see a mysterious tiger around their town which prompts her to make a desperate plan to trap the tiger to save Halmoni! 

When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller is a beautiful story that left me daydreaming about the origin of stories, the meaning of family, and the importance of heritage.

There are so many things to love about this book––the connection to Korean culture, the love of storytelling prevalent throughout the novel, the gentle coming-of-age themes, and the beautiful messages about family and coping with the imminent death of a loved one––it is no surprise that it won the 2021 John Newbery Medal! 

Recommended for readers ages 10–14. 

––Reviewed by Kim B., Children’s Librarian

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