Thursday, January 24, 2013

Adult Book Club February Pick: The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

Did you know that approximately 6 million African Americans moved from the South to the North and West in the years between 1916 and 1970? This period in American history is known as the Great Migration, and it serves as the backdrop of a new novel by first-time novelist Ayana Mathis, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie. The titular character of Mathis's novel moves from rural Georgia to Philadelphia in the 1920's; the book follows her struggle to chase the American dream in the urban, industrial north. Oprah has selected the book for Oprah's Book Club 2.0, and the library has chosen it for our February book discussion.

Join us in the Main Library on February 19th at 7 PM in the 3rd floor ellipse for a conversation about the book. We appreciate it if you RSVP through our event calendar, but RSVPs are not required.

You can also join the discussion on Goodreads, where we'll post links to related resources you can use to learn more about the historical context of the book.

To reserve a copy of the book, place a hold in the catalog.  If you use an e-reader like a Kindle, Nook, or iPad, you can download the book from Overdrive.  You can also download an audiobook version.

We hope you'll join us on the 19th! Discussing this book will be a fun way to celebrate Black History Month.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Free AARP Income Tax Preparation at the Library

$$$    AARP Tax Help Program    $$$
Free income tax preparation
for low-income individuals and households (* see restrictions below)

Worcester Public Library
3 Salem Square, Worcester, MA 01608

Saturday mornings, February 2 to April 13, 2013

To make an appointment:
·       By phone:  508-799-1655 option 3  (reference)
·       In person:  Library’s reference desk on 2nd floor (see below for library hours)
Appointments are highly recommended.   You may walk in without an appointment, Saturdays between 9:00am and noon.  However, you may need to wait a long time, or even come back another time, if you do not have an appointment.

* Restrictions:  The AARP Tax Program is a free service for low income taxpayers with simple tax returns only.  We cannot prepare your tax return if you have:
·       Higher income (more than $50,000 if single, $65,000 if head of household, $80,000 if married)
·       Rental income (Schedule E)
·       Complex self-employment income (Schedule C)
·       More than 12 Schedule D transactions (sale of bonds and stocks)
·       Other complex tax situations. We can determine whether we are qualified to prepare your return when you come in at your scheduled appointment time.

Other places to get tax help or referrals if you meet the qualifications for receiving help through their service:
·       Main South Community Development Corporation:  508-752-6181
·       Plumley Village/Community Builders:   508-770-0508 (Spanish 831-9835)
·       Worcester Community Action Council, Inc.:  508-754-1176 ext 124
·       Worcester State College:   508-929-8424 or 8635
·       Worcester Senior Center:   508-799-1232

Please cancel your appointment if you cannot make it.
To cancel, call 508-799-1655 option 3.
We will not serve you if you miss an appointment without cancelling.

Where to go for your appointment
In the main Worcester library, go to the periodicals section on the 3rd floor. 
See the AARP tax help receptionist in the waiting area located at two long tables.

What to bring to your appointment
1.    Photo ID
2.    Social Security numbers and birth dates for everyone on the return. Actual social security cards are best if you have them.
3.    Tax documents for all 2011 income, including whichever of these apply to you:
a.    Earned Income (W-2)
b.    Social Security Income (SSA-1099)
c.     Pension/Retirement Income (1099-R)
d.    Unemployment Income (1099-G)
e.    Nonemployee Compensation (1099-MISC)
f.     Gambling Income (W-2G)
g.    Interest Income (1099-INT)
4.    A copy of last year’s tax returns, Federal and State, if available.
5.    Health Insurance Statement (1099-HC)  If you can’t find the form your health insurance provider mailed to you, bring all health insurance cards.
6.    A blank check for us to see, so you can have direct deposit of your refund (recommended).
7.    If you rent, the amount you paid for rent of your primary residence.
8.    If you own your home, bring your Mortgage Interest Statement (Form 1098) and the amounts you actually paid during 2011 for real estate taxes.
9.    If you pay child care expenses, bring receipt showing the name, address, and social security number of the care giver and the amount paid.
10. If you are a senior citizen claiming the Circuit Breaker Credit for Massachusetts, bring the name and address of the landlord if you rent, or real estate taxes actually paid during 2011 and separate amounts paid for water and sewer if you own your home.
11. Any education payments including student loan interest, tuition, and scholarship amounts.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Learn How to Place a Hold in the Library Catalog

Did you know that you can request that the library reserve an item for you right from your own computer at home?  You can do this with our books, DVDs, and CDs - anything you can borrow from the library.  There are several situations in which you might want to do this:

  • The item you want has been checked out by someone else and you want to get in line to borrow it next
  • You can't come in to the library for a few days, and you want to make sure the item you want will be available for you when you do come
  • Another library owns something you want and you'd like to pick up in Worcester
In all of these situations, you can place your request by placing a hold in the library catalog.  Here's how to do it:

Go to the library homepage, at  Click on ‘Search Catalog.’  

In the Formats field, select Books (or another media type) from the dropdown menu.

If you know it, type the title of the item.  If you don’t know the title, you can search by author or keyword.

Select ‘Title’ from the next dropdown menu (or author or keyword, if you are not searching for the specific title).

Expand your search to include all of the libraries in our system by choosing ‘All C/W MARS Libraries’ from the next dropdown.

Hit the ENTER key or click on the Search button.

When you find the item you are looking for in the search results, click on ‘Place Hold’ on the right side of the screen.

Login to your library account by typing your library card number into the Username field and your password into the password field (if you are not sure what your password is, try your last name in all capital letters or the last four digits of your phone number.  If neither of those works, come into the library with a photo ID to get your password reset).

Choose the library where you want to pick up the item (you can choose any library in the C/W MARS system).  Then click on the Submit button to make your hold request.

Next, you’ll see a screen that says “Hold was successfully placed.”  This means that your hold has been submitted.  You can click on ‘Continue’ to go back to your search results.

Your hold has been placed!  Now just wait to receive an email or phone call telling you that your item is ready to be picked up.

Things to know about placing holds:

  • When the item you’ve requested is available for you to pickup, a library staff member will notify you.  You can receive your notifications by phone or email, depending on your preference.
  • To receive your hold notifications, you must keep your contact information in your account current.  If your email address or phone number changes, call or visit your local library.
  • Once the item you requested is available, you have seven days to pick it up.  After that, it will be returned to the collection for another patron to borrow.
  • It may take two weeks (or longer for very popular items) to fill your hold request.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Main Library Adult Book Club

Have you read a great book recently and wished you had someone to talk it over with? 

 If so, the WPL Adult Book Club is for you.  We’ll be discussing notable works of modern literature.  All adults are welcome to attend monthly meetings, even if you haven’t finished the book.  Registration through our events calendar is recommended, but not required.  You can also join the discussion, learn more about the books we'll be reading, and find out about future meetings on Goodreads.

On Tuesday, January 22, 2013, we’ll be discussing The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, which won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, by Michael Chabon.  The book follows two Jewish cousins as they enter the burgeoning comic books industry in World War II-era New York City. Follow their triumphs and travails as they attempt to solidify their personal and professional identities in the Golden Age of Comics. The book has been called an epic, exhilarating adventure tale that captures the fast-paced mood of a bygone America.

Readers can request a copy of the book by placing a hold through the C/W MARS catalog. You can also request a copy through Overdrive to read on your e-reader device.

Please join us on the 22nd at 7 p.m. in the Saxe Room. Book club participants are welcome to bring snacks or beverages to enjoy while discussing the book. We look forward to seeing you then!

Ask a librarian if you have any questions.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Morningstar Available for WPL Card Holders at Home!

Starting January 1st, 2013, Morningstar Investment Research Center is now available for WPL card holders at home.

The Morningstar research center is provided by the Library in place of the printed format of Morningstar mutual funds commentaries, which will no longer be published after December 31, 2012. Morningstar Investment Research Center is an excellent resource for those planning to do research on Stocks, ETFs, Mutual Funds, Industries and more.

It will help individual investors:
  •  review analyses of over 41,000 investments, 
  • get reliable portfolio analysis, learn about investment options, and 
  • read up on the most up-to-date financial news commentary, 
  • watch videos on investing and personal finance. 
  • There are also portfolio analysis tools and savings calculators accessible on the site.
For new investors, Morningstar Investment Research Center includes a good deal of on-board training for you. You will find the following features under the Help & Education tab:
  • Investing and Specialized Centers in PDF format that show you how invest. 
  • Users Guide and Quick Guide in PDF format—just download and print. 
  • Investing Classroom with 200 interactive classes on how to evaluate stocks and mutual funds.
  • A comprehensive glossary of investment terms that appear in Morningstar Investment Research Center
To access:
1. Go to
2.  Click Online Databases in the left column
3. Select Business and Finance
4. Click on the house icon next to Morningstar Investment Research if you are at home
5. You need to type in your library card number to log in

Need to get a library card? Click here to get one.

If you have any questions, please ask a librarian at