Saturday, February 14, 2009

Tax Forms!

There are many great reasons to provide tax forms to public library patrons!

1. It brings people to the library who may have never visited before. Just like grocery stores that put the milk at the back of the store, so you have to walk past all kinds of other products on your way, libraries can put tax forms next to popular collections like DVDs or new bestsellers. Invite people IN to the library to see what you have to offer. They will see things they didn't know the library had and may become regular library users.

2. Libraries, like tax forms, may seem boring to people who don't know about libraries or haven't been in one in a long time. If they come in for a tax form and leave with something fun - in addition to their tax form - their whole view of libraries could change!

3. Librarians, like tax forms, may seem boring to people too. They only remember their mean elementary school librarian from 1952. We have an opportunity to sell ourselves and our services! Talk to people who come in, and don't shy away from talking about what kinds of forms are available and what they are typically used for (see Mary Kelly's blog on this topic). Show them what a librarian can do!

4. It is a public service. People need tax forms. The more convenient we make them for people, the more likely they are to come to the library when they need other conveniences (like faxing, photocopying, or Internet access, for example). The next thing you know, your library's services are being used more than ever! A good library contributes to family literacy, education, lifelong learning, and the overall quality of life in your community.

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