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News from the Reference Desk

Free DMV permit practice tests

You can take free permit driving tests for car or motorcycle through our web resources page with our new site, Driving Test Prep. These are multiple choice questions and you can see the results immediately. Also available are practice tests for the CDL (commercial driver’s licence). This is an excellent resource for new drivers but also a great way to test your knowledge even if you’ve been driving for decades.

By Steve Browne on April 16, 2015 Categories: Uncategorized

Free File Alliance Public Briefing With Congressman Peter Roskam

The federal Free File Alliance, a public-private partnership that provides free online federal income tax preparation and e-filing services to taxpayers who earned $60,000 or less in 2014 is hosting a public briefing.

When: Wednesday, March 11, 2015
10:00 a.m. – public briefing
10:30 a.m. – Free File demo
(Registration begins at 9:30 a.m., refreshments will be served)

Where: Harper College
Wojcik Center, Room W214, 2nd Floor Boardroom
1200 West Algonquin Road
Palatine, IL 60067

To RSVP, please email Lori Baux at Mlbaux@aol.com
or call 515-233-3816

Following the briefing, take advantage of a hands-on demonstration to see how easy it is to use Free File, learn about other free tax services in the community, and gain access to outreach materials to inform eligible taxpayers.

 

 

By julie collins on March 6, 2015 Categories: Taxes

Limited Tax Forms Available on the Second Floor

Both the federal Internal Review Service and the State of Illinois have drastically reduced the number and variety of forms they send to the Library for public distribution.

We will only be receiving a limited number of the federal forms 1040, 1040A, and 1040EZ. The Library will not receive instructions, schedules, or other numbered forms. Except for some Illinois 1040 forms, the Library will also not receive any copies of state forms for distribution.

Sets of reproducible forms will be available for photocopying, (for both IRS and Illinois) or you may access the forms you need online and print them from a Library computer. For assistance, please ask at the Reference Desk on the second floor.

For more detailed information, contact the Internal Revenue Service (www.irs.gov) at 800/829-1040 for Individual assistance and 800/829-4933 for businesses. The local office phone number is 847/737-6688.

For the Illinois Department of Revenue (www.revenue.state.il.us) call 800/732-8866. The local office phone number is 847/294-4200.

For more detailed information and links to forms and filing help, visit the Tax Information page on our web site at mppl.org/research/taxes.

 

By julie collins on February 20, 2015 Categories: Taxes

Talk to Your Teens About Money

It’s the time of year when many of us make decisions about our employee benefits for the coming year–“open enrollment” season. The Office of Financial Education, a part of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, offers this sound advice:

You can guide your children in finding the financial help they need

The financial world of today isn’t the same world you grew up in. New services and choices are being offered all the time. For your children to navigate the new financial world they’ll face, they need to know when to seek out information and how to evaluate it. Your children need practice making money choices, and they could use your guidance. At this age they may be earning some money of their own. Now, as you make benefits choices for next year, think about including your teenager in your decision-making process. You can help your teenager think about how to use information to make a good decision. If you have benefits fact sheets or Web sites from your employer, sit with your teenager and go through them. Talk through the questions your child has, and ask a few questions of your own:

  • What is the most important thing to think about for the family’s health care? Why?

  • Have there been any changes in the family since last year that could make a difference to health care? To insurance? To flexible spending dollars?

  • What could be the advantages or disadvantages of having benefits deducted from your paycheck, compared to paying the costs on your own?

  • How trustworthy is the information you receive? How would you look for further information?

You don’t have to do anything you wouldn’t do normally, when you make your benefits choices. Just by showing your teens how you approach enrollment, you’re helping them practice the decision-making process before their own paychecks are at stake. For more ideas, visit www.consumerfinance.gov/parents.

By joecollier on December 17, 2014 Categories: Business, Children, Consumer, Economic, Education, Finance, Jobs

Searching Consumer Reports Made Simple

if yoConsumer-Reports-Logou were familiar with the convoluted method of searching the Consumer Reports databases through MasterFILE, you will be relieved to hear those days are over. Consumer Reports is now easier to search through Article Finder. We have set up a special link to help you. Click here – Consumer Reports – and put whatever items you need reviews for in the box, then hit enter. You’ll find it’s an easy and modern search!

By Steve Browne on December 12, 2014 Categories: Uncategorized

Online National Archives Genealogy Fair

On October 28, 29, and 30, 2014, the National Archive and Records Administration is hosting a big online genealogy event.  During these three days of Internet broadcasting, those interested in learning more about genealogy can listen to genealogy experts from the National Archives facilities and from the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services talk about using Federal records as resources for family history research.  The sessions start at 10 AM EDT each day.  After the event, recorded sessions and handouts will remain online.  Learn more at http://www.archives.gov/calendar/genealogy-fair.

By annes on October 27, 2014 Categories: Uncategorized

Insurance Enrollment Assistance

It’s the time of year when many health insurance decisions must be made. If you need assistance in determining the best options, here’s some help:

Medicare Open Enrollment:

The Medicare Open Enrollment period began on Oct. 15 and runs until Dec. 7. The Illinois Dept. on Aging offers assistance through the department’s Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP.) Their counselors can explain the drug, health, and supplemental plans that are available. The nearest SHIP sites are at Arlington Heights Senior Center (847/253-5532) and Wheeling Township (847/259-7730.) For additional SHIP information, call 800/252-8966 or click here .

The Village of Mount Prospect Human Services Department also offers assistance for Medicare Part D (prescription drugs) enrollment. Call 847/870-5680 to set up an appointment.

Affordable Care Act Marketplace:

The enrollment period for uninsured people to sign up for coverage through the Illinois Marketplace runs from Nov. 15, 2014 to Feb. 15, 2015. If you want your insurance coverage to start on Jan. 1, 2015, you must enroll by Dec. 15, 2014.

The Library is offering several programs to assist those using the Illinois Marketplace. Representatives from Get Covered Illinois will present an overview program,” Affordable Care Act Update,” on Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. The Library will also host two enrollment events with trained navigators from Get Covered Illinois to provide assistance in navigating the site and signing up for insurance. The enrollment events are on Dec. 13, 2014, and Jan. 31, 2015,  from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. To schedule an appointment, call 847/392-8682 ext. 227. Walk-ins are also welcome.

By JoR on October 22, 2014 Categories: Community, Consumer, Health, Health Care Reform, Insurance, Seniors

Home Movie Day, October 18

Older photographs and home movies are rich treasures of family history.  Have you been wanting to look at and preserve your older home movies?  The Center for Home Movies (http://www.centerforhomemovies.org/) has designated October 18 as the day to do just that.  Over 100 museums and film societies across the world are hosting special events where people can bring their films, view them with others, and get professional guidance about how to best preserve them.  The free Chicago-area event is being held at the Chicago History Museum on October 18 from 11 AM to 3 PM.   At this event you will be able to watch the films with musical accompaniment by silent film pianist, David Drazin.  For more information about this event click here.

 

By annes on October 8, 2014 Categories: Community, History, Photography

Britannica Library

britannicaThe Library now subscribes to the excellent and authoritative Encyclopedia Britannica’s online presence, Britannica Library. Explore thousands of topics in science, social studies, language arts, and mathematics for school projects, review concepts taught in the classroom, or learn something new. Very impressive are the more than 90,000 images, videos, and audio clips. There are 3 levels – children’s, teen, and adult – with great information for everyone. It would be easy to spend an afternoon or evening exploring here.

By Steve Browne on September 25, 2014 Categories: Uncategorized

Free Financial Literacy Programs

Summer is almost over, but the need for money smarts will never end! With that in mind, here are a few free, prepackaged programs and curricula selected and compiled by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) designed to help you improve your own financial literacy and develop the best personal strategy for saving, investing and more.

Elementary School Economics
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Personal finance and economic lessons are paired with popular children’s books. Librarians can read the book to the children and follow the reading with discussions about money decisions, saving, spending, choices, needs and wants and much more. Includes lesson plans and handouts.

Econlowdown
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
An online learning platform for more than 25 courses about money, financial decisions and economics. Register free to access the full list of courses. Instructors can select courses for their online “classrooms,” hold online discussions with classroom students, view progress, and present poll questions or surveys.

Money Smart for Older Americans
CFPB, FDIC
An instructor-led training developed jointly by FDIC and CFPB, this module provides awareness among older adults and their caregivers about how to prevent elder financial exploitation and to encourage advance planning and informed financial decision-making.

Thrive by 5
Credit Union National Association Inc.
Simple activities and other resources that are parent-and-child tested and meant to give you ideas for: Teaching how money works and what it can do, talking about how your family uses money, and modeling good money management.

By joecollier on August 6, 2014 Categories: Business, Consumer, Economic, Finance