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It’s almost the end of February, which means that Black History Month is, sadly, ending.  However, we want to remind you that information on African American history is available all year long, and should always be remembered.

Since 1926, a version of Black History Month has existed in the United States.  It started as a week, and over time became a month dedicated to making sure that African American/Black history was not overlooked.   Canada and the U.K. also celebrate Black History Month, although the U.K.’s is in October.  It is important to learn and remember all parts of history, since by paying attention to history we can hopefully avoid making the same mistakes as our ancestors. In the spirit of Black History Month, here are some links to great resources on this branch of history.

  • The History Channel
  • Infoplease.com has quizzes, crosswords, and more as well as biographies, etc.
  • AfricanAmericanHistoryMonth.gov is the official site and has good teacher resources
  • TimeForKids has great articles and such for younger audiences
  • The Smithsonian also has some great teacher resources
  • You can also see what kinds of African American History items we have in our catalog.
  • Have you checked our our FDC collection? Located next to the Reference Desk, this collection contains materials concerning African American society and history

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Tax Forms:

Due to federal budget cuts, the IRS Tax Forms Outlet Program has reduced the number of forms and publications they will provide to us and other libraries this year.

  • We only have Forms 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ for patrons to take home.  No instruction books are available.
  • We currently have tax forms.  All available forms are near the water fountains at the front of the library.
  • Visit the IRS website to view or print copies of forms and instructions
  • You may also order forms to come to you by mail at this website
  • You may also order forms by phone at 800-829-3676.  If you call please expect long waits due to IRS staff reductions

New Jersey no longer provides tax forms of publication to public libraries.  You can visit the New Jersey Division of Taxation website for more information.

  • Forms are now available on their website
  • You can order NJ forms to be sent to you by fax at NJ TaxFax 609-826-4500 

There are handouts at Reference that also give you this information on how to obtain 2014 tax forms.

AARP Assistance:

Once again, the AARP will be providing tax preparation assistance to individuals at the Library during the months of February, March & April.  The program runs from February 2- April 15.  They will be in the Library starting Wednesday, February 3.  You can see when they will be in the Library on the calendar, but make sure you make your appointment before you show up!  Appointments are mandatory.

Assistance is by appointment only
, and inquiries should be directed to the AARP directly. Appointment preference will be given to the elderly and individuals from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.

The contact number for appointments is (908) 541-5710. This number will open for appointments on February 2, 2015.

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The Library’s contract with Overdrive (Digital Library NJ) ends on February 28, 2015, and we will be using 3M Cloud Library.

We will be holding Open House sessions on Wednesday, March 4 and Monday, March 23.  They will both be 7-8:30 PM in the Community Room and registration is advised. These sessions will inform you about the Library’s new eBook lending platform, give you tips for streamlined downloading, and help you troubleshoot your own eReader device.  Please bring your eReader with you to the meeting.

You will still be able to borrow up to 2 available titles from them until February 28, 2015.

We will still have OneClickDigital audiobooks and ebooks available, and you can continue to use this service as normal.  OneClickDigital recently updated their website, and now the content is very easy to use.  OneClickDigital’s new platform is very similar to 3M Cloud Library, which will be our new ebook service.

3M Cloud Library is a new ebook platform that the Library will be using.  We expect it to go live starting March 1, 2015.  As soon as we are able, we will schedule Open House sessions to tell you more about the new 3M Cloud Library.

The 3M Cloud Library offers:

  • Streamlined checkout and holds processes
  • Faster download times
  • A user-friendly interface
  • Ability to sync to multiple devices
  • Compatibility with any app-friendly device:
    • iOS App:  iPad, iPhone, iPod touch
    • Android App:  Android phones and devices
    • PC/MAC App:  Windows/MAC OS X, Nook ereader, Kobo ereader
    • Kindle Fire App:  Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, Kindle Fire HDX
    • Nook App:  Nook tablets
    • Transfer from PC to:  Sony ereader, Kobo ereader, Nook 3G & Nook Wifi, Nook Simple Touch, Nook Simple Touch Glowlight
  • The 3M Cloud Library is NOT compatible with Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite or Kindle Voyager. If you go to their webpage and scroll to the bottom, they explain that Amazon does not currently support 3M Cloud Library, and provide you an email address to contact.  We encourage you to email Amazon at kindle-feedback@amazon.com to encourage them to make all their Kindles work with additional library ebook platforms.
  • The 3M Cloud Library apps work with other devices like PCs, tablets or phones

You can see our ebook services anytime on our ebook webpage.

P.S. – Don’t forget we have 4 kindles with pre-loaded titles available for checkout.  These have great titles like The Girl on the Train, The Boston Girl, Leaving Time, Gray Mountain and more!  Please note that if it says it is “being repaired” it is probably available for checkout.  We evaluate their condition every time they are returned.

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Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen is this week’s staff pick.  A fantastic story about love, friendship, and some of the darker things in life, all behind the glittering lights of the circus.  As it’s set in the 1930’s, there is unfortunately some animal abuse in the novel so please be prepared.

“Orphaned, penniless, Jacob Jankowski jumps a freight train in the dark, and in that instant, transforms his future.

By morning, he’s landed a job with the Flying Squadron of the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. By nightfall, he’s in love.

In an America made colourless by prohibition and the Depression, the circus is a refuge of sequins and sensuality. But behind the glamour lies a darker world, where both animals and men are dispensable. Where falling in love is the most dangerous act of all…” –Taken from Goodreads.com

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Did you know that we have a great selection of Young Adult books?  Did you also know that lots of adults read YA too? This ever-changing collection has tons of great reads!  If you’re looking for somewhere to start, we recommend checking out our YA Staff Pick Bookmarks (there are 2 so far), our Book Recommendation Pinterest board which incluces YA reading choices, and/or checking out YA award winning books which you can check out for free to see if it was worthy of winning an award.

And some other staff picks, all shelved in YA fiction:

Alanna* – Tamora Pierce (girl poses as boy to become a knight, talking cat)

Lonely Werewolf Girl – Martin Millar (what happens when a werewolf gets depressed)

Man Made Boy – Jon Skovron (Frankenstein’s son takes a roadtrip and invents the female version of Ultron)

Neverwhere – Neil Gaiman (the magical seedy underbelly of London and a poor guy who gets caught up in an assassination attempt)

Sabriel* – Garth Nix (girl has to rescue father and the kingdom from an army of the dead)

The Fault in Our Stars – John Green (heartbreaking, romantic, two teens with cancer setting out to accomplish a dream)

A Curse Dark as Gold – Elizabeth Bunce (an excellent retelling of Rumpelstiltskin)

Cinder* – Marissa Meyer (Cinderella is a cyborg, and it gets complicated)

Dealing with Dragons* – Patricia C. Wrede (a princess who wants no Prince Charming, and is her own hero)

The Goddess Test* – Aimee Carter (want to be the bride of Hades? There’s a series of tests for that)

Un Lun Dun – China Mieville (Alice in Wonderland meets Neverwhere… full of weird fun adventure and saving the world)

Evil Librarian – Michelle Knudson (school librarian is a demon and a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do to save her bestie and the school)

Pushing the Limits* – Katie McGarry (trauma, romance, the typical life of a bad-thing-happened teen)

The Here and Now – Ann Brashares (she’s s time traveler who can’t break the rules for fear of disaster, but…)

Leviathan – Scott Westerfeld (sci-fi, girl posing as boy, princes, crazy adventure ensues)

Eleanor and Park – Rainbow Rowell (friendship can change your life, especially in high school)

Throne of Glass* – Sarah J. Maas (female assassin, crazy competition, magic, craziness – the 2nd book is even better)

The Maze Runner* – James Dashner (boy has amnesia, dropped into the middle of a maze with crazy monsters, lots of running, think Lord of the Flies but better)

Divergent* – Veronica Roth (dystopian novel with 5 factions, crazy choices and training, adventure. May want to stop after the first or second novel to avoid the emotional drama of Allegiant)

City of Bones* – Cassandra Clare (girl meets demon, boy kills demon, girl’s mom is kidnapped, girl gets sucked into angel/demon war and has cool powers. Way better than the movie)

Mairelon the Magician – Patricia C. Wrede (not a romance, historical fiction, girl posing as boy, spies) – has a sequel

 

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