Sender: "James B. Casey" <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Tax forms
You are right that there are benefits to patrons. Our community
as a significant senior citizen population and they are not inclined
or able to file on line. Since post offices and banks no longer are
willing to distribute forms, we are among the "last resorts".
But are we in the business of facilitating the work of the IRS?
It would also be "helpful" if we were to sell stamps, register voters
and provide do license plate renewals. Somewhere along the
line, we need to define and value our own particular service
mission not allow other agencies to shift work and costs onto
our plate without a single penny of compensation.
Libraries which distribute tax forms for the IRS don't get any
compensation for the staff time, space and facility use needed
for this process despite the fact that the IRS and State Tax
agency save very large amounts of money via our cooperation
--- staff time, rental of space, etc.
If cooperation is supposed to be mutual, Libraries should
receive some kind of credit or funding for the time and labor
expended. Failing that, at least the IRS could support
Library advocates when LSTA is being cut or Library postal
rates are being increased. However, IRS says "Your
problems aren't any of our business ---- how you can help
us is what we want to talk about."
When I pushed for ALA to do something to rally those
libraries which distribute tax forms to act in concert to
demand some form of tangible compensation for this
cooperation, it was undercut by those libraries which insist
that we give away our time, space and labor for free in the
"spirit of cooperation" with the IRS.
Its a small wonder that Libraries are underfunded and
Librarian salaries are so low. Too many of us in Library
management are so quick to adopt the service missions
of other agencies without compensation.
James B. Casey ---- My own views as a public librarian
and candidate for ALA Council.
[log in to unmask] wrote:
> I read your work sheet with interest. What I don't see is the other side of the
> equation - the satisfaction quotient . We use only about 25 sq ft to display the
> forms on racks. Placed near the front door, our Circulation Clerks coordinate
> it, referring folks to the Adult Information Desk if their form is not there.
> The one year we kept count, we had 2200 people come in for forms. I call that a
> tremendous public service. I don't want to count the cost unless I also tally
> the benefits.
> Lynn Dodge
> Lynchburg Public Library
> Lynchburg VA