State Tax Forms at the Library

By Mary Hammons,

This year, for the first time, the Indiana Department of Revenue (DOR) will not be giving the library state tax forms to distribute to the public. The public can call the DOR’s 24 hour automated phone at 317-615-2581 to receive a copy of the instruction book and forms in the mail. There are only a limited number of paper forms available so you will need to make your request soon. If you request the 2020 tax booklet you will get the instruction book with the standard forms. If you want an envelope, you have to request it specifically. There is no place in Henry County where you can pickup paper forms and the instruction book. Paper copies of the federal tax forms and instruction book will be available at the library as usual.

The library will have a set of original paper tax forms and instructions that you can copy or you can print them from one of the library’s computers. Tax forms can be printed or copied for $.20 a copy (per page). If you need instructions, you can use a library computer to access those or you can selectively print only those pages of the instructions that you need. The library will provide Form SC-40 Unified Tax Credit for the Elderly free of charge to our patrons as a public service.

The DOR will have several options for free and low-cost filing on their website. INFreeFile will be available later in the filing season at www.freefile.dor.in.gov. The benefits of filing online include faster refunds and confirmation that your return was received and accepted. Forms filed online also have fewer errors and are more efficient. You can prepare and file your federal and state tax returns at the same time. INFreefile provides the added convenience of direct deposit for refunds and direct debit for payment of taxes owed.

Library computers are available to file both state and federal income taxes online. Library staff can help you access the computers but are not able to give any assistance in selecting forms or filing services or give any advice on how to file your taxes.

Explore Free Research Resources with INSPIRE

By Mary Hammons,

Are you looking for ways to learn and grow? Find resources at your fingertips through INSPIRE. INSPIRE is a collection of online databases provided by the state of Indiana and is available free of charge to all Indiana residents. INSPIRE includes full-text magazines, journal articles, websites, pamphlets, images, almanacs, historic newspapers, multimedia, library catalogs, and much more. Some of the resources available are Consumer Reports, Academic Search Premier, Biography Reference, Explora, LitFinder, and TOPICsearch. 

This is a great source for homework and projects. It contains useful information for biographies, Indiana history, hobbies and crafts, home improvement, news and culture, consumer reports, genealogy, and more. It has the option to search by subject or search by exact database.

One unique feature of INSPIRE is the access it provides to Rosetta Stone, which allows users to learn a foreign language. Dozens of languages are available and all levels of Rosetta Stone are available until June 30, 2020.

Another especially helpful feature during this time is test preparation assistance. Individuals preparing to take the SAT or GRE can find helpful prep work for free through INSPIRE. INSPIRE also offers resume preparation tools. These are found under the “Test and Resume Preparation” tab on the INSPIRE homepage.

New Castle-Henry County Public Library director, Winnie Logan, hopes to see INSPIRE be utilized more often. She shared, “This is the hidden gem that we have in Indiana. It’s a really great resource that the Indiana legislature has provided for us. It’s in the state budget to provide all these resources to Hoosiers. I wish that more people would become familiar with it and be able to use it because there is so much information out there for people.”

For more information, visit https://inspire.in.gov/

Beat Boredom with Niche Academy

By Mary Hammons,

Feel like your brain could use a little pick-me-up? No need to worry! The New Castle-Henry County Public Library offers an online tool to save your brain–Niche Academy. Niche Academy provides several tutorials and online learning tools across a variety of topics.

While the library building is closed, eBooks and movie streaming services are available. If you’ve never used an eBook app or website before, it can be a bit confusing at first. Niche Academy offers tutorials explaining exactly how to use library resources. These resources include eBook apps such as Libby or Hoopla, language learning tools from Rosetta Stone, the movie streaming website Kanopy, and research databases such as Reference USA.

If social distancing is starting to feel lonely, use social media apps to stay connected with friends and family. Still a novice when it comes to social media platforms? That’s okay, Niche Academy also offers social media tutorials for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linked-In and Goodreads.

Are you suddenly finding you have a lot of down time during the day? Try learning a second language while you are home. Niche Academy not only has language learning tools like Rosetta Stone, but also “survival Spanish.” You will find common/important phrases and words that will help you understand the gist of a conversation.

Want to sharpen your work skills? There are also courses to help you learn Microsoft Office, Windows, Gmail, Google GSuite, and even interpersonal skills in the workplace. 

Niche Academy is available on the library’s homepage. Look for the orange tab on the right hand side of the page that says “Tutorials”.

If you have any questions on how to use the tutorials, please don’t hesitate to email us at info@nchcpl.org. Happy learning!

Explore Your Roots Using These Resources

By Mary Hammons,

Most people are interested in their family’s history. What if you could use this time to find out more about your family and your ancestry? Your New Castle-Henry County Public Library has resources available to help!

Heritage Quest is one of the largest genealogy databases in the country and includes access to census data and the ability to perform advanced searches. It is loaded with books under “Place Histories” and “People Histories.” You will need your library card to access this information but it can be accessed from home. The library has a helpful tutorial you can watch to learn more.

Free and accessible from home, FamilySearch gives you the opportunity to discover your family history with records spanning billions of names across hundreds of collections.  This program has about the same sources as Ancestry and works in the same way.   It includes an efficient Site Map and help is available on  “Get and Give Help” , including a Research Wiki, and Research Help. There is also access to digitized books and other records that have not yet been indexed. You are able to build your family  tree on this site.  If you are a paper person the site has lots of charts and forms. The library has a helpful tutorial you can watch to learn more..

American Ancestors supported by The New England Historic Genealogical Society allows you to explore a wealth of resources and research tools from the nation’s oldest genealogical organization. Establish a new account or use guest access to find information on this site. 

Interested in local history? The library also provides access to over 46 thousand entries from Henry County newspapers which are available as a searchable index of digital images. The papers up until 1928 have been indexed and a random selection of more recent years,  You can also search the Indiana Magazine of History, one of the nation’s oldest historical journals. 

Need to ask a question? Our reference staff is available to help you answer questions by phone from 2-5 pm Monday through Friday. You can also send an email to our genealogist: kathiew@nchcpl.org

“There’s never been a better time to explore your family history,” noted Janet Twigg, Reference Librarian. “Not only are there many online resources available, you can also connect with some of your older relatives in the search by talking with them on the phone or sending letters with questions.”

Don’t have a library card to access genealogy material? You can get a temporary digital card here: https://evergreen.lib.in.us/eg/opac/register  Enter “New Castle-Henry County PL–New Castle” as your home library. A staff member will be in contact with you.

Library Cards Bring Stories To Life

By Mary Hammons,

In the popular “Toy Story” movie series, toys come to life and share stories and adventures together. Likewise, a library card can help readers bring stories to life. The New Castle-Henry County Public Library, along with the American Library Association (ALA), celebrates Library Card Sign-up Month in September.

The community is encouraged to apply for a free library card and pick up a gift at New Castle-Henry County Public Library. Adults and teens who sign up for a card will get a tote bag, courtesy of Friends of the Library, and children will receive a special “Toy Story” sticker.

Resources such as streaming video and music, and access to print and e-books are available to anyone with a library card. Additionally, cardholders at New Castle-Henry County Public Library can access many other “Evergreen” libraries throughout the state.

This year, the characters from “Toy Story” are the Library Card Sign-up Month’s honorary chairs, helping to promote the value of a library card and bring attention to the many ways libraries and librarians transform lives and communities through education. During September, the New Castle-Henry County Public Library will host several activities, including an antiques appraisal on September 14, Adult Spelling Bee on September 19, and a Noteworthy Concert on September 26. Find out more by visiting www.nchcpl.org and clicking on the Events link.

Since 1987, Library Card Sign-up Month has been held each September. During the month, the ALA and libraries unite together in a national effort to ensure each member of the community signs up for their own library crd. For more information about how to sign up for a library card, visit the New Castle-Henry County Public Library at 376 S. 15th St. or find more information at www.nchcpl.org/about/get-a-library-card.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Robert Hack

By Mary Hammons,

“Should she be baptized and accept the Dark Lord’s final blessing… or should she go to the pep rally and after-party with Harvey?”

This isn’t the Sabrina Spellman you remember.

Most of us are familiar with the TV sitcom Sabrina the Teenage Witch that aired during the 90’s until the early 00’s. When we think of Sabrina we remember her comedic talking cat Salem, spells that go wrong and turn people into pineapples, and her relationship with her school crush Harvey Kinkle.

This comic gives us everything that the TV sitcom gave us, but with a dark veil draped over it. Sabrina Spellman will discover she is a witch on her sixteenth birthday, but it won’t be by surprise. She will be asked to sign Satan’s book to join his coven as the rest of her family did before her. Salem will be present but rather as a demonic entity that has taken the form of a cat to protect her in the coven. In exchange for her signature, Sabrina will become a powerful witch but she will be asked to give up her mortal life – including Harvey Kinkle. Will she do it?

Do yourself a favor and read this graphic novel if you love horror, psychological thrillers, witches, or the Netflix adaption. The form of graphic novel also gives an atmosphere unlike any other since all the scenes are visually drawn out for the reader.

P.S. Fans of the Archie comics may notice a few familiar faces if they look hard enough.

Review by Austyn B., Circulation Assistant.