or, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fear and Loathing at a Public Library Reference Desk

Reference Question of the Week – 11/19

   November 21st, 2006

IRS logoI'm going to be traveling for Thanksgiving, so I wanted to get this one in right away. Yesterday, 11/20/06 (yes, note the date: November 20th), a patron walked up to the desk and asks:

Patron: Do you have any tax forms yet?

Tax forms. It's November, and this patron wants to work on filing his taxes already. Already. It's November. At best, we don't receive the forms from the IRS until January, and even that's pushing it sometimes.

It's bad enough that people are decorating for Christmas around Halloween (no kidding - I saw red and green Christmas lights up on Halloween night), but it's not even close to tax time yet. Oh well, I guess the first request of the season had to come sometime.

patrons, reference question, tax season, taxes

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6 Responses to “Reference Question of the Week – 11/19”

  1. Kate Says:

    Man, I don’t miss those tax forms. People would walk right past them to the reference desk to ask where they were.

  2. herzogbr Says:

    Yep, that’s true of many things – the perpetual trouble with signage.

    But one problem with my library is that we stick the tax forms just about as far away from the front door as possible, tucking them back in a corner. This year, right near where people come in, I’m going to try to make a large tax display with tax forms and instructions, the Lasser tax books, handouts, and, most of all, a very large sign that says “Tax Forms.” We’ll see how that goes.

  3. Liz Says:

    What, no Thanksgiving post??? 😉

    Actually, I have a technical question for all you experienced bloggers: Say someone uses your blog to post ads or something (this is, of course, purely hypothetical). Can you remove comments as you choose, or are the posts a permanent fixture once submitted?

  4. herzogbr Says:

    Sorry – I spent Thanksgiving with my family in Ohio, blissfully away from the computer.

    As for comments, I’m sure every blog is different. I use WordPress, which does allow me to moderate/delete comments manually or based on keyword filters. Since I’m new at this, my filter is still quite porous, hence the slog of spammy comments recently (plus me being away from the computer and unable to remove them). Currently, I’m getting about 80+ a day.

    But I did notice that Jessamyn recently mentioned a spam-proofing tool, which I am going to look closely at as soon as I get caught up.

  5. Liz Says:

    EIGHTY a DAY??? Wow. That’s incredible. So is one of those new spam-proofing tools solving math problems? I had to solve 0+8 to be able to post this comment. If you can read this, I must have solved it correctly (my first grade teacher will be so proud). If I had known you could remove posts I would have had you erase that “men under the desk” post long ago.

    Good luck with the spam filters. All this work–I’m so proud of all of you regular blog-keepers. You make it look easy.

  6. herzogbr Says:

    Curses… foiled again. However, you’ll be happy to know that since adding the math requirement, spam comments went down to forty-one. That’s a fifty percent drop – which means that not all spammers can add. Besides, I always have my delete key.