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

Reference Question of the Week – 9/12/10

   September 18th, 2010

April 15 - Time is Running OutEarlier this week, a patron walked up and asked if we had any tax forms. I showed him where we keep the leftovers from last tax season, and told him anything he couldn't find there we could print from the IRS and state websites.

He looked at the forms for a few seconds, then turned to me and said,

No, I want the new forms for this year, so I can get an early start on them.

I feel the need to reemphasize that this happened this week, specifically on September 14th (eight months and one day early!). Being asked for tax forms in December and January always seemed early, but September?

Tags: , , , , , ,

3 Responses to “Reference Question of the Week – 9/12/10”

  1. Jen Says:

    I would laugh except that I expect we will get the same question soon at my library. Normally we start having questions about the upcoming year’s tax forms in October or November.

  2. Lichen Says:

    Here’s a crazy question… how should patrons know we don’t get the forms until after the first? For all they know they’re shipped to us well in advance, right? It seems like something only librarians know and, for some reason, expect everyone else to too.

  3. Brian Herzog Says:

    @Lichen: I don’t mean to take it for granted that patrons know anything about the interworkings of a library (unfortunately most of it isn’t self-evident) – I was just stunned that anyone would want to work on their taxes that early. Besides, it doesn’t seem like something you can do that early, considering he’s still earning income and interest and everything (presumably, anyway).