Explore our resources during income tax season

Calculating taxesNorman Public Library Central again will offer multiple resources for local residents as they face the income tax season.

Two separate groups will offer free assistance for those making less than $53,000 per year.

Trained volunteers from the University of Oklahoma College of Law will be on hand for VITA Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sessions, from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays beginning Jan. 31 and running through April 12.

The AARP’s Tax Aide program will have its volunteers at the library from 5 to 9 p.m. Mondays, starting Feb. 5 and going through April 9.

Taxpayers are asked to bring the following items:

Proof of identification – Picture ID

Social Security Cards for self, spouse and dependents or a Social Security Number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter for self, spouse and dependents

Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN

Birth dates for self, spouse and dependents on the tax return

Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, 1099-Misc from all employers

Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)

A copy of last year’s federal and state returns if available

Proof of bank account routing numbers and account numbers for Direct Deposit, such as a blank check

Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider’s tax identifying number (the provider's Social Security Number or the provider's business Employer Identification Number) if appropriate

Help is given on a first-come, first-served basis and no advance registration is taken.

The library also has resources for printing forms or accessing online tax forms. However, library staff are not certified in tax preparation or to answer questions about filling out forms themselves.

Josh the Otter is teaching water safety at the library

Story timeNorman Public Library Central welcomes Josh the Otter for a lesson on Water Safety, a special Spring Break activity at 2 p.m. Monday, March 19.

Josh is a baby otter who will help with kid-friendly lessons in water safety, as well as help participants do some water experiments.

Activities are best for ages 5 to 12 and their grownups, and all families are welcome.

Registration is not required in advance.

Midnight Writing Society giving tween authors an introduction to writing

Pen and paperNorman Public Library Central is building young authors through its new Midnight Writing Society, which will meet at 3 p.m. on Monday afternoons (except for one Tuesday), beginning March 19 and running through April 30, at various sites around Norman.

Ages 8 to 12 are invited to attend the group, which will have the goal of unlocking creativity and bringing basic beginning writing skills to participants.

Topics, dates and locations for the series are:

Monday, March 19Write the Story Scavenger Hunt, at Norman Central

Monday, March 26Time Travel with Historical Fiction, at the Moore-Lindsay Historic House Museum, 508 N. Peters Ave.

Tuesday, April 3Story Art, at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave.

Monday, April 9Poetry Slam! At Norman Public Library West, 300 Norman Center Court

Monday, April 16 – It’s a Mystery (details TBA)

Monday, April 23Editing Workshop: Putting Your Stories Together, at Norman Central’s Computer Training Center

Monday, April 30Celebrate Writing! Wrap-up and Share, at Norman Central

Registration is required in advance. Children will need their own transportation to locations and parents or guardians will need to stay on site for the duration of the day’s program.

Eat Smart with ideas from workshop

VegetablesNorman Public Library Central is giving the community ideas to “Eat Smart” in an upcoming workshop at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 22, in the Lowry Room.

Tara Douglas from the Cleveland County Health Department will lead the program, sharing ideas and recipes for healthy snacks that are easy to make at home and good for the whole family. Participants will get to taste items and take home items to share.

Ages 18 and up are invited to attend, and registration is required in advance.

The program is made possible through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, in partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Libraries.

Make a plan for spring cleaning with author’s presentation

Messy roomNorman Public Library Central is getting the community ready for a spring cleaning with its upcoming workshop “Decluttering at the Speed of Life with Dana White,” at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 24, in the Lowry Room of the library.

White is the author of “How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind: Dealing with Your House’s Dirty Little Secrets,” and will share many of her secrets for keeping clutter in check.

White also is the host of the podcast on the same topic, “A Slob Comes Clean.”

This workshop also is being presented at 2 p.m. March 24 at the Moore Public Library.

The program is for ages 18 and up, and registration is required in advance to attend.