Summer Reading Challenge
June 15 through August 16
Registration is now open!
We are offering a virtual summer reading program this year—participants can track the books they read and write reviews through our reading challenge website facilitated by Beanstack. You can sign up by visiting https://springfieldmontco.beanstack.org. You can also use the Beanstack mobile app to sign up and track reading; it is available on iOS and Android.
Track your reading from June 15 through August 16. You may sign up at any time and you’re not required to log in each day. Participants may read whatever they want and however they want! Physical books, e-books, audiobooks, etc.; it all counts.
Log the books you read to earn virtual badges and write reviews to be entered into raffle drawings. The reviews you share also help us to compile recommendation lists.
For help with using Beanstack, see the video tutorials and documents below:
Virtual Summer Art Classes
Join local artist Ginny Benner for another great summer art program, this year virtually! Watch the videos below to see how to create your own landscape, floral, and abstract art paintings.
AARP Tax-Aide Program
This program was suspended earlier this year due to the COVID-19 crisis, and will not reopen in its previous format for this tax season. Instead, AARP has recently launched tax prep coaching. See the information below:
Tax prep coaching will be provided by Tax-Aide volunteers to help people who are preparing their own taxes online using one of the AARP recommended services.
Taxpayers will need to understand that coaching is very different than the tax preparation services that Tax-Aide volunteers were providing at the library. Tax-Aide coaches will not be doing any data entry, will not be printing the tax return and will not do electronic filing. There won’t be a review by a second preparer. All of that will now be done by the taxpayer. Tax-Aide volunteers are restricted to providing hands-off help, hence the term “coaching”.
Taxpayers can request a coaching session online at https://www.aarp.org/money/taxes/aarp_taxaide/. In the request, a taxpayer can specify two dates, and two times on each of those dates for their session. Taxpayers should also describe the type of help requested – e.g., “I need answers to a few questions” or “I need help with preparation of my entire tax return”.
Obviously the length of a session will vary depending on many factors, but a session to prepare an entire return will probably take at least two hours.
After a session has been requested, a Tax-Aide volunteer will respond via email. The goal is to get a response out to the taxpayer within 2 days, but if AARP is overwhelmed with requests, that goal may not be met. Note that the responding volunteer will probably not be local as they are drawn from a state-wide pool.
Coaching sessions will be conducted via Google Meet. Taxpayers can participate via Google Meet (with or without video) or can elect to dial in via telephone. Taxpayers who elect to participate via telephone would need to use a telephone with speakerphone capabilities so that they can have their hands free to work the computer.
Because Tax-Aide volunteers are limited to coaching, taxpayers need to be aware that it will be their responsibility to do all online data entry. Taxpayers who do not have internet access or are not comfortable using online apps, or who would have trouble doing their own data entry, should not avail themselves of this service and probably need to get help with their taxes from a family member, friend or paid preparer.
In order to limit the length of time needed for a help session, a Tax-Aide volunteer may decide that a tax return is too complicated or involves too much data entry and terminate the help session with a recommendation that the taxpayer use a paid tax preparation service.