Friday, March 20, 2009

Resource Spotlight: Gale Legal Forms

Our good friends at Gale recently gave the adult reference librarians in Arlington a virtual tour of our newest database: Gale Legal Forms. We were able to learn just how many extra features that Gale Legal Forms have.

Gale has the most extensive free forms site available to library patrons. Thousands of legal forms are available with more forms being added daily. They have official, state specific, federal, business, personal, real estate and general forms covering hundreds of legal subjects and issues, from real estate leases to plea agreements in criminal cases. Other subjects include adoption, divorce, business agreements, and wills and estate planning. Each form has different download options and some even have different versions that allow the user to choose the version that suits their needs.

Other services that Gale Legal Forms provide are a legal terms dictionary, the ability to locate all 50 states tax forms, some useful links to Texas state resources, and an attorney directory where you can ask a questions to attorneys that offer legal services online, and also contact the law firms for possible representation.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

The only sure things in life are death and taxes....

It's every one's favorite time of the year...or maybe not. April 15 will be here before you know it. Luckily, the Arlington Public Library has a lot of valuable resources to help make tax time less stressful. One of our best resources is AARP Tax-Aide Filing Assistance. Volunteers come to the library to answer your tax questions and help prepare tax returns. Click here to see when volunteers are available at your local branch.

The library also has a selection of forms and instructions sent by the IRS. If we did not receive the particular form you need, you can make a copy from our book of reproducible forms. For even more convenience, you can ask a staff member to print your form from the IRS website (printing and copying fees apply). You may find these titles useful as well:

J.K. Lasser's your income tax

The Ernst & Young tax guide

Tax savvy for small business: year-round tax strategies to save you money

Tax deductions for professionals

And if it comes down to it, don't forget to pick up an extension (form 4868).

Monday, March 9, 2009

Donald Justice, poetry for the American memory

It's early, I know, but I can't help but get a jump on National Poetry Month (April) by blogging about my favorite poet.

Donald Justice is a poet whose spare style belies a respectful melancholy for things long past, for memories of childhood tinted by the inability to truly revisit those times and places. A poem I consider to be the quintessential Donald Justice, one that carries with it the weight of the past, is his brief piece entitled "On the Death of Friends in Childhood," first published in The Summer Anniversaries (1960).

We shall not ever meet them bearded in heaven,
Nor sunning themselves among the bald of hell;
If anywhere, in the deserted schoolyard at twilight,
Forming a ring, perhaps, or joining hands,
In games whose very names we have forgotten.
Come, memory, let us seek them there in the shadows.

Justice began his college career studying piano, but eventually switched to poetry. He taught at several universities, including the famed Iowa Writer's Workshop at the University of Iowa. He was even known as an accomplished painter who created what I consider to be brilliant pieces reminiscent in tone and atmosphere of Edward Hopper. The cover of Justice's final book, Collected Poems, is decorated with 4 small slides of paintings by Justice.

What Justice is also known for is the way he took traditional forms such as the sonnet or villanelle and worked with them in such a way that they are fresh and often not easily recognizable as specific forms. A great deal of his work concerns an America and American landscape that I think many of us can identify with in one way or another.

"Bus Stop" (Collected Poems, 2004) is only five stanzas with most lines containing no more than three words. Justice describes standing in the rain and, as the bus pulls up and they prepare to enter, passengers close their umbrellas like "black flowers."

Even the titles of a few of his poems are rife with old bones: "Children walking home from school through good neighborhood", "The small white churches of the small white towns", and "To the unknown lady who wrote the letters found in the hatbox."

I'll end this entry with the images from one of my favorites by Justice. These lines remind me very much of my own weekends and summers spent on my paternal grandparents' small ranch. The following is from "Vague memory from childhood" (Night Light, 1967)

A lamp came on indoors,
Printing a frail gold geometry
on the dust.

Shadows came engulfing
the great charmed sycamore.
It was the end of day.

Shadows came engulfing.