VITA program offers free tax preparation to low-to-moderate-income (annual income under $51,000) individuals and families who cannot prepare, or need help preparing, their own tax returns. Certified volunteers sponsored by various organizations receive training to help prepare basic tax returns in communities throughout the country. VITA training involves classroom and/or online courses and self-study programs and an IRS certification exam. VITA sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools and colleges, shopping malls, and other convenient and well known locations Trained community volunteers provide assistance with special credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit (CTC), and renter/homeowner Credit for the Elderly, for which taxpayers may qualify. In addition to free tax return preparation assistance, most sites offer free electronic filing (e-filing). Individuals taking advantage of the e-file program receive their refunds in half the time compared to returns filed on paper, and even faster if they have their refund deposited directly into a bank account.
Foreign and Independent Film Series
The Great Falls Public Library’s Foreign and Independent Film Series continues its eighth season on Wednesday, March 5 at 7:00 pm. and Saturday, March 8, at 2:00 pm. This series is free and open to the public.
March’s selection is the South African film Lucky. This film tells the story of 10-year-old Lucky, who vows over his mother’s grave to make something of himself. Leaving his remote Zulu village for school in the big city, he stays with his negligent uncle. Bonding with a Hindi neighbor, an old woman with an inherent fear of Africans, Lucky shows how a child’s spirit can bring out the best in even the hardest of cases and circumstances. This film is in English, Zulu, and Hindi, with subtitles. It does contain some adult situations.
There is no featured short this month.
Films will be shown each month on the first Wednesday and the following Saturday. The series, which runs September through May, is free and open to the public. Be forewarned, some films may contain strong language or adult situations. They are not rated by MPAA but in our brochures we have tried to indicate content. Brochures are available at the library.
The new book discussion groups introduced by the Great Falls Public Library this year continue in March. Page Forward Saturdays continues on Saturday, March 8, 10 a.m., and continues on the second Saturday of each month. This discussion group is unique in as much as each month’s discussion will be a celebration of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in Montana and will focus on books written by and about Montana women.
March’s selection is My Hutterite Life (2003) by Lisa Marie Stahl. Stahl, a young Hutterite woman who grew up at the Gildford Colony near Havre, Montana, provides a rare public glimpse into the lives of the Hutterites, a communal religious group with colonies in the upper Midwest, Northwest, and Canada.
Originally appearing in the Great Falls Tribune, Lisa’s "On the Colony" columns cordially and tenderly shared details about the Hutterites’ style of dress, colony organization, beliefs, holidays and celebrations, and day-to-day life.
Her first-person-style articles have been collected, organized, and bound for the first time in this special book. Beautiful black and white photographs by Michael Crummett complement the text.
Page Forward Wednesdays continues on Wednesday, March 12, 7:00 pm, and continues on the second Wednesday of each month. If you like to read and are interested in a fun, stimulating discussion group, check this out.
March’s selection is Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. It's the beginning of a lazy summer in 1950 at the sleepy English village of Bishop's Lacey. Up at the great house of Buckshaw, aspiring chemist Flavia de Luce passes the time tinkering in the laboratory she's inherited from her deceased mother and an eccentric great uncle. When Flavia discovers a murdered stranger in the cucumber patch outside her bedroom window early one morning, she decides to leave aside her flasks and Bunsen burners to solve the crime herself, much to the chagrin of the local authorities. But who can blame her? What else does an eleven-year-old science prodigy have to do when left to her own devices? With her widowed father and two older sisters far too preoccupied with their own pursuits and passions, Flavia takes off on her trusty bicycle Gladys to catch a murderer. In Alan Bradley's critically acclaimed debut mystery, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, adult readers will be totally charmed by this fearless, funny, and unflappable kid sleuth. But don't be fooled: this carefully plotted detective novel (the first in a new series) features plenty of unexpected twists and turns and loads of tasty period detail. As the pages fly by, you'll be rooting for this curious combination of Harriet the Spy and Sherlock Holmes.
Participation is free and open to the public. The groups meets in the Small Meeting Room in the basement of the library. A limited number of books will be available for checkout at the front desk of the library three weeks prior to each discussion.
The Great Falls Public Library is offering book discussion kits for checkout. These kits contain 10 books per kit, along with discussion guides and information on starting and maintaining book discussion groups and clubs. The kits may be checked out for 45 days, with renewal if needed. Late fees are $ .10 /day. A kit may also be reserved if it is in use, for future check out. Currently, the library has 14 titles for checkout. As the kits grow in popularity, additional titles may be added. The current titles are:
Stones from the River
We Were the Mulvaneys
Same Kind of Different as Me
The Maltese Falcon
The Language of Life
Dreams of My Father
Dead Man Walking
A Walk in the Woods
True History of the Kelly Gang
Goodbye Wifes and Daughters
The Great Falls Public Library is hosting free drop-in sessions on March 6 and March 20th, from Noon to 1 pm. These sessions will offer training for using electronic gadgets to access and utilize various library materials, including MontanaLibrary2Go. From MontanaLibrary2Go, patrons may download audio and e-books for check-out. The sessions are not meant as general training or tech support for electronic gadgets, but rather as stated above geared towards using electronic gadgets in relation to various library resources.
Devices include, but are not limited to, e-readers, Smart phones, iPads, iPods, mp3 players and other comparable devices. If applicable, attendees are reminded to bring passwords and usernames. For more information on these ongoing trainings call the Information Services department at 453-0349.
In March the library is hosting an art exhibit of works by students from the Great Falls Public schools in honor of Youth Art Month. The exhibit will include works from elementary to high school students. A reception, which will be free and open to the public, will be held on Friday, March 7, from 4:00 – 6:00 pm. Live music will be provided by members of the Great Falls High Jazz ensemble and refreshments will be served.
Also in March, the Ladies of Hibernia will have a small exhibit of Irish memorabilia and photos, commemorating Irish American Heritage Month.