State libraries ask Mainers for support through $5 income tax donation

28 February 2014

AUGUSTA- At a time when public libraries play an increasingly important role in local communities, Mainers can now support these institutions through a convenient tax check-off program. Through a program created to help sustain Maine's public libraries as both community and economic development centers, Maine State Income Tax Return filers have the option to conveniently contribute $5 or more by filling out the Schedule CP section of the Form 1040ME. The funds raised through the Maine Public Library Tax Check Off Program are dedicated to sustaining programs and services offered through Maine's public libraries.

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In recent years, these institutions have expanded their programs services to reflect the increasing importance of technology in both our society and our economy. Last May, the Maine State Library completed the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program, increasing available computer workstations and other technology at public libraries across the state.

This technology is now hard at work in Maine communities, where public libraries are working to increase access not only to books, e-books, and other media, but also to broadband internet, job skills training, and technology used for diverse purposes such as home energy audits. Community support, including funds raised through this program, allow public libraries to offer these services free of charge. "Our libraries are local, on the ground institutions that support Mainers in 264 communities across our state," said Maine State Librarian Linda Lord. "Mainers can help keep their local library up to date with the latest technology, programming and resources by remembering to "check off" a contribution to the Maine Public Libraries Fund when they do their taxes this year. A little from many can mean so much and add up to a lot."

According to the American Library Association, 40 percent or more of public library visits nationwide are for employment-related needs, making these institutions vital engines of economic opportunity. Through BTOP alone, well over 10,000 people have benefited from training at public libraries, while many more have participated in other library programs to receive similar training. Maine's public libraries make important contributions to workforce development by offering digital literacy and other job training, as well as by providing a trusted, local resource for Mainers who are looking for work.
Simply by offering high speed internet access, public libraries make this technology available to many who would not otherwise have it. Of the 264 public libraries in the state, approximately 255 offer high speed connections or cable connections.

Contributions made through the Maine Public Library Tax Check Off Program go toward the Maine Public Library Fund, which provides grants to Maine's public libraries for use in providing services like those above. For assistance with participating in the Maine Public Library Tax Check Off Program, visit maine.gov/revenue or consult your tax advisor.

Comments

donate to libraries

The UMFK library benefits as well since it is a member of the state download library (which I love to use). It also has a great program that allows patrons to request books from libraries all over the state of Maine and get them here quickly using a courier service. Some of the monies donated will go to pay for these state run services. Here is a link that gives a lot more info: http://www.maine.gov/msl/tax/index.shtml