Tax Forms and Telephone Directories

As we prepare to assess and review our reference collections, it’s important to also evaluate the uncataloged items that have been retained.  These are the big two:


Tax Forms

As the Internal Revenue Service continues to move taxpayers to electronic forms and filing, our collections of prior year’s forms and publications have become less important.  The IRS website now contains basic forms and instructions back to 1980.  It also contains the more complicated forms and instructions back to 1990.  All of these may be downloaded and printed free of charge in any of our buildings.  Therefore, it is the recommendation of the Reference Services Committee that only the current year’s reproducible forms be kept in the Reference Collection.


 Telephone Directories

Currently most of our community libraries receive free telephone directories from the telephone company.  The Reference Services Committee recommends that community libraries keep the current year’s directories of cities or counties that are most closely connected to their community.   For example, the libraries in the northern part of Snohomish County would keep the local directory and possibly the directory for Skagit County.  Libraries in the southern part of Snohomish County might keep their own city’s directory and Seattle or King County.   What telephone directories remain, should take up less than one bookshelf.  They should also be shelved with no processing—no labels, no reinforcement of the spine, no spine labels. 

We subscribe to RefUSA, which has both business and residential listings for all 50 states, plus Canada.    

Older telephone directories may be recycled locally. 

Your chance to be on the RSC

The Reference Services Committee says farewell to Roxanna Pandya from Lynnwood as she rotates off the committee in early 2009.   Roxanna has been a tremendous asset to this committee:   lobbying for continuation of targeted resources, developing job and employment presentations that others have used for community meetings, and pushing us to strive for consistent high quality in the presentation of our reference and information services. 

The committee has undergone some “structural” changes in the past few months and we are seeking someone to take Roxanna’s spot.  The term of a committee member is now 3 years–it’s no longer a life appointment!  We will be rotating committee membership throughout the library district and hope that each year will bring us a new member with enthusiasm and keen interest in reference services.

What’s the workload of a committee member?

Meetings    The committee meets every other month on the second Tuesday from 1-4:30.  Once a year there’s a day-long reference retreat (usually in August). 

Activities and Assignments 

  1. Select reference material and resources
  2. Develop reference training for staff
  3. Create reference procedures, make recommendations for reference guidelines and policies
  4. Contribute to the Reference Services @ Sno-Isle Blog
  5. Assist with the development and maintenance of subject categories of the website, templates of holidays and celebrations,  and other areas of the website, as assigned
  6. Assist smaller libraries with reference weeding
  7. Act as the conduit for information when the committee is seeking input from community library staff. 

Typically, these duties would require 4-8 hours per month.

Who may apply?

Any Librarian.  This position is open to Adult/Teen/Children’s Librarians with an MLS or MLIS.

How to apply?

Write a brief paragraph about your vision for information and reference at Sno-Isle.  Please sign it and have your supervisor approve it.  Send it to Terry Beck, Manager of Adult/Teen Services by February 1, 2009.

Statewide Database Trials are Open

The Washington State Library is pleased to host its 2008 Statewide Database Trials. The trials allow libraries to test out new and interesting databases without having to purchase them. The trials begin November 14th and will last through the end of December.


Once the trials are finished, please remember to fill out the survey expressing interest in those databases that you would like to investigate further.  And please contact Terry Beck if you have found something really great that you’d like us to explore.


Check ‘em out:

Top Virtual Reference Books in October

Who would have guessed?  Once again Encyclopaedia Judaica is at the top of the list. 

Encyclopaedia Judaica  2nd ed. 22v 2007                                                        
Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture  2nd ed. 6v 2008            
The Gale Encyclopedia of Science  4th ed. 6v 2008
The College Blue Book  35th ed. 6v 2008
New Encyclopedia of Africa  2nd ed. 5v 2008
New Catholic Encyclopedia  2nd ed. 15v 2003
West’s Encyclopedia of American Law  2nd ed. 13v 2005
Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History  2nd ed. 6v 2006
Ancient Civilizations Reference Library  4v 2000
Space Exploration Reference Library  5v 2005
Science and Its Times: Understanding the Social Significance of Scientific Discovery 8v 2001

Reference Weeding Schedule 2009

What’s this all about?

As part of our discussion about circulating reference materials, the Reference Services Committee determined that our first step should be an analysis of what’s in a reference collection.  They spent 2 months analyzing the collections at LYN MAR OAK SNO.  And they’ve come to the conclusion that there are items in reference that would be better placed as circulating items.  To make that happen the committee members will be weeding these reference collections and either removing the reference location or sending the item in for review.  We expect this process to take the better part of 3 months in the four reference centers.

But what about other branch libraries?  Terry and members of the Reference Services Committee will be weeding print reference collections in all other branches during the month of January.  Here’s their tentative schedule:

  • Thursday, January 8          CLI LNG FRE COU
  • Monday, January 12          EDM MTL BRI
  • Thursday, January 15        MIL MUK
  • Friday, January 16             GRA LAK
  • Monday, January 19           MON SUL
  • Tuesday, January 27         STA   ARL   DAR

What do you need to do on that day?  There should be a workstation available for us to do any location changes or reassignments.  Any items that will remain in your branch as circulating material will have to have “band-aids” cover the reference spine label.  That can be done by anyone in your branch (staff or volunteer) at any time after the location change.