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Do you shop on Amazon.com? You can Support the McDonald County Library for FREE just by CLICKING HERE when starting your Amazon shopping. (There is no extra cost for you. Our library receives a small commission for referring each sale.) Thank You for your support!

Tax Forms and Instructions

Taxes, taxes, taxes… Benjamin Franklin famously said: “The only things certain in life are death and taxes.”

But you can get back some of that excess money the IRS borrowed from you last year… The Pineville library has free paper copies of several of the most common tax forms and instructions. And if we don’t have what you need, here are the links to Federal and State forms you may need:

IRS Federal Forms & Instructions

Missouri State Department of Revenue Forms & Instructions

Arkansas State Department of Finance and Administration Forms & Instructions

Oklahoma State Tax Commission Forms & Instructions

Also, remember that trained volunteers at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites offer free tax filing assistance during “tax season.”

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Featured Freeware: FrameSize 2

Once again we’re recommending one of our favorite FREE software programs, that you can download directly to your home PC or laptop!

This week’s featured freeware program:  FrameSize 2

If you or someone you know got one of those increasingly popular Digital Photo Frames for Christmas, you’ll love this week’s Featured Freeware… Those frames are very nice, except typically they come in widescreen (16:9) sizes. Which is great for movies, but less great for digital photos which are commonly taken by digital cameras in a non-widescreen format (usually 4:3).  This results in the photo frame having to display the image matted with ugly black bars down the sides, or cropped by losing the top and bottom of the picture, or “smushed / stretched” all out of proportion.

FrameSize is an application that allows you to quickly & easily overcome these limitations and produce high quality images from your digital photographs that are formatted properly and perfectly optimized for your digital photo frame.

You can download it at:  http://www.freewarefiles.com/FrameSize_program_39129.html
And get more information at:  http://www.leansoft.co.uk/framesize/

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Spotlight On: COLOR Laser Prints & Copies

The Pineville and Noel Libraries have excellent photo-quality COLOR Laser printers available for public use.
And the Pineville Library has a very FAST COLOR COPIER that also produces excellent quality photo-copies and enlargements.

These color printers & copiers are great for when you need a last-minute custom Christmas card, or family newsletter, or large copies of a family photo to share with your guests visiting from afar this holiday season.  There are many websites and even some custom downloadable programs for creating these great and colorful items, which you can find online and use on our public computers here at your library! And you may use our special Graphics Computers to scan, resize & touch up your snapshots and even old Polaroids!

Our color printers can print photos and enlargements up to 8 x 10″ – and the color copier in Pineville has the ability to make huge  enlargements, up to 11 x 17″ – and while the results aren’t quite as good as regular photo enlargements made from film negatives, the quality is still surprisingly sharp! And the prices are right…

  • Letter sized (8.5×11″):  Color prints and copies are only 50 cents per page.  B&W are just 10 cents each.
  • Legal sized (8.5×14″):  Color prints and copies are only 60 cents per page.  B&W are just 15 cents each.
  • Tabloid sized (11×17″):  Color copies are only 75 cents per page.  B&W are just 20 cents each.

Note: Printing double-sided pages counts as two copies.  And because of problems in the past with incompatible photo paper, we are not able to use anything but our own regular (high-quality) stock papers in our copiers and printers.  (Sorry, our printers can’t handle your special glossy photo paper.)  But the bright-matte paper we use provides excellent results.

The library staff is always available to help you with your special copying and printing needs. Please don’t hesitate to ask!

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Featured Freeware: XnView photo browser

Once again we’re recommending one of our favorite FREE software programs, that you can download directly to your home PC or laptop!

This week’s featured freeware program: XnView 1.97

XnView is a powerful image browser used for viewing, converting, organizing and editing graphical & video files. With the amount of photos we generally take during the holiday season, sorting and finding the best ones can be a chore… And your camera may or may not have come with software that helps. But perhaps its time to try something different that offers many more options? XnView does things like “batch renaming” (changing the filenames of photos from the usual “IMG_1234.jpg” to something more useful such as “2010 Christmas with Aunt Jane 1234.jpg”); or even automatically re-sizing and improving the focus, color, and/or contrast of a group of photos all at once! That “Batch processing” feature is something that is often missing from professional photo software, and once you learn to use it (it’s really very easy) you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it!

Unlike many new programs, this works in virtually ALL versions of Windows, MacOS, Linux, and still more!
You can download it at: http://www.xnview.com/en/download.html
And get more information at:  http://www.xnview.com/en/index.html

XnView is another one of our all-time favorites… Although there are many similar programs out there (some of them we like just because they are open-source) but we’ve been using XnView here at the library on our public & staff computers for most of the past decade, and it has many amazing options we’ve not seen in anything else. It is free of charge for private non-commercial, educational use and non-profit organizations, so you are free to download and use it on your own home, personal computer.

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Featured Freeware: Firefox

Continuing our new feature:  Once every week (or so), we’re recommending one (or more) of our favorite FREE software programs, that you can download directly to your home PC or laptop!

This week’s featured freeware program:  Firefox version 3.6
Update, March 2011: Firefox 4 is now available

Mozilla Firefox is a free and open source web browser. Chances are, you may have already heard of, or use, the Firefox Internet browser/”explorer” – As of October 2010, Firefox is the second most widely used browser, with 30% of worldwide usage share of web browsers.  But for those who haven’t yet tried this excellent alternative to Microsoft’s built-in Internet Explorer browser, we wanted to bring your attention to this stable and time-tested freeware as it celebrates it’s 5-year anniversary.

If you’ve tried it before, but haven’t tried it lately, much has changed & improved in recent years. The latest Firefox features include tabbed browsing, spell checking, incremental find, live bookmarking, a download manager, private browsing,  and an integrated Internet search system using your choice of favorite search engines. Functions can be added through extensions, of which there is a wide selection, a feature that has attracted many of Firefox’s users.

You can download it at:  http://www.mozilla.com/firefox/
Firefox is also available for Mac OS & Linuxhttp://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/all.html

And once you’ve installed Firefox, there are literally thousands of totally free ways to adapt and personalize Firefox to fit exactly what you like to do online:  http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/personal.html.  In coming weeks, we’ll feature some of our favorite and most useful “Add-Ons” for Firefox along with our other featured freeware.

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