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Friday Facts: Government Information You Can Use

This Week's Facts:

-Census Unveils Complementary Website to 1940s Records Release

-eGovernment Services Streamline Business with State

-US Mint Issues Coins Commemorating National Anthem

REMINDER: Tax Day Just Around the Corner

Less than a month to go until April 17th! If that date doesn’t ring a bell, perhaps April 15th does. That is the day that taxes are due. This year, April 15th falls on a Sunday and the third Monday in April is always celebrated as Patriots’ Day in many New England states. That gives the rest of us two extra days to get our taxes filed. If your library is running out of forms, or if a patron needs one that you don’t have, don’t forget about the IRS website. Their Forms and Publications page contains PDFs of their most popular forms and instructions. You can also run a keyword search for forms that aren’t quite as common. Have a patron with a tax question that you can’t answer? Not only can they contact their local IRS office, but there are many Taxpayer Assistance Centers around the country designed to help people with tax questions and problems. You can locate them by using their website here. Of course, this is also the time of year for state taxes. Check out the Department of Revenue page for information on INfreefile, tax form updates, and information for those with student loans or other items to claim. There is also a page for taxpayers affected by the recent severe weather.

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Friday Facts Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator

Elisabeth Hedges
Federal Documents Librarian
&

Kim Brown-Harden
State Documents Coordinator

Indiana Federal Depository Library Program

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Census Unveils Complementary Website to 1940 Records Release

1940 Census Records ReleaseAccording to a press release issued Monday by the Census Bureau, the Bureau has launched a new website in honor of the upcoming release of 1940 Census records in April. Genealogists, history buffs, and other fans of the Census know that a couple of years after the decennial census is taken, by U.S. law, the records are released for the Census that occurred 70 years before. The 2010 Census was taken two years ago, and so, the nation’s 1940 Census records are due to be released to the public this year on April 2. The main page of the website, devoted to “Taking you back to the 1940s,” features links to the webpages of the Census Bureau, the National Bureau of Economic Research, the US Department of Energy, and more that describe historical facts, figures, and photos from the 1940s, videos, songs, and other media.  A countdown clock is in the lower right corner of the website.  You can also take a look at the Then and Now part of the website to see population changes that have taken place in America between 1940 and 2010.

eGovernment Resources Streamline Business with State

Indiana Government Online ServicesMany people around the state take advantage of MyBMV and renew their license online rather than waiting in a line in person. However, did you know that there are several other services available online from the state as well? To begin with, Spring turkey season is just around the corner, so anyone looking to go turkey hunting this year will be happy to know that they can purchase their license online here. Any fishermen and women in your library can use the same form to purchase their fishing license. In addition to fishing, hunting, and driver’s licenses, you can also use the Professional Licensing Agency website to renew your professional license. This service is available for nurses, x-ray operators, librarians, and more. Additionally, you can also use the website to verify that a particular person or business has a license.  Finally, another useful online service comes from the Indiana State Police. Their Limited Criminal History Search contains felony and class A misdemeanor arrests within the state of Indiana. Unlike the first two services, this is not free. However, it is a way for citizens to access important information from their own home. For information on other online services offered by the state, be sure to check out their website here.

US Mint Issuing Coins to Commemorate National Anthem

Star Spangled Banner Commerative CoinPress release courtesy of U.S. Mint

As a replica 15-star, 15-stripe flag gallantly waved above the ramparts of Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine (NM&HS), the United States Mint presented the 2012 Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative Coins to the Nation during a special ceremony.  The coins commemorate the bicentennial of Francis Scott Key's writing of our national anthem on the morning after the British bombardment of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. 

"The designs on these coins, whose sales will commence today, will help connect us to our national values, as they were embodied in the American flag that flew proudly atop Fort McHenry that morning, and which inspired the words of our national anthem," said Daniel Shaver, Chief Counsel of the United States Mint.

Joining Shaver to celebrate the release of the new commemorative coins were U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, Representatives C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger and John Sarbanes - co-sponsors of the legislation that created this commemorative coin program - Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley and Fort McHenry NM&HS Superintendent Tina Orcutt.  Following the ceremony, those in attendance were among the first in the Nation to purchase the coins, which became available March 5 at the United States Mint's Web site, http://www.usmint.gov/catalog.

"The 2012 Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative Coins are a fitting tribute to Maryland's vibrant people, stories and history," said Governor O'Malley.  "These coins are a great way to support the bicentennial celebration of the War of 1812 and become a part of this remarkable celebration."  

Authorized by Public Law 111-232, the "Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative Coin Act," the United States Mint is minting and issuing up to 100,000 gold $5 coins and 500,000 silver $1 coins in proof and uncirculated qualities.  Surcharges collected from coin sales - $35 for each gold coin and $10 for each silver coin - are authorized to be paid to the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission.  The commission will use these funds to support its bicentennial activities, educational outreach, and preservation and improvement of the sites and structures related to the War of 1812.

In addition to the United States Mint's Web site, the public may order the 2012 Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative Coins by calling 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468) or 1-888-321-MINT (6468), the bureau's dedicated telephone line for hearing- and speech-impaired customers with TTY equipment.  All domestic orders include $4.95 for shipping and handling.

The United States Mint, created by Congress in 1792, is the Nation's sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage and is responsible for producing circulating coinage for the Nation to conduct its trade and commerce.  The United States Mint also produces proof, uncirculated and commemorative coins; Congressional Gold Medals; and silver, gold and platinum bullion coins.

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