Helpful Tips for Tax Season

As tax season quickly approaches, the Olson Library is ready to help.  To file your federal income tax return, you can use IRS Form 1040A, Form 1040, or Form 1040EZ.

The 1040A is a shorter version of 1040. The 1040EZ is the easiest form to fill out. It is used for single and joint filers with no dependents. This means single people or couples with no children. Each of these forms have specific purposes. If you would like more information on them, visit our website’s tax resources. We offer all online versions of all the IRS forms you could need as well as instructions for each one. These instructions are to help distinguish which form is the right form for each individual.

If you need a general guide to getting the most out of your taxes, check out Publication 17. It offers a wide range of tax saving credit for college students and parents alike. If online forms aren’t your cup of tea, we offer the forms in front of the circulation desk as well as our Federal Depository Library guide to taxes.

The NMU Accounting club, Beta Alpha Psi, will be preparing taxes through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program this year. This is an IRS program with IRS certified preparers. The program prepares tax returns for individuals that have income less than $54,000 per year. The club will be preparing returns every Tuesday and Thursday from 5 – 7 p.m. Feb. 8 – April 18 excluding the week of March 28. The tax assistance is being offered at the University Center (UC) in the Trading Lab (second floor, near the skywalk) which is across from the Wildcat Den.

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Congratulations to the Winners: Student Juried Art Show

As the first annual Student Juried Art show at the Lydia Olson Library comes to a close, we’d like to recognize the winners.

Best of show was awarded to Colin Cesternino, for his digital illustration “The Bear Rises”


Next with an honorable mention, Alisha Tilson with a matted fine art photography piece titled “My Favorite Story”


The peoples choice was awarded to Melanie Flaherty & Bridget Waas for their “Cellfies” LN200 Glioblastoma Multiforme Cancer Cells, Venus fluorescent protein, taken with a microscope.



A huge thank you to all who voted and participated! Can’t wait to see what we have in store for next year! All pieces will remain until March 11!


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Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness

Native Voices explores the interconnectedness of wellness, illness and cultural life for Native Americans, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians. Stories drawn from both the past and present examine how health for Native People is tied to community, the land and spirit. Through interviews, Native People describe the impact of epidemics, federal legislation, the loss of land, and the inhibition of culture on the health of Native individuals and communities today.

Free to the public and available whenever the Olson Library is open.

More information here:

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MeLCat – a great way to get books, videos, and more!

MeLCat is a book and video loan system brought to you by the libraries of Michigan featuring our very own Olson Library. It offers personal selection and fast delivery directly to our library. Over 450 libraries participate in MeLCat, offering a large variety of materials in an easy to navigate system. If a book isn’t offered in MeLCat, try InterLibrary Loan (ILL). It offers all types of media including articles, which MeLCat does not offer access to.

The Benefits of MelCat

  • Faster than ILL with books arriving in about 7-14 days
  • Many partnering Michigan libraries for a wide variety of materials
  • Simple process to get materials
  • Lends books, music, audio, and more
  • Can rent books for three weeks and then may be renewed for three weeks more
  • Videos and CD’s can be rented for a week with no renewal

So how does MelCat work? Let’s say I’m writing a report on women who have advanced far in their careers and I need specific texts to back up what I’m preaching. I looked at all the books the library has to offer but I reallllly want the book Lean In: For Graduates by Sheryl Sandberg.

First, go to the home page and click on the MeLCat link as listed below.


Within MelCat you can easily search by subject, title, or author. After you have typed the title, hit Search and you’ll be taken straight to a list of results.

mel 4

Make a Decision

Look at all of your options. The original Lean In book pops up first but the book for graduates that was more recently released and revised, is what I want. The red rectangle will take you straight to the check out screen. The green arrow is pointing at a hyper link that will take you to a page with more information on the title such as what libraries have it and what the book is about.The yellow circle shows you how to search by format and underneath the circle, you are given more options as far as formats go.

mel 2.0

Check the availability 

After you decide on your title, you may click the button next to the title that says “Get this from MelCat!” or you may click on the title which will lead you to a screen like this.  It shows you where the book will come from and the specifics of the title. You can get the title by clicking next to the green arrow, see which libraries have it inside of the purple rectangle, and read the book information from the blue arrow.

mel 3


To get your books, you will have to log in. You will need your NMU ID. The red arrow shows you where to pick the instution you are registered with. A menu will drop down and you’ll have to scroll to find NMU. Then type in your name in the green box and put your card’s barcode in the box with the pink arrow pointing to it.

login in page

The barcode number can be found on the back of your ID. It’s fourteen digits and sits right above the actual barcode as shown below by the yellow rectangle.


If the title is NOT available, you will get a message like the one circled in blue. In this case, go back to the results page and find another title. Please note that electronic resources may not be checked out.


And if your title is available, you can check it out and afterwards you’ll get a screen like this. As shown by the pink rectangle, you can see that your order was successful. When your book arrives at Olson Library (roughly two weeks from the order date) you will get an email saying it is waiting for you at the front desk. There is also tracking available from your MeLCat account page.


If you have any questions, please feel free to call, chat, email, or stop by the front desk! Happy reading!

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Vote for Your Favorite Student Art Work Now!

As part of the Olson Library Juried Student Art Exhibition, the library will be awarding a People’s Choice Award at the Thursday, February 4 opening reception. The exhibition is currently open for viewing on the main floor of the library. Voting will remain open until 6:30 p.m. Thursday, February 4. Vote for your favorite work of art now!

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We need your feedback!

The library is undergoing a strategic planning process to become more responsive to your needs  Critical to this process is getting feedback from faculty, students, staff, and administrators at NMU.  We want to hear your thoughts on the library and what we can do better.

Please help us help you by attending one of the following focus groups.  Preregister at the link below. Free food will be provided.

Undergraduate Students
Monday, Feb 1st, 1:00-3:00pm, LRC 224 (Snacks/Refreshments)
Thursday, Feb 4th, 3:00pm-5:00pm, LRC 224 (Snacks/Refreshments)

Graduate Students
Monday, Feb 1st, 3:00-5:00pm, LRC 224 (Snacks/Refreshments)


Tuesday, Feb 2nd, 3:00-5:00pm, LRC 224 (Snacks/Refreshments)
Friday, Feb 5th, 9:00-11:00am, LRC 224 (Snacks/Refreshments)
Friday, Feb 5th, 12:00-2:00pm, LRC 224 (Lunch)

Register at:

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Healthy Eating Books on Display!

Welcome back wildcats! Hope that your long winter vacation served you well. As the new year begins, some of us are focused on how we can make this year the healthiest one yet.  Our showcase is filled with books on healthy eating so you can kick start 2016! There are books on the nutrients we get from our food to how to cook up just about anything. They are all available for check out at the circulation desk!



If you have any questions, be sure to stop by the circulation desk or contact us!

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MeLCat is Back!

The MeLCat servers are back up and running again. You can now make requests to borrow items from the more than 450 Michigan libraries that make up the MeLCat service.

If you have any questions or problems we can help with, please contact us.




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Cozy Reads for Break Time!

While the Olson library is an academic library, we do have some hidden gems to read for fun! If you like nonfiction, we’ve got tons, and believe it or not, fiction pops up regularly around here. This holiday season there is an entire section dedicated to fun reading books. On display on  top of the Juvie shelves, you can find tons of childhood favorites.   Here are some titles to get you started.

Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

NMU Pre-K -12 P44 L43

Miranda, a high school sophomore is living her plain old life when in a split second an asteroid knocks the moon closer to Earth. The result is terrifying, tsunamis are wiping out the coasts, earth quakes are shaking the contents and volcanic ash is blocking the sun. There is limited resources in this unfamiliar world, and they’re stuck in it. Told in the form of journal entries, this story is about Miranda’s struggle to hold on to the most important thing of all, hope. This is a young adult book with a sci-fi feel considering the apocalyptic plot.

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

NMU Pre-K -12 P871 G64

Lyra Belacqua is an orphan. She lives a carefree life among the scholars at Oxford’s Jordan College until two powerful visitors appear. First her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel. appears with evidence of mystery and danger in the far north including photos of a celestial phenomenon and a dim outline of a city suspended in the Aurora Borealis that he suspects to be part of an alternate universe. He leaves Lyra to the care of a enigmatic scholar who offers to give Lyria the attention her uncle has long refused her. In this narrative, nothing is as it seems and Lyra sets our to find the truth. Children are being captured and put under strenuous experiments. Lyra is determined to figure out what is happening, even if she has to do it alone.This book is part of a series and all of the books have pretty good reviews.

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Hedley

NMU Pre-K -12 H3772 M24

A girl named Aza Ray is drowning in thin air. Since birth, she’s had a mysterious lung disease that makes it hard for her to breathe. When Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family thinks she’s crazy. Turns out her best friend Jason believes her. Aza is lost to the world and then finds another. She is not the weak in this world but the strong brave and powerful. She finds herself navigating a new life and sees war on the horizon. The whole of humanity is in Aza’s hands, where do her loyalties lie? This book has a fantasy feel to it. It is whimsical with a dark twist.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

NMU Pre-K -12  A432 L572 1962

This  book is about the four March sisters- Meg, Jo, Amy and Beth. They have just moved to a new neighbor hood and face Christmas without their father who is in the midst of the Civil War. This story follows these sisters for the next fifteen years of their lives as they grow up and face many challenges. This book is older but is considered a classic.

All of these books are available for check out at the Lydia Olson Library along with a selection of others that have been set out on the top of our Pre-K through 12 section. If you need help finding a title, please don’t hesitate to contact us!


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Enter the Olson Library Juried Student Art Exhibit

NMU Lydia M. Olson Library Juried Student Art Exhibit

The NMU Lydia M. Olson Juried Student Art Exhibition will award a $100 prize (Best of Show) and $50 prize (Honorable Mention). The exhibition is generously supported by the NMU Lydia M. Olson Library in Support of Student Arts in the NMU Library. Submit your work via email by 5 pm on Thursday, January 21, 2016.

Questions? Contact:

Exhibit Rules and Information

Open to any currently enrolled undergraduate or graduate student.

Duration of Exhibition
Submissions must be received via email by 5pm on Thursday, January 21, 2016. The accepted artists will be notified by January 25, 2016. Accepted entries must be delivered to the Lydia M. Olson Library January 27th by 6pm. The exhibit will be on display February 1st through March 11th. All entries must be picked up by the artist at the end of the exhibit on March 11th or will be taken to disposal.

Any media will be considered. However, if participants are submitting digital media which requires additional materials to view the work then they must provide own equipment.

The object must be gallery ready – framed and ready to hang if a 2D object and 3D objects that are not intended to sit on the floor must come with a sturdy pedestal. Artwork should be practical for a public space. Please avoid submitting items that are too fragile, sharp, or small to be safe in such an environment. A limited number of cases are available on arrangement.

Submission of Entries
All entries must be submitted via email to A maximum of 4 entries per person is allowed, and each must be submitted separately. Each submission must include:

  • Entrant’s name and IN#
  • Undergraduate or graduate student status
  • Email address
  • Telephone number
  • Title of the piece
  • Dimensions and materials used
  • Attached image file of the piece being submitted

The winning art work will be selected by a committee. Image entry must be JPEG digital files. Review will be by digital image only. JPEGs should be no larger than 300 dpi at approximately 4 by 6 inches, and a maximum of 8mg. All digital files must include the artist’s name and title of the submission (e.g. smithpainting5.jpg). Please do not use quotations or spaces in file names.


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