Seven Places To Find Used Home Furniture

Home furniture can be quite costly, especially if you need to completely furnish your house. A big way to cut costs is to buy used furniture. Here is a list of possible locations to find good deals on some quality pieces.

Used Furniture Stores

A good place to start is at stores that specialize in used furniture. These establishments acquire the furniture from various sources and usually have a wide selection to choose from. Keep an eye out for special sales and promotions so that you can get an even better deal on low cost home furniture that you need.

Rental Stores

Stores that rent furniture usually offer to sell pieces that have already been rented several times or have been replaced by newer models. This does not mean you have to purchase furniture that is out of fashion, especially if you prefer the classical style. Like blue jeans, there are some basic furniture that are always “in.”

Classifieds Ads

Most local newspapers have a classified section. Nowadays, you can probably access it online. If you live in a small community, search the nearest large-circulation newspaper. You can often find individual pieces of furniture listed from people who have purchased new items and want to get rid of the old without having a big garage sale. Don’t forget to search Craigslist.com for your city.

Garage Sales

Here is a great place to find excellent deals on used home furniture. For example, I recently bought a sleeper sofa that looked brand new for only $200. It was valued at over $800. Most newspapers run a special section in the Friday edition that lists weekend garage sales in the area. Since many people frequent garage sales, you need to get an early start if you hope to find the furniture you want.

Estate Sales

Estate sales are similar to garage sales except that all items in the house are usually for sale and not just a few things. This generally means a lot more furniture pieces are available. Besides offering more, estates sales tend to have home furniture that is in better conditions than that found at garage sales.

Storage Auctions

There are many different reasons why someone might abandon their belongings in a storage unit but, independent of the reason, it means great saving for you on furniture. Auctions at storage units are usually announced in the local newspaper. You can, of course, call local storage companies and ask for auction dates.

Online Auctions

At the writing of this article, there were hundreds of used sofas, chairs, recliners, tables, bedroom sets and more listed on eBay. The site allows you to search for home furniture by location so you can find something near to where you live. If you don’t find what you are looking for on eBay, try some of the other online auctions.

By using the resources listed above, you ought to find the used home furniture that fits your style at a price that fits your budget.

IRS Takes Action to Ensure Accurate Tax Preparation by Preparers

The IRS has been sending out letters to income tax preparers for the past few years reminding them of their obligation to prepare accurate tax returns on behalf of their clients. During the month of November, the IRS started sending out letters to more than 21,000 tax preparers across the country. The reason for these letters is because the returns prepared during the past tax season have shown a high percentage of inaccuracies and misinterpretations of the tax law. The agency will be focusing on preparers who prepared a large number of individual returns with Schedules A (Itemized Deductions), C (Profit or Loss from a Business), and E (Supplemental Income or Loss) during the past filing season.

The letter contains an enclosed documents related to Schedules A, C and E. The documents address some tax issues that the IRS review considers to have been misunderstood or misinterpreted.

Tax return preparers are expected to be knowledgeable in tax law. They are expected to take the necessary steps to file an accurate return on behalf of their clients. These steps include reviewing the applicable tax law, and establishing the relevancy and reasonableness of income, credits, expenses and deductions to be reported on the return.

In general, preparers may rely on good faith client-provided information. However, they can not ignore reasonable inquires if the information furnished by their client appears to be incorrect, inconsistent with an important fact or another factual assumption, or is incomplete. Tax preparers must make appropriate inquiries to determine the existence of facts and circumstances required as a condition of claiming a deduction or a credit.

Both the tax preparer and their clients may be adversely affected by incorrect returns. These consequences may include any and all of the following:

• If their client’s returns are examined and found to be incorrect, they (the client) may be liable for additional tax, interest and penalties.

• Preparers who preparer a client’s return for which any part of an underestimate of tax liability is due to an unreasonable position can be assessed a penalty of at least $1,000 per tax return.

• Preparers who preparer a client’s return for which any part of an underestimate of tax liability is due to recklessness or intentional disregard of rules or regulations by the preparer, can be assessed a penalty of $5,000 per tax return.

The letter further goes on to state that preparers in addition to their responsibility to exercise due diligence in preparing accurate tax returns for their clients should also be aware of the IRS’s tax return preparer requirements. This includes entering the Tax Preparer Identification Number on all returns prepared for compensation and adherence to the electronic filing requirements.

IRS revenue agents will be conducting 2,100 compliance visits nationally with members of the tax preparer community. The purpose of these visits is to make sure that preparers are complying with the current return preparer requirements and to provide information on new preparer requirements effective for the 2012 tax season. These visits are expected to start in November 2011 and be completed by April 15, 2012.

Taxpayers should be careful when choosing a tax preparer. While most paid preparers provide honest and excellent service to their clients, there are some that make common mistakes or engage in fraud and other illegal activities.

Reputable preparers will ask to see receipts and other documentation when preparing a tax return. They will ask numerous questions to determine whether expenses may be claimed as deductions or qualify for favorable tax treatment. By choosing a reputable preparer you can avoid additional taxes, interest and penalties that could result from an examination of your tax return.

In summary, the IRS continues to monitor tax return preparers. They are looking to make sure they are in compliance with tax return preparer guidelines and they continue to review tax returns in which there has been shown a high degree of inaccuracies and misinterpretations of the tax law.

Different Fashions – Alternative Fashion Styles

Clothing was always, ever since man started wrapping himself in various animal fur, a statement of a certain kind. Fashion, as a style popularized and excepted by many in modern day, just deepened that statement’s importance. Choosing one style or another gave people in all cultures a way of expressing themselves, and as there was always a fashion followed by majority of society, there was another, somewhere in the back of it, denying and rejecting it.

Alternative fashion styles are tightly close to music genres of what is also labeled as “alternative”, such as rock and roll, punk, gothic, hardcore, and all varieties that rose up from those. Many social and cultural issues are brought up by associating a subculture with a type of music and a way of clothing, such as denying status quo of classes, governmental policies, distribution of power, and identity policy which majority popularized. Identity, in fact, is the most important aspect of alternative fashion and as an embodiment of it, it produced a variety of styles, to show the same variety of opinion, discontent, or rejecting the traditional values which are always transformed in shape but steady in structure in the mainstream fashion.

Reimagining one’s own identity is a process that is followed by changes in personal appearance and usually approaching values of a subculture which offers to individual a better view of society. Those values are mirrored in music, clothes and accessories. Influenced by vintage and retro fashion, dress styles, forms of visual and performance art, personal attitudes towards concepts such as individuality, consumerism, social constructs on behavior, and considerations of availability and utilitarianism, rock and roll and punk had a very strong ground to stand on when social criticizm through clothing became unseparable part of the genres.

Since the 50s and 70s which were the turning point years, rock and roll and punk styles got multiplied by many, and brought us gothic, cyber gothic (and other varieties of gothic fashion which is still one of the strongest alternative movements in creation of new gender roles and identities and social boundaries), industrial (strongly influenced by military uniforms), Beatniks, Metal, Heavy Metal, Glam Metal (and many subgenres of metal music which has their own set of clothing styles), Hippie, Riot grrrl, Lolita, Mod, Ero kawaii (and many, many, many Japanese influenced styles with a strong influence on Western fashion, alternative and mainstream, such as Elegant Gothic Aristocrat), and many more. Individuality is an important part of alternative fashion, but there are always patterns (otherwise we would not call it a fashion), and even punk fashion, as an extreme form of rejecting social system through hairstyle, piercings, ripped clothes etc has a certain structure which can except anyone who wants to join it.

As styles change, and we are going further in time from the origins of musical genres which brought us new fashion(s), it is apparent that they are still here, regardless of gender, class, age or culture, transforming and giving people a stronger voice to say “We are different, and we want more”.

School Library Provision and Services in Sierra Leone

Introduction

Harrod’s (2000), defined school library as an organized collection of books placed in a school for the use of teachers and pupils, but usually for pupils. It may comprise books of reference and or books for home reading and in the care of a professional librarian, or teacher-librarian. It is variously call “Instructional Materials Centre”, “Learning Centre or Media centre.”

The School library serves as a service agency which supports the schools’ objectives and provides materials for all subjects and all interest of pupils and teachers. The school library is a supportive resource of the school curriculum, its provisions, services, and development is directed at aiding school programs (Kinnel, 1994).

Libraries generally have as their main purpose acquiring, processing, storing and disseminating information to which school library is not an exception. The school library has a vital role to play in the information service. They provide materials relevant to the curricular needs of everybody with the school community. The importance of providing such resources cannot be overemphasized if the school library is to be an instigator of and support for resource based learning in the school.

Also, in relation to information skills, the library and its librarian, make available materials and services in different varieties to allow both pupils and the school community to use these skills in finding the information they need.

The purpose and philosophy of school library service are rapidly being understood and accepted by school administrators and teachers. The fact necessitates that the school librarian be thoroughly familiar with those purposes such as guidance, the reading program and the enrichment program for pupils and teachers. However, Albert Academy library has no trained and qualified librarian, who understands and performs those purposes in order to ensure that the service provision is fully attained.

Albert Academy School Library

The Albert Academy was inaugurated on the 4th October 1904. It was until 1975 when the Albert Academy Alumni Association in their meeting thought it wise that such a reputable institution must not go without a library as the development of school libraries was at its highest peak at that time. An idea to erect a library building was born with the collaboration of the alumni association and the owners of the school that is the United Methodist Church. The library was established with the aim of having a place where pupils could go and explore new ideas to further strengthen their school curriculum activities and leisure as well.

The library was officially opened to the entire school community by His Excellency the late Dr. Siaka P. Stevens on 4th October 1976, then President of the Republic of Sierra Leone and also a member of the Albert Academy Alumni Association class of 1922. The library was named after him following the immense contribution he made towards establishing the library for the school community. The Albert Academy Library has a mission to “Support school curriculum activities by providing materials of relevance in the school process and to introduce new and improved information sources to help make the school to be in line with modern standards of education.”

The objectives of the Albert Academy school library are as follows:

I. To provide pupils with library materials and services most appropriate and most meaningful in their growth and development;

ii. To participate fully in school programs as it strikes to meet the needs of pupils, teachers, parents and others community members;

iii. to stimulate and guide pupils in all phases of their reading that they may find increasing enjoyment and satisfaction and may grow in critical judgment and appreciation;

iv. To make available new development and keep pupils abreast of modern trends in education recognize reader’s needs and keeping them well informed in order to create a well dynamic educational environment;

v. To work with the teacher in the selection and production of educational materials that meet the aims of the curriculum, offer guidance in the use of collection, evaluation of education programs and materials, facilitates the location, organization and maintenance of materials efficiently; and

vi. To help pupils to become skilled users of libraries and of printed and audio-visual materials.

Library Provision at Albert Academy School Library

A major role in the information service provided by modern school library is in the provision of materials relevant to the curricular needs of pupils and teachers. In recent years, the curriculum activities have moved to another level, where the school being supportive resource of this movement, must endeavor to house a variety of print and non-print materials and have access where possible to electronic sources of information which are also part of the information resources in the library.

Given the demands of the modern school curriculum, the school library must now house a wide variety of print and non-print materials and have access, where possible, to electronic sources of information. The Albert Academy School provides printed materials, book, fiction and non-fiction as well as pamphlets, newspapers, chart, pictures, monographs, manuals, handbooks, textbooks and other reference books the library also provides non-books materials which include audio and audio-visual materials, slides, tape-slides, video cassettes, and CD ROM’s. Although these are not materials in the traditional sense, they still constitute resources for use by pupils and teachers. Use of electronic sources help school libraries to present pupils and teachers with a concept of a School Information Centre which is not continued to the school but is a link to an unending supply of information (Herring, 1988).

Albert Academy School Library Services

The purpose of establishing Albert Academy School Library is to provide services for both pupils and teachers in a bid to fulfill one of its major purposes, which is to aid curriculum goals by providing services that are indispensably linked to the fulfillment of this purpose.

One of the principal services of the Albert Academy School library is to act as back-up to the under resourced school program. Even advanced countries cannot easily stock materials ranging from five thousand (5,000) to twenty thousand (20,000) in a small room to provide help to school programs. Therefore, they see the need for central stock of materials which can be borrowed for differing lengths of time (lending service) and also for reading and consultation services. This is done in order to augment the school curriculum at the Albert Academy which is inclusive of the Basic Sciences and Technology, Social Sciences, Humanities and the Fine Arts.

Albert Academy School library also provides inter-library loan services requests. This is particularly valuable to senior pupils studying topics across subjects offered in depth. Pupils who cannot afford to purchase or access such expensive materials benefit from this type of library service. Through inter-library loan services, materials are sourced from other schools libraries for the benefit of both pupils and teachers.

A reference service is also provided at Albert Academy School library. The School Librarians spend a sizeable proportion of their time providing what in other libraries term would be termed as reference service. In providing a reference service, school Librarians perform a similar role to that of other librarians. In a reference interview in school, each pupil is treated as important as the other and given the Librarian’s full attention. This is achieved by personal assistance given to the pupils and teachers in finding specific information whether direct or indirect. Some of the reference materials at the Albert Academy School Library are dictionaries, encyclopedias, directories, yearbooks, biographies newspapers, maps and charts, and the academic and administrative calendar of events or the operation of the school.

One of the most valuable services provided by Albert Academy School library is that of information provision. The Albert Academy School library keeps the teachers and pupils informed about new educational resources and development in the fields of interest to them by displaying the jackets of books that just arrived. The Albert Academy School library uses Current Awareness Services (CAS) to achieve this goal. This is done by identifying the information needs of both teachers and pupils and meeting these needs. Linked to the CAS is the Selective Dissemination of Information (SDI) and this is more particular with teachers. This ranges from keeping individual teachers informed about new resources in the library or about newly published materials, to alerting teachers to meetings and course demands or event linked to their curricular interest.

Challenges of Library Provision and Services at the Albert Academy School Library

No matter what an organization has to count as success, is bound to face certain difficulties that stand before it as challenges to its success. School Libraries in Sierra Leone, especially Albert Academy School Library are not without challenges.

To start with the library and its resources have been ignored by the pupils and teachers. Despite their all-important nature of service provision in support to them they do not see it as a valuable part of their activities. This is because most teachers and pupils do not get adequate supply of textbooks and other materials directly linked to the curriculum program and most teachers prepare pamphlets for sale to pupils from which there teaching is based. This has caused most of the pupils to heavily depend on those sources instead of the library resources.

The School Library has a staffing challenge. For example the Albert Academy School Library has no professional library staff to handle an information service for over two thousand pupils and teachers.

Furthermore, the library has a challenge with space. The space provided for the library from inception is now not enough for the school. The school population in terms of teachers and pupils has grown relatively high to over two thousand (2000) pupils and staff as compared to the space provided for a little over Five hundred (500) pupils and staff about 40 years ago. It has become difficult to access the library and its resources.

In addition, there is a funding problem. The Albert Academy School Library is faced with the difficultly of securing funds from the schools authorities for an effective collection development. The library depends heavily on donations and gifts to stock its collection and most of these materials given in this guise are not reflective of the courses offered in the school curriculum. Often, the school administration has to spread meager financial resources across a wide spectrum of school needs.

The establishment of the computer laboratory with slight internet facilities independent of the school library has also created a problem for the Albert Academy School Library. The teachers and pupils would prefer to visit the Computer centre for Internet services much more that visiting the library. The separation of the Internet facilities from the library services has posed a serious threat to the library provision and services.

Also, it is quite proven that the Albert Academy School Library lacks the capacity to provide for the visually impaired or handicapped. The absence of school library materials in the Braille format prevents blind and the partially sighted pupils to utilize the available library resources in their schools libraries.

Final, the issue of preservation of library materials is not a common practice for the Albert Academy School. This preservation is supposed to ensure that the materials last long because of their frequent use. It has become difficult to access funds to preserve materials that are under threat of wearing out through continuous use.

Despite some gloomy predictions on the future funding of education and possible restrictions on the availability of resources at the Albert Academy School Library, the future of the school library seems assured. It can be argued that because of current educational and technological trends, there has never been a greater need for well-resourced and professionally staffed school library than it is now. The emphasis on the individual’s-the child’s and the adult’s-ability to find and use information effectively is likely to continue in schools, at work and for leisure pursuits. A future society dependent on electronic information for its prosperity will need an information curriculum in its schools. Hence the availability of good school library provision and services in the school curriculum cannot be overemphasized (Kargbo, 2000).

Choosing the Ideal Modern Home Furniture

Selecting the right furniture for your home may be a little challenging especially if you do not have an idea where to look and what to look for. Most people these days are either too busy or simply do not have the idea to find furniture sets that would match the design of their house. Furniture sets are actually essential components of the house since it has a lot of functions and it enhances the overall design of the house both indoors and outdoors. A simple home could even be turned into something special with the aid of furniture sets.

There are different sets of furniture available in the market such as modern dining sets, television stands, book shelves, a modern coffee table, and many others that you can use to further improve the overall look of your house. Since you will have plenty of options, you would need to consider first what you would really need most especially if you have a limited budget. Determine which ones to buy, compare different rates from different furniture shops, and do a little surfing on the web to gain more information.

You would also need to consider which parts of your house the furniture would go. Common areas of the house which have furniture are the living area, the dining area, patio, and individual rooms. The part of the house which has the largest space is usually the most ideal part where different types of furniture are placed. It follows that the design and the color of the furniture you use complements the color of the house. Depending on your preferences, you could also try to mix and match different designs or colors and see if it would fit your requirements.

Though it is just normal that most people buy furniture because of its outside appearance, functionality and the type of materials used should also be given importance. Different types of materials are ideal for different parts of the house. For example, it would be a nice idea to use furniture made from stainless steel outside of the house instead of those which are made of wood or plastic since it is more durable. It would also be nice to use wooden furniture indoors if you want your house to project a vintage or classic look. How you use and where you put your furniture could also affect how long they will last.

Another great idea when it comes to choosing the right type of furniture to use in your house is getting recommendations from other people. You can seek advice from family, friends, or even your neighbors. If you are willing to spend extra, you may hire the services of expert individuals such as interior designers or you may even hire design firms. All these would depend on how much budget you would have, what you want, and what you need. Ensure that you consider all the important factors before you make the final decision so that there would be no regrets and so that you will achieve the end result that you are really aiming for.