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Library Happenings – 'Downton Abbey' brings much anticipation with final season (Jan. 6, 2016 issue)

The sixth and final season of “Downton Abbey” is underway. My Dowager Countess of Grantham teddy bear and I can barely contain our excitement–and consternation. The previews that have aired on PBS have offered fans tantalizing glimpses of drama and scandal. Lady Mary’s ill-considered tryst in Liverpool with Lord Gillingham has left her susceptible to blackmail.
And if Marigold’s disappearance lasts longer than a single minute, can Edith maintain the fiction that she is only the child’s guardian and not her mother? Who would have thought the flighty Lady Rose might turn out to be the family’s model of decorum?
“Downton Abbey” writer Julian Fellowes has warned us that not every question will be tidied up with a pink ribbon, but there are plenty of problems remaining from Season Five. Who killed the odious Mr. Green? Will Bates and Anna ever be cleared of suspicion in his murder? Will Carson and Mrs. Hughes really get married? Will “poor Edith” ever know more than five consecutive minutes of happiness? And will the “good” Thomas I suspect (or perhaps just hope) is buried deeply within the “bad” Thomas ever emerge?
Beginning at 10 p.m. on Jan. 17, we will have “Mercy Street” to divide our attention on Sunday nights. Inspired by actual events, this Civil War drama explores the conflict from the perspectives of two volunteer nurses who work at the Mansion House Hospital in Union-occupied Alexandria, Va. I imagine this facility will be a shade less genteel than the convalescent hospital that occupied “Downton Abbey” during World War I but the characters seem likely to be just as captivating.
Tax Forms
It happens every year. When the eagerly awaited Forms W-2 and 1099-R start arriving in mailboxes, our phone starts to ring with inquiries about tax forms. In an apparent effort to curb expenses and encourage taxpayers to file online, this year the Internal Revenue Service will provide tax form outlets like your library with limited quantities of a limited number of forms.
Their most recent notification indicated that we can expect Forms 1040, 1040 A and 1040 EZ along with their instructions. We do not expect to receive the various Schedules (A, C and D) often needed to complete Form 1040, but we can help you make copies or print them from the Internet. Forms will be delivered to us as they become available, with most tax products projected to arrive by the end of January.
If you want to order specific forms and publications for delivery to your home by U.S. mail, you may order them online at or call the IRS at 1-800-829-3676. If the product you want is available, they say it should arrive within ten business days.