Patron: Could you help me an an EIN?
Me: ein... Wort? Flugzeug. es gehört Ihnen.*

I crack me up.**

A patron wanted to find an Employer Identification Number for a report she was submitting to something or other. I didn't think that information would be available (wouldn't they be confidential? like SSNs?), much less freely available, but I played along. I checked the databases we subscribed to, did a quick search to find EINfinder and FEINfinder, (neither are free, though they both offer 'trial' searches) and then did a quick read of a Wikipedia article (shhhhh) to gather more clues. Nada.

I was surprised (guess I shouldn't have been) that the EIN numbers are not confidential. After the patron left in a hurry (to go to work where she knew she could access the number) I did some more looking around and found that businesses often verify a tax identification number. Also found that Melissa DATA includes a nonprofit organization lookup, which includes EINs.

*Translation: One...word? Airplane. It's aaalllll yours.
**Translation: I am SUCH a NERD. Sleep deprivation is no excuse. And no, I didn't actually say this during the transaction.

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