Every 10 years, the United States government conducts the Census — a national accounting of everyone living in every state. Census data is used to determine representation in Congress and the Electoral College, the amount of federal funding to states and localities and can be an important resource in developing your library’s strategic plan and services. Public libraries can play a key role in encouraging a complete and accurate count. This page contains information and resources to help you learn more about the upcoming Census and how your library can get involved in making sure every person is counted.
How Library Staff Can Prepare
How Your Library Can Prepare
- Anticipate increased use of library computers and the internet during this time. Evaluate the number of devices you have available for customers to complete the online questionnaire.
- Prepare library staffers to help customers navigate to the online questionnaire.
- Develop partnerships with city and county government officials.
- Consider hosting a Census job fair or sharing information about census job opportunities.
- Consider hosting programs and events to increase awareness about the upcoming census and how it impacts your community.
U.S. Census Bureau Resources
Complete Count Committees
Complete Count Committees are local groups that raise awareness and encourage response to the Census. Check the maps below to see if your county has one. If it doesn’t, consider partnering with other community leaders to start one. This toolkit and webinar recording can help.
Timeline of Key Census Activities
Source: Libraries’ Guide to the 2020 Census - American Library Association and the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality