Libraries across the country and locally are gearing up to serve a vital role in the nation’s 2020 Census.
The Bellingham Public Library is supporting the 2020 Census by:
- Hosting Questionnaire Assistance Centers in March and April 2020 (see library calendar for days and times);
- Hosting a comprehensive website guide of Census 2020 information and FAQs;
- Teaming up with local organizations to get the word out about the importance of a complete and inclusive count of all people in our communities.
Every 10 years, the federal government conducts a population count of everyone in the United States. This once-in-a-decade population snapshot is mandated by the U.S. Constitution.
“When people hear about this year’s Census, or begin to receive information in the mail about it, we know they will have questions,” Bellingham Public Library Director Rebecca Judd said. “We are here to offer comprehensive Census information, answer questions, and provide internet access so people can fill out the form online. Helping ensure a fair, accurate, and inclusive census aligns with public library values and the needs of the communities we serve.”
Judd noted that public libraries are particularly positioned to reach populations that are traditionally under-counted, including young children, people of color, people whose home language is other than English, and people experiencing homelessness.
“The under-counting of these groups can undermine their voices in our democratic system and reduce access to crucial public and private resources in the communities where they live,” she said.
Your response counts!
Each and every individual living in our community is an important part of Census 2020. The results of each U.S. Census determine the allocation of more than $800 billion annually in federal funding to states and local governments, as well as determines congressional representation and district boundaries for federal, state, and local offices.
The official U.S. Census Day is April 1, 2020, but preparation for the Census has been underway for some time. You may receive information prior to that date, but you are asked to count everyone who is living in your residence as of April 1, 2020.
Libraries serve vital role
As Census outreach begins across the country, public libraries serve vital roles providing accurate information about the Census and giving people access to Census information and access to fill out the online census form.
One of the most important ways public libraries are supporting Census 2020 is by providing internet access. Millions of Americans do not have internet service at home. Lacking reliable access to the internet can create barriers to applying online for census jobs, completing online training for these jobs, and completing the online census form. Because libraries provide reliable internet access to everyone, they play a vital role in supporting a complete and accurate census count.
For more information, visit our U.S. Census 2020 web page.