Getting Ready for the 2020 Census

New York State Libraries: Guide to the 2020 Census

In 2020, the Census will be conducted primarily online for the first time. Like past e-government efforts, this will likely impact libraries and libraries' technology resources as staff work to assist people in participating in the Census. The 2020 Census also presents an opportunity to increase public awareness and use of Census data. To best position libraries to support our communities in the 2020 Census, we are engaging with the Census Bureau and other stakeholders to ensure that libraries are informed and represented in the policy discussions and planning process. We are advocating for a fair, accurate, and inclusive Census that recognizes the roles libraries will play in this vital civic effort. (source: ALA)


The U.S. Census – constitutionally mandated since 1790 – is being cut short.

Attempts to reach unresponsive homes were supposed to continue through the end of October, but now the population count will be wrapped up on Sept. 30. The Trump administration said it needed to end counting early in order to hit the deadline, but Democrats see this as just the latest effort to politicize the census to benefit Republicans – or, as NYC Census Director Julie Menin put it: “a disgusting power grab from an Administration hell-bent on preserving its fleeting political power at all costs.” A disproportionate amount of the households that have yet to be officially counted are people of color and immigrants.


On November 19, Governor Cuomo announced that New York State will spend as much as $60 million to make sure that every New Yorker is counted in the upcoming 2020 U.S. Census.

The State will leverage resources across CUNY, SUNY, and dozens of agencies and public authorities that regularly interact with millions of  New  Yorkers.  Together, New  York  State will launch a wide-reaching campaign valued at up to $40 million from existing resources that will inform the public about the Census and support efforts to encourage residents to complete the questionnaire.  [continue reading]


ALA has created a new one-page document that can be shared with elected officials and community leaders, “How Community Leaders Can Partner with Libraries to Achieve a Complete Count.”

In 2020, the Census will be conducted primarily online for the first time. Like past e-government efforts, this will likely impact libraries and libraries' technology resources as staff work to assist people in participating in the Census. The 2020 Census also presents an opportunity to increase public awareness and use of Census data. To best position libraries to support our communities in the 2020 Census, ALA is engaging with the Census Bureau and other stakeholders to ensure that libraries are informed and represented in the policy discussions and planning process. ALA is advocating for a fair, accurate, and inclusive Census that recognizes the roles libraries will play in this vital civic effort.


Cuomo’s Complete Count Commission Misses The Mark, Calls On  Governor To Fund Complete Count Effort

As Nation’s First Online Census Approaches, Libraries Prepare To Serve New Yorkers Lacking Internet Access, Digital Skills Needed To Understand & Complete Census Forms; Undercount Threatens New York’s Congressional Seats, Billions In Federal Funding

The New York Library Association (NYLA) is once again sounding the alarm on New York’s lack of preparation for the 2020 Census, the nation’s first to be conducted primarily online. The FY19-20 NYS Budget allocated $20M for statewide complete count efforts and NYLA is calling on Governor Cuomo to designate a portion of that money to support NY’s libraries. Unless New York State aggressively invests in statewide complete count efforts, a catastrophic undercount in 2020 is a near certainty. [continue reading]


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today the American Library Association released the Libraries’ Guide to the 2020 Census, a new resource to prepare libraries for the decennial count of every person living in the United States.

“Next year, when people begin to receive mail asking them to complete the census, we know that many of them will have questions about it. ALA’s new Guide is to make sure library workers have answers,” said ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo. “Working to ensure a fair, accurate, and inclusive census aligns with our professional values and the needs of the diverse communities we serve.”

The U.S. census is required by the Constitution and determines congressional representation; district boundaries for federal, state, and local offices; and allocation of more than $800 billion annually in federal funding to states and localities, such as grants under the Library Services and Technology Act. Libraries across the country provide access to a plethora of statistical data published by the U.S. Census Bureau and help businesses, government agencies, community organizations and researchers find and use the information. [continue reading]


Why the Census is Important

Key Roles for Libraries

How Libraries can Prepare

ALA Resources about the 2020 Census

Advocacy for a Fair, Accurate, and Inclusive Census

Learn More

Information courtesy of the ALA.