From the WNY Library Complete Count Committee:
How can our region’s libraries prepare to assist their users?
The 2020 Census officially begins April 1, 2020. Households will receive an invitation to participate in the census. Three options will be available to respond: online, by phone, or by mail. Libraries, particularly public libraries, will be on the front lines answering questions, assisting patrons with completing the census online, providing additional information on why the census matters…and it does matter!
The Census will shape how $675 billion plus dollars in federal funding will be distributed to the states to support necessary programs and infrastructure including schools, roads and highways, natural disaster response, hospitals services, and, most important to libraries, LSTA funding. The Census is required by the U.S. Constitution to determine representation in Congress and the Electoral College (known as reapportionment). This data is also the basis for drawing districts for federal, state, and local offices (known as redistricting). At stake is New York’s representation in Congress. It is predicted that we could lose two representatives in the House due to shifting populations and possible undercount particularly in the rural NY areas.
In The Media:
Sheryl Knab and Heidi Ziemer were interviewed by Government Technology magazine about the impact Census 2020 could have on the digital divide: https://www.govtech.com/network/Could-the-2020-Census-Help-Bridge-the-Digital-Divide.html
Below are resources that can help your library and your patrons understand the impact of the 2020 Census.
One Stop Resource
2020 Census LibGuide (provided by Southeastern New York Library Resources Council)
Western New York Census Toolkit (created by Partnership for the Public Good)
Hard To Count Maps (US Census Bureau)
2020 Census - Dos and Don'ts (updated as of 10/25/2019)
50 Ways Census Data Are Used (From the 2020 Census Complete Count Committee Guide - US Census Bureau)
These banners were created for a traveling exhibit on the 2020 Census that WNYLRC is providing to the state. Please fill out this form to request the banners for display in your library. The accompanying online exhibit is now available at: https://nyheritage.org/exhibits.
WNYLRC held a workshop on October 18, 2019, that included a panel discussion with Q&A. Panelists included:
Buffalo & Erie County Public Library and the 2020 Census
Buffalo State and the US Census
Preparing for the 2020 Census In Your Libraries
Catskills Ramapo Library System and United States Census 2020
2020 Census - US Census Bureau
We've Got The Numbers! - US Census Bureau
To ensure consistency in messaging among our libraries, use these templates to both increase awareness and encourge your users to complete the census. It also encourages them to view the library as a trusted place for information and completing the census online. You can customize the templates with your own logo. Provided templates are the courtesy of Buffalo & Erie County Public Library.