Tom Green County Library System in San Angelo, Texas, is closed to walk-ins but offering curbside checkout services, as explained by this image from their website.

Staying Open during COVID-19

March 23, 2020

But as of Monday, March 23, a handful of public and academic libraries were still serving patrons in person. “[Southeastern Idaho] Public Health said that we should maintain services, and they’re the experts, right?” says Robert Wright, director of Idaho Falls (Idaho) Public Library (IFPL), which has canceled all programming but remains open for the … Continue reading Staying Open during COVID-19



Special Report: 2020 Census Illustration: Kristen Solecki

Special Report: 2020 Census

March 2, 2020

What’s more, there may be confusion about this year’s count, which formally kicks off April 1. For the first time, the form can now be filled out online (as well as via mail and phone), and a hotly contested addition to the form—a citizenship question—was struck down by the US Supreme Court last summer (though … Continue reading Special Report: 2020 Census


Spanish-language census marketing materials used by Waukegan (Ill.) Public Library. Photo: Waukegan (Ill.) Public Library

Reaching the Hard to Count

March 2, 2020

“I was sent one of those letters,” says Rhonda Sewell, manager of external and governmental affairs for Toledo–Lucas County Public Library (TLCPL). “What’s at stake [in Ohio] is over $1,800 per person.” Sewell and others who joined the CCC decided that, to not lose federal funds, Toledo and Lucas County needed to hire a census … Continue reading Reaching the Hard to Count


Graphic: 50th anniversary of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA)

Living the Dream

March 2, 2020

How has the situation of African Americans in the profession changed since BCALA’s founding? Well, “it hasn’t gotten any worse,” says Trevor Dawes, vice provost for libraries and museums and May Morris University Librarian at University of Delaware, as well as past BCALA executive board member and BCALA liaison to ALA until last year. “We … Continue reading Living the Dream


The 2020 “Get Counted” team for Gail Borden Public Library District in Elgin, Illinois

Tips for Your 2020 Census Team

March 2, 2020

According to Dionne Roberts-Emegha, US Census Bureau community partnership coordinator for the Chicago region, March 12–20 the bureau will mail to most households an invitation to complete the 2020 Census online or by phone, with mailed reminders sent through April. The invitation will include a code to identify the residence and help minimize duplicate responses. … Continue reading Tips for Your 2020 Census Team


Special Report: 2020 Census Illustration: Kristen Solecki

Census Stats and Myths

March 2, 2020

April 1 Census Day, or the date by which every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. 1790 Year the first decennial census was taken, as mandated by the US Constitution. $1.5 trillion Estimated amount in federal funds to support state, county, and community programs that is determined by US Census … Continue reading Census Stats and Myths


Graphic: Plug into the Census

Plug into the Census

March 2, 2020

Citywide collaboration in Baltimore Baltimore received a $250,000 grant from the state of Maryland to support census outreach efforts, led by the Baltimore Complete Count Committee (BCCC). The committee has worked closely with local libraries to implement a plan for “bringing the census to the people,” says Austin C. Davis, census project manager for the … Continue reading Plug into the Census


Collage of states on green background

State-by-State Snapshots

March 2, 2020

California Funding from state: $26.5 million earmarked for counties for outreach, some of which may go to libraries A cohort of California librarians, in conjunction with the California State Library and the California Library Association (CLA), created an online toolkit for libraries to help prepare for the census. CLA also established an online portal of … Continue reading State-by-State Snapshots


Illustration: Kristen Solecki

Fact Versus Fear

March 2, 2020

The flames of any mistrust that might have already surrounded this census have been fanned at least twice: First, by the new option to complete the form online, which may be met with diffidence by the 52% of American adults whom the Pew Research Center calls “relatively hesitant” about using digital tools, and which may … Continue reading Fact Versus Fear


Illustration: Kristen Solecki

After the Census

March 2, 2020

“Census data is the mother of all open data sets,” says Jeffrey Lambert, assistant director of digital inclusion and workforce readiness at Queens (N.Y.) Public Library (QPL). “It’s a huge resource about people who live in the United States, and it’s accessible to anyone.” Libraries have an important part to play in accessing that data, … Continue reading After the Census