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



From the President by Wanda Kay Brown

Don’t Be Counted Out

March 2, 2020

Quite simply, representation matters. If people aren’t counted in, they will most likely be counted out. That’s because the census informs everything from districting for federal, state, and local offices to the allocation of as much as $1.5 trillion in federal funding to states and localities. The census intersects with the work of libraries in several … Continue reading Don’t Be Counted Out


Burton Reist, assistant director for communications at the US Census Bureau

Closing In on the Census

February 29, 2020

“It’s a critical civic effort, it affects everything political and economic in communities,” said Larra Clark, deputy director of the Public Library Association (PLA), at “2020 Census Countdown: What You Need to Know,” a February 28 program at the PLA 2020 Conference in Nashville. “The census doesn’t happen in the quarters of Washington—it happens here,” … Continue reading Closing In on the Census


Opening Session speaker Stacey Abrams on stage at the 2020 Public Library Association Conference in Nashville on February 26. (Photo: Laura Kinser/Kinser Studios)

Everyone Counts

February 27, 2020

“In 2018, I did not become governor of Georgia,” the nonprofit CEO, 11-year Georgia House representative, recent Democratic gubernatorial candidate, and author of the forthcoming Our Time is Now (Henry Holt and Co., June) told a packed auditorium at the Opening Session of the Public Library Association (PLA) 2020 Conference in Nashville on February 26. … Continue reading Everyone Counts


Ana Ndumu

Completing the Count

January 26, 2020

Who sees my data? Do you need an ID to fill out a census form? Who should I include on my form? “People are afraid to answer the census, that’s what our research has shown,” Burton Reist, assistant director for communications for the US Census Bureau, told attendees at “2020 Census: How Libraries Can Support … Continue reading Completing the Count


2020 calendar

2020 Voting and Census Timeline

December 2, 2019

Voter registration: Many states have deadlines to register to vote or update a voter registration (for example, if a previously registered voter has moved, changed their name, or regained eligibility to vote). To vote in a state’s primary or caucus, these deadlines are generally one month before. To vote in the 2020 general elections, these … Continue reading 2020 Voting and Census Timeline




2020 Census (Image: Rebecca Lomax/American Libraries)

ALA Statement on SCOTUS Census Ruling

June 27, 2019

“The American Library Association agrees that there is a ‘substantial mismatch’ between the Commerce Secretary’s decision and the rationale he provided for adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. We welcome the Supreme Court’s decision to at least temporarily block the addition of the question. ALA has consistently opposed the addition of the question on … Continue reading ALA Statement on SCOTUS Census Ruling


Making It Count

June 3, 2019

The 2020 Census kicks off next April. As always, some census takers will be out knocking on doors. But for the first time, people will also be able to complete the questionnaires online. Librarians can help provide space, equipment, and information to guide patrons through the process. Conducting a fair and accurate count isn’t as … Continue reading Making It Count


Loida Garcia-Febo

Supporting Our Agenda

May 1, 2019

Threats to libraries include budget cuts and legislation that would directly impact people from our communities, including women, children, first-generation college students, job seekers, new US residents, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, and all the other people who visit our libraries every day. Our strategy needs to be twofold: library advocacy and community engagement. We … Continue reading Supporting Our Agenda