This Monday, April 1 marks the beginning of a year-long push to fulfill the nation’s constitutional requirement of counting and recording all United States residents every 10 years. Throughout 2019, your library is partnering with the U.S. Census Bureau to help answer questions about and encourage participation in the 2020 census. We will host census-related events throughout the year, including an info session in the spring led by Census Bureau staff. Our staff will also be available to help people complete paper and online forms throughout the census season, and we will have dedicated stations set up to accommodate people who lack personal access to the internet.
Census 2020 is the nation’s 24th census. The first one was taken in 1790 (before Tennessee was even a state!). Next year will mark another historic first, as it is the first year that residents will be able to complete the form entirely online. The Census Bureau has made this change as a way of reaching populations that have historically been under-represented in traditional census counts.
Completing a census form directly benefits your local community, including your library! Congress uses the collected data to determine funding for important federally-funded programs and projects such as assistance programs and housing, hospitals, schools, Library Services & Technology Acts, and more. This information also reapportions the House of Representatives, determining how many seats each state gets, and state officials use the data to redraw the boundaries of legislative districts. Researchers, libraries, nonprofits, businesses, and real estate developers (just to name a few) use the census results to plan services, allocate resources, and invest in community development.
To help raise awareness and educate the public about the upcoming census, the Census Bureau is hosting a live press briefing at 11 a.m. on Monday, April 1. Census Bureau Director Dr. Steven Dillingham and others will talk about the status of operations and provide updates on the integrated partnership and communication campaign. Members of the public can tune in to the live event here.
To learn more about the census, visit https://www.census.gov/2020census. Stay up to date on upcoming census events at the library throughout 2019 by calling 423-434-4450 and following Johnson City Public Library on Facebook and Instagram.