Census abstracts has been an basal apparatus in allocating resources, answer new services, and advocating for funding. Libraries accept continued played a role in the conception and burning of that data, and in 2020, our role will be added important than ever. The 2020 Demography will be the aboriginal in its 230-year history that can be taken online, and libraries will charge to be able and affianced to ensure an across-the-board and complete calculation of our nation’s residents. In apprehension of this actual shift—and with 25% of apartment units in the US after internet access—the American Library Association (ALA) is investigating what this will beggarly for accessible libraries beyond the country.
On October 25 at the Chicago Accessible Library, ALA—alongside ally Forefront, Voices for Illinois Children, and the US Demography Bureau—explored how to actualize the best across-the-board calculation possible. This affair was allotment of a Demography Solutions Workshop, one of abounding actuality hosted about the country. The allowance was arranged with about 80 participants, including almost a dozen from Illinois libraries; Illinois Library Association Executive Director Diane Foote; assembly from the US Demography Bureau; two Cook County Commissioners; Robert Rivkin, the City of Chicago’s agent mayor; and Illinois State Rep. Theresa Mah.
During the workshop, attendees formed on claiming questions, such as:
According to a abstraction by the Center for Urban Research at the City University of New York, a accessible library is amid aural bristles afar of 99% of hard-to-count demography tracts articular with the everyman acknowledgment ante in 2010—and 73% of the time a library is amid aural one mile. As Forefront’s President and CEO Eric Weinheimer remarked, “If not us, who? If not now, when? The charge for a complete demography calls us to action.”
ALA is agreeable with association stakeholders to ensure that libraries are arrive to and represented in the action discussions and planning process. For example, Nashville (Tenn.) Accessible Library Director Kent Oliver spoke at the National Association of Counties appointment in July. Earlier in October, ALA appear a abrupt for policymakers, funders, and association partners.
Libraries are anon afflicted by the Demography through population-based federal allotment such as the Institute of Museum and Library Casework grants to states beneath the Library Casework and Technology Act. And this aftereffect is abstract abounding times for added basic programs that serve our best accessible communities—federal allotment for Medicaid, accessible housing, and the National School Lunch Program, to name a few. Working to ensure a complete calculation is fundamentally an affair of equity, diversity, and inclusion.
At the Midwinter Affair & Exhibits in Seattle, ALA’s Washington Office will present “Library Advocacy and Association Engagement in the 2020 Census,” Sunday, January 27, 4–5 p.m., to altercate how library staffers and supporters can access acquaintance of library casework and strengthen association relationships by accommodating in a Complete Calculation Committee. You can additionally chase forth via the hashtag #CountOnLibraries.
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