DEARBORN — Dearborn Public Library was named one of 59 libraries nationwide to receive a $2,000 Library Census Equity Fund grant from the American Library Association, which awarded the grants to bolster library services to hard-to-count communities and help achieve a complete count in the 2020 Census.
Library Director Maryanne Bartles said she was grateful for this grant as the 2020 Census count is critical to funding services in Dearborn.
“It is vitally important that each resident be counted in this 2020 census. Dearborn Public Library is preparing to work closely with the community in order for this accurate count to be made and the funds awarded from this grant will be so helpful toward achieving this goal,” Bartles said.
The plans to assist the Census count in Dearborn include working with the Library’s English as a Second Language classes as well as the Salina School community via the Remote Book Locker location at Salina Intermediate School.
Materials will be printed in a multi-lingual format to explain the importance of completing the 2020 Census and stressing the confidentiality of the 2020 Census survey. It is against the law for any 2020 Census worker to share information about individuals or their households, and they can be jailed if they do so.
Additionally, outreach activities across the community focusing on the residents of the senior facilities will be planned and presented.
“The efforts of the Dearborn Public Library will shine a light on all the library workers across the country who are shouldering efforts to reach and inform their communities — especially vulnerable and hard-to-count populations — about the importance of a full and inclusive count,” ALA President Wanda Brown said.
The results of the 2020 Census will determine how more than $1.5 trillion in federal funds are allocated each year to state and local governments.
When residents are missed in the Census, their communities miss out on needed funding for services such as libraries, schools, healthcare and transportation. Because the Census sets the population count for 10 years, that means funding for a community will be impacted for 10 years. An undercount will mean fewer funds for 10 years.
The U.S. Constitution requires a census of all residents every 10 years. In the 2020 Census, residents will have the choice to respond online, by phone, or by mail. The U.S. Census Bureau will send mailings to households prior to Census Day, which is April 1.