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Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners Resource Guide Collection

Census 2020 in Massachusetts: Programming

Programming Ideas and Suggestions

Interested in offering 2020 Census related programming? Here are some ideas to get you started? 
Have a great idea? We'd like to hear from you. Drop us an email

Questionnaire Assistance Centers in Libraries

Programming for Adults

  • Hold a census filling out party! Invite people to bring their own device or make available library technology for residents to utilize. 
  • Host an event on Census Day - April 1, 2020 
  • Census pop ups at outreach events
  • Census solutions- brainstorming sessions about marketing and outreach. Be sure to include people working with hard to count communities. 
  • Classes on Genealogy and the US Census- future researchers will use the 2020 census to learn about their families or communities, like today's researchers rely on past data. Classes can explore the data available through various websites
    Thank you Lynn Blair, Southwick

Links to Library Programs: 

Programming for Teens

  • Engage the Teen Advisory Board to brainstorm programming options
  • A "mock census" to engage students
  • Programming around the importance of the census and future redistricting 
  • Engage teens volunteers at events when possible 
  • Invite teen volunteers to Complete Count Committee meetings where appropriate 
  • Utilize the Statistics in Schools program:  
    These are teacher designed lessons and activities that utilize Census Data. There are activities for all grade levels. 

Programming for Youth and Families

Technology and 2020 Census

Libraries’ Guide to the 2020 Census

The American Library Association and the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality recently released the Libraries’ Guide to the 2020 Census.: 

“Prepare for increased use of library computers and the internet

Millions of Americans do not have broadband internet service at home. Lacking reliable access to internet can create a barrier to applying online for census jobs, completing online training for these jobs, and completing the online census form. Because libraries provide reliable internet access, they will play an important role in supporting a complete count in the 2020 Census. Library workers can prepare for an uptick in need for these resources by considering how to speed up technology access for non-library card holders and how to handle peak demand [emphasis mine]—perhaps by designating one or more computers or mobile devices for “express” use or temporarily dedicating a device specifically for census response.”

In addition to having computers available, your library may need to review its internet/computer use policy.  Does your library’s policy:

·         Suspend a cardholder’s access to library computers and/or Wi-Fi due to fines?

·         Allow sufficient computer session time for patrons who may need longer to complete the Census or the Census worker online training?

·         Strictly limit the number of guest passes a non-cardholder can request?

These restrictions may create barriers to participating in the Census, as well as job searching, distance learning, etc.