American Library Association becomes 2010 Census partner

Contact: Lisa Coy
Development Coordinator
ALA Development Office
(312) 280-3259
lcoy@ala.org

NEWS
For Immediate Release,
September 21, 2009

CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) has become an official 2010 Census Partner, working with the Census Bureau to promote the value of accurate and complete census data and to create a positive impact on the questionnaire response rate.

Next year, the U.S. government will start the 2010 census, our nation’s 23rd, as required by the U.S. Constitution. In February and March, the Census Bureau will begin mailing or delivering census questionnaires to households in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Island Areas. For the 2010 Census, the Census Bureau has changed the way it conducts the national count. Households will receive only a short-form census—taking just minutes to complete—that will count all residents living in the United States and ask for name, sex, age, date of birth, race, ethnicity, relationship and housing.

Participation in the census is important, since census data directly affect how more than $400 billion per year in federal and state funding is allocated to communities for neighborhood improvements, education, public health, transportation and much more. Another central component of the census is how it is used to apportion seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and to define representation in state and local government.

“The accuracy of census data is critical to policy and decision makers in both Washington, D.C., and the state and local government,” said ALA President Dr. Camila Alire. “Not only do census data influence how trillions of dollars will be spent over the next 10 years, the data also help shape planning decisions in the local community such as services to the library to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.”

“It is important for the President of the United States, all members of Congress and all state and local representatives to understand the growing need for the services and resources provided by libraries. That need must be met by continued and increased government support.” Alire said. “As an extension of our national partnership with the Census Bureau, ALA asks all librarians to help educate people about the importance of filling out and returning the census questionnaire, as well as reminding them that all responses are confidential.”

For more information on the 2010 Census, please visit www.2010.census.gov. The Census Bureau has developed a wide array of downloadable free materials—activity guides, newsletters, toolkits, logos and lesson plans—to promote participation in the 2010 Census and ensure the next count is as complete as possible.