2020 Census

In 2020, the United States Census will be conducted primarily online for the first time. The results will allocate billions of dollars in federal funding to local communities over the next decade, including more than $1 billion to libraries. Census data also determine representation in Congress and state and local governments, and are widely used by researchers, business, and other organizations (including to plan for library services).

To help achieve a fair, accurate, and complete count, many libraries across the country are:

  • Providing internet access so residents can respond online, starting on March 12 (residents can also opt to respond by phone or mail);
  • Helping jobseekers apply online for 500,000 temporary Census jobs;
  • Informing the public about the 2020 Census, options for responding, and how to avoid misinformation and scams; and
  • Partnering with local leaders to help reach communities at risk of being undercounted.

Subscribe to ALA's Census newsletter to stay up-to-date.

Resources from ALA

General resources:

Tip sheets:

Recorded Webinars:

For community leaders:

For library trustees:

Downloadable graphics:

Resources from the U.S. Census Bureau

Outreach materials and curriculum:

Resources for community partners:

Sample letters and questionnaires:

Resources from Other Organizations

General resources for libraries:

Online response option:

Research briefs:

Libraries and the 2020 Census in the News

Also see ALA's Census advocacy letters, testimony, and comments.

2020 Census Library Outreach and Education Task Force

To advise ALA’s efforts on the 2020 Census, ALA convened a 2020 Census Library Outreach and Education Task Force. Their charge is: "To advise the association on conducting outreach and education to inform library staff about potential impacts—particularly for public libraries—that may arise from the 2020 Census, gathering information from library colleagues about expected impacts and needs, and collaborating with the Census Bureau and other decision makers to best meet the needs of libraries and support an accurate Census.

The 2020 Census Outreach and Education Task Force consists of 10-15 members, appointed by the chair of the Washington Office's Advisory Committee and the PLA President-Elect, drawn from the membership at large, serving one two-year term and led by two co-chairs. The roster includes:

  • Erin Ackerman, R. Barbara Gitenstein Library, The College of New Jersey
  • Tom Adamich, Visiting Librarian Service
  • Patricia Ball, Cobb County (GA) Public Library System
  • Susan Hildreth, library consultant
  • Nate Hill, Metropolitan New York Library Council
  • Martha Hutzel, Central Rappahannock (VA) Regional Library
  • Jeremy Johannesen, New York Library Association
  • Sarah Kostelecky, College of University Libraries & Learning Sciences, University of New Mexico
  • Karen Mellor, Rhode Island Office of Library & Information Services
  • Janet O’Keefe, Flint (MI) Public Library
  • Ramiro Salazar, San Antonio (TX) Public Library
  • Jennie Stapp, Montana State Library
  • Tracy Strobel, Cuyahoga County (OH) Public Library
  • Cecilia Tovar, Santa Monica (CA) Public Library
  • Kelvin Watson, Broward County (FL) Libraries Division


Larra Clark
Deputy Director, Public Policy & Advocacy

Gavin Baker
Deputy Director, Public Policy & Advocacy

Media Contact
Shawnda Hines
Assistant Director, Communications
(202) 628-8410

Share your library’s Census story on social media with the hashtag #CountOnLibraries.