Data that Counts: An Introduction to Census Data for Public Libraries

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Libraries were central to helping people be counted in the 2020 Census. Now, learn how to make the data count for your library and community. This on-demand webinar introduces you to the important role that public libraries can play in assisting individuals, groups, and organizations with finding, accessing, and using census data for planning and decision making. Resources and tools for searching basic census sources are covered. Hear from librarians who have offered data literacy programs at their libraries to reach multiple audiences, including small businesses and entrepreneurs, local historians, students, and nonprofits and government agencies.

Originally presented April 6, 2021.

This webinar—the first of six—is presented as part of the Census Data Literacy project, an initiative of PLA in partnership with ALA’s Public Policy and Advocacy Office, which aims to build data literacy skills among library staff with the overall goal of promoting awareness and use of Census data in their communities. These webinars will be facilitated by Karen Brown, manager, ACRL Consulting Services.

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this on-demand webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the potential role of public libraries to promote data literacy;
  • Know how census data can be used for decision making, planning, and community and economic development;
  • Develop strategies and ideas for data literacy services and programs to reach multiple audiences in your community; and
  • Identify resources for learning how to search census data sources.

Additional Resources

Who Should Attend

This on-demand webinar is intended for public library administrators and public services and outreach librarians interested in improving data literacy among library staff and patrons.


Burton ReistBurton Reist is the U.S. Census Bureau’s assistant director of the Communications Directorate with responsibility for operations and management. He oversees the Public Information Office, the National Partnership Program, and the Program Management Office for the Integrated Communications Contract which provides extensive communications support for the 2020 Census. In all of these areas, he provides executive leadership for ensuring ongoing strategic communications for the 2020 Census Program.

Linda HofschireLinda Hofschire directs the Research Institute for Public Libraries (RIPL), serves as the instructional designer for Embedding Evaluation in Libraries, and is the training coordinator for Infopeople, the education and training arm of the Califa Group. Linda serves as the chair of PLA’s Measurement, Evaluation, and Assessment Committee.

Kirstin KrumseeKirstin Krumsee is a library consultant for data and research at the State Library of Ohio. She serves as Ohio's state data coordinator and was named a Library Journal Mover and Shaker in 2019 for her work on Libraries by the Numbers, an online tool to help libraries tell their stories with data.



This on-demand webinar is free and available 24/7 for your viewing convenience.

How to Register

No registration is required.

Tech Requirements

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Credits or CEUs

PLA does not award credit hours, CEUs, or certificates of attendance/completion/participation for its on-demand webinars and cannot verify participation.


If you have questions or problems accessing a recording, send a message to or call 800-545-2433 ext. 5PLA (5752).