Census 2020 DO and DON’T ideas for Library Staff
(Ideas adapted from Buffalo & Erie County Public Library’s Complete Count Committee.)
- Familiarize yourself with the timeline of the 2020 Census
- Familiarize yourself with and have an understanding of your library system’s Complete Count Committee work.
- Celebrate Census Day – April 1, 2020
- Create Census “Sessions” with dates/times when staff is available to assist groups in completing the Census questionnaire
- Take information regarding the Library’s Census kiosks and information with you to outreach programs/visits, etc.
- Work with partner agencies – particularly those who assist immigrant/ refugee and other non-English speaking communities to help facilitate completion of the Census
- Encourage partner organizations to bring clientele to the library to use library computers to complete the Census
- Explain WHY taking the Census is REQUIRED:
- Explain WHY taking the Census is IMPORTANT and USES of Census data:
- Explain data is CONFIDENTIAL
- Explain how the 2020 Census can be completed – online, via telephone, via enumerator
- It is OK to enter URL for patrons, or set the browser home page to the census page.
- Provide the telephone number of the 2020 Census telephone data portal
- Provide the telephone number to the assistance line for non-English speakers
- ALWAYS USE COMMON SENSE – Ask YOUR library’s 2020 CENSUS LEADER if you have any questions.
- Don’t try to coerce reluctant patrons to take the census or discourage the taking of the Census – do provide facts about the census to help patrons make their own choices.
- Don’t express your personal opinion about the Census or any of the Census questions during work hours or when representing your library.
- Don’t complete anyone’s Census but your own
- Don’t interpret Census questions
- Don’t translate Census information or questions UNLESS you are fluent in the language
- Don’t say “I can’t help you” – rather ask questions for clarification (think reference interview), seek answers, provide guidance to Census.gov and other Census helplines.