ALA Awards more than $100,000 to 59 Library Census Equity Fund Grantees
The American Library Association (ALA) announced the names of 59 libraries receiving Library Census Equity Fund mini-grants of $2,000 to bolster their service to hard-to-count communities and help achieve a complete count in the 2020 Census.
“The 2020 Census will determine how political representation and critical resources are distributed for the next ten years, and libraries are essential partners in making sure the data collected as part of the Census is complete and accurate,” said ALA President Wanda Brown. “The efforts of these 59 libraries will shine a light on all the library workers across the country who are shouldering efforts to reach and inform their communities—especially vulnerable and hard-to-count populations—about the importance of a full and inclusive count.”
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, populations historically undercounted in the decennial effort include young children, people experiencing homelessness, American Indians and Alaska Natives, and people of color. In the 2020 Census, which will have a new online response option, people who lack internet access or online skills may also be at risk of being undercounted. (To learn more, see ALA’s Libraries’ Guide to the 2020 Census.)
More than 500 libraries of all types submitted applications for 25 Library Census Equity Fund mini-grants. In response to the overwhelming number of applicants, the ALA provided funding for 34 additional grants, including proposals to:
- purchase additional portable computers and mobile hotspots to expand access to the 2020 Census’ online response option, also providing a technology trainer to deliver the resources to tribal chapter houses and other under-resourced parts of the community;
- utilize the Census Bureau’s Statistics in Schools to educate children and their parents and guardians on the historical undercount of young children in the Census; and
- equip a bookmobile in geographically isolated communities to facilitate educational events on the Census and offer access to the online response option in locations such as country stores and senior centers.
The 59 grantees will undertake their activities in January through April 2020. The self-response period for the 2020 Census will begin after March 12, 2020.
Applications were reviewed by a selection committee established by ALA’s 2020 Census Library Outreach and Education Task Force. ALA offered thanks to the members of the selection committee: Tom Adamich, Patricia Ball, Heather Cousin, Susan Hildreth, and Cecilia Tovar.
“We were amazed by the range and thoughtfulness of the applications we received,” said selection committee member Susan Hildreth. “We are pleased and grateful to our funder that we were able to secure funds to more than double our original number of grants, and we appreciate there is a lot of work to do. I hope libraries we were not able to fund will look to their library and community foundations, Friends groups and other community agencies for support in realizing their plans.”
A recent tip sheet and companion webinar developed with the task force, Preparing My Library for the 2020 Census, offers guidance and potential sources of funding to support library census activities.
To learn more and access a wide range of information and tools for supporting a fair, inclusive and complete count in the 2020 Census, visit ala.org/census and follow the conversation on social media with #CountOnLibraries.
- Alamogordo Public Library, Alamogordo, N.M.
- Ascension Parish Library, Gonzales, La.
- Batavia Public Library District, Batavia, Ill.
- Belen Public Library, Belen, N.M.
- Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center, LGBT Library, Allentown, Pa.
- Brooks County Public Library, Quitman, Ga.
- Carrie Dorsey Perry Memorial Library, Nashville, Ga.
- Central Arkansas Library System, Little Rock, Ark.
- Central Rappahannock Regional Library, Fredericksburg, Va.
- Chapel Hill Public Library, Chapel Hill, N.C.
- City of Las Cruces Thomas Branigan Memorial Library, Las Cruces, N.M.
- Coahoma Community College, Dickerson Johnson Library and Resource Center, Clarksdale, Miss.
- Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Tribal Library, Grand Ronde, Ore.
- Conneaut Public Library, Conneaut, Ohio
- Cook Memorial Library, La Grande, Ore.
- Coppin State University, Parlett L. Moore Library, Baltimore, Md.
- Craven-Pamlico-Carteret Regional Library, New Bern, N.C.
- Dearborn Public Library, Dearborn, Mich.
- East Carroll Parish Library, Lake Providence, La.
- Ferguson Library, Stamford, Conn.
- Finney County Public Library, Garden City, Kan.
- Friends of the Chattanooga Public Library, Chattanooga, Tenn.
- Friends of the Dallas Public Library, Inc., Dallas, Texas
- Friends of the Dothan Houston County Library System, Dothan, Ala.
- Grand County Public Library, Moab, Utah
- Hart County Public Library, Munfordville, Ky.
- Heather Ridge School Library Media Center, Frederick, Md.
- Homewood Public Library, Homewood, Ala.
- Indian Trails Public Library District, Wheeling, Ill.
- Ingalls Memorial Library, Rindge, N.H.
- Lubbock Public Library, Lubbock, Texas
- Malden Public Library, Malden, Mass.
- Mendocino County Library, Ukiah, Calif.
- Missoula Public Library, Missoula, Mont.
- Morton-James Public Library, Nebraska City, Neb.
- Nantahala Regional Library, Murphy, N.C.
- Octavia Fellin Public Library, Gallup, N.M.
- Ohoopee Regional Library System, Vidalia, Ga.
- Passaic Public Library, Passaic, N.J.
- Pike County Public Library, Petersburg, Ind.
- Pima County Public Library, Tucson, Ariz.
- Prince William Public Library System Foundation, Woodbridge, Va.
- Pueblo of Pojoaque Public Library, Santa Fe, N.M.
- Red Bank Public Library, Red Bank, N.J.
- Roswell Public Library, Roswell, N.M.
- Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Library, Mt. Pleasant, Mich.
- San Antonio Public Library, San Antonio, Texas
- San Jose Public Library, San Jose, Calif.
- Santa Ana Public Library, Santa Ana, Calif.
- Santa Cruz Public Libraries, Santa Cruz, Calif.
- Spartanburg County Public Library, Spartanburg, S.C.
- Stillwater Public Library, Stillwater, Okla.
- Suffolk County Community College, Grant Campus Library, Brentwood, N.Y.
- SUNY Buffalo State College, E.H. Butler Library, Buffalo, N.Y.
- Timberland Regional Library, Tumwater, Wash.
- Ventura County Library System, Ventura, Calif.
- Walter T.A. Hansen Memorial Library, Mars Hill, Maine
- West Florida Regional Library, Pensacola, Fla.
- Westerville Public Library, Westerville, Ohio
Related Links: Read the story on ala.org