The 2020 Census is almost here!

The decennial census determines New York's fair share of more than $650 billion of federal funds every year for critical programs and services, including public education, public housing, roads and bridges, social services, and much more. It also determines the number of representatives we have fighting for us in Congress. Households will receive the first mailers inviting 2020 Census self-response on March 12.

The Library's Plan

New York's public libraries are critical partners in the 2020 Census effforts, receiving more than $1.4 million in City dollars to connect with key at-risk demographics. Along with our partners, Brooklyn Public Library is working to ensure every Brooklyn resident, regardless of age, race or immigration status, is fairly and accurately counted in Census 2020.

  • All BPL service staff will be trained to direct the public to resources to complete their census forms. 40 neighborhood libraries will operate as Census Hubs, with additional programming and staffing to reach critical hard-to-count communities.
  • Patrons can complete their census form online using any public computer at any BPL branch. Those without a library card can print a free guest pass to access a computer.
  • To serve those who speak a language other than English, all staff are connected to language access tools, such as Language Line and Travis, a handheld translation device.
  • 10 BPL Census Navigators will provide additional customer service throughout all neighborhood libraries.
  • Navigators are bilingual and will be placed in neighborhoods where their language skills can best be utilized. Navigators will carry translation devices which allow for real-time conversations in dozens of languages.
  • Patrons can complete the 2020 Census online using Library tablets, laptops or desktops.
  • Responses to the 2020 Census are protected by law. The U.S. Census Bureau oversees data security of the online form. Census form data will be encrypted while at rest and in transit (after census responses are sent).
  • No personal data will be stored on any Library devices. In coordination with NYC Cybersecurity experts, all Library devices will have the latest browser software, anti-virus software and firewall solutions to protect against malicious software and spyware.
  • Library staff will be trained to handle questions about census scams, patron privacy, digital safety and data protection.
  • BPL will join partners NYPL and Queens Public Library in a Census awareness and outreach campaign, including messaging on our website, social media, on public computers and digital self-check kiosks.
  • U.S. Census Bureau partnership specialists will give 2020 Census presentations at key Library programs -- such as storytimes, English conversation groups, older adult programming, computer classes, and more. Family storytime programs will have a census and "counting" themes throughout March. Adult Literacy programs and workshops will include a 2020 Census lesson and time to complete the census form.
  • Census Navigators will host census "Office Hours" drop in programming systemwide.
  • The Library will partner with local organizations to host 2020 Census community forums in key hard-to-count neighborhoods.
  • The Library is leveraging partnerships with community groups in Brooklyn and citywide to reach crucial hard-to-count demographics.

 

Census Outreach Map

Soon to come: interactive mapping tools to help individuals and organizations see where their efforts are most needed to connect with hard-to-count demographics during the census.

 

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