Addison Public Library awarded Census 2020 grant Addison Public Library awarded Census 2020 grant
The Addison Public Library received a subgrant for $10,000 from the Reaching Across Illinois Library System's "Census 2020: It Counts!" project, funded by the Pritzker Administration and the Illinois Department of Human Services, in order to help support the Addison community's efforts to reach a complete count for the 2020 Census.
The group of 20 subgrantees made up of libraries, social service agencies, and county-level organizations will focus on six hard-to-count populations as outlined by Illinois Department of Human Services.
Hard-to-count populations consist of children younger than 5 years old, renters, people living close to or below the poverty line, older adults, people experiencing homelessness, and people who are young and mobile.
Each subgrant recipient is a safe place for anyone to receive assistance in completing the census questionnaire; staff can address fears about the confidentiality of census data, help visitors access free internet to complete the census online, and answer other questions about counting their household.
RAILS Census 2020 Program Manager Amy de la Fuente was impressed with the Addison Public Library's plan to work individually and with community partners to work toward a complete count for the Addison community.
"Addison Public Library was awarded the 'Census 2020: It Counts!' grant because they demonstrated a strong and creative outreach plan to get the word out about the Census, particularly with hard-to-count populations, both through both their internal and external programming," de la Fuente said. "The library has strong partnerships with many local organizations in the community and they are working collaboratively to accomplish a complete count. We are pleased to be working with them."
Mike Monahan, head of adult services at the library, has been working with library staff and community partners, including the Village of Addison, to develop a plan to promote the census.
"The library is printing promotional materials in the most widely spoken languages in Addison and distributing them throughout the village," said Monahan. "Library staff will also be in the community assisting residents with the online questionnaire and will always be available inside the library to answer any census questions."
Census promotions kick off with an evening with state Rep. Kathleen Willis at the library on Thursday, March 12 from 7 to 8:30 p.m., where Willis will discuss the census and other community issues with attendees.
Additionally, on Census Day (April 1), Adult Services staff will be readily available to assist library patrons with completing the online version of the census and to answer any census-related questions. The library will continue census promotional efforts into the summer months as well.
Ensuring an accurate census count is extremely important for our state because census results are used to determine how many seats each state gets in the House of Representatives, and state officials redraw boundaries of legislative districts to account for population shifts.
More than $675 billion will be distributed to support state and county schools, hospitals, roads, public works, and other vital programs in our communities. Census results also help determine funding for libraries and library systems, but Monahan wants to focus on the importance of the census for Addison specifically.
"Achieving a complete count in Addison is a priority because the library believes everybody counts. If Addison residents are not counted in the census, there may be fewer services available for the community," said Monahan. "Local nonprofits will be eligible for fewer grants, schools may not receive the money they deserve, and local government will have an inaccurate view of who lives here."
The Addison Public Library is located at 4 Friendship Plaza. To learn more, visit addisonlibrary.org/census.