The 2020 Census and Your Library

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Provided by Prince William Library System

Programs scheduled for April may be canceled.
Please visit our website for program updates. 

Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a census to count every resident in the U.S. As a public library, we’re here to help make your experience completing the census a little easier. You may wonder why is it important for me to complete the census? The U.S. Constitution requires that everyone in the country be counted every 10 years. In addition, the census helps with the distribution of more than $675 billion in federal funds, grants, and support to states, counties, and communities based on the census data.
For Prince William County, Manassas, and Manassas Park residents, this means you are impacting everything from:
  • Planning public transportation services. Imagine: the potential for more – and easier – ways for more residents to get to and from the library.
  • Planning future government services. What is needed in the greater Prince William community? The census data can help determine that.
  • Planning budgets for government at all levels. Yes, that includes county government!
  • Directing services to children and adults with limited English-language proficiency. For the library, this helps us determine what books, resources, and programs we should be adding to our collections and offering to patrons.

How is the library helping to support the 2020 Census?

  • We’ve been awarded a grant from the American Library Association to bolster our service to hard-to-count communities and help achieve a complete count in the 2020 Census.
  • You can take the Census on our computers (or by using our Wi-Fi!) If you don’t have a computer at home, or you’d just rather complete the census at the library, our computers and free Wi-Fi are available for you.
Still not convinced? Did you know that – for every Virginian not counted in the census – the region loses $1,200 per year for 10 years until the next census (that’s $12,000 total!) in federal funds for programs like education, hospitals, roads, and other public works projects. While completing the census is mandatory, it’s also a way for you to participate in our democracy and say “I count!”



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