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Everyone Counts! Understanding the Census

Posted: February 14, 2020

By: Joshua O'Shea, Young Adult Librarian

The 2020 Census helps us understand our nation and the people who live in it. If young people or new citizens don’t take part in the census, their values and concerns are less likely to be addressed in laws and policies.

For me, Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” conveys the sentiment that everyone counts. Everyone should have representation. Sometimes we might feel like our government isn’t listening. Our local and federal governments need to know how the United States is changing so that they can represent and support our population appropriately. The census is a means to tell the people who govern exactly whose interests they are charged to represent. The diversity of humanity can be recognized concretely through the census.

As the cliché says, children are the future. Being a Young Adult Librarian, I say that even if you’re in high school and not yet able to vote, you can advocate for a complete and accurate count to better your future. You can encourage your family to complete the census questionnaire, because the results will affect the life you live in the coming years. Grab your opportunity to make sure that you, your family, your friends, and your community have a voice and fair access to federal funds.

Over the next few months, as the census progresses and accumulates information about the population of the United States, the library would like to gather perspectives from high school and college students. While the census helps us understand our nation and the people who live in it, we’d like to use a survey to find out what’s important to and unique about the students in this community, and what their vision is for the future. Take the survey in the High School Room or online. Then attend the Your America, Your Banner event on Thursday, May 7 from 4-5 pm, where we’ll create a banner for the library that highlights some of the responses.

Everyone counts!