Census 2020 — expected increase in questions this week!

Census 2020 – What YOU need to know at TSCPL

(review this info! This is the SAME info as the post a month ago but in a new more relevant order!)

Starting in mid-March and before April 1, 2020, every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. Once the invitation arrives, people should respond for their home in one of three ways: online, by phone, or by mail.

If people haven’t responded by April 1, they will receive a paper census at their home.

People can use any public computer to fill it out their census questionnaire online. Please issue a guest pass if someone has their invitation to complete the census in hand and wants to use a computer. “When you respond to the census, you tell the Census Bureau where you live as of April 1, 2020.”

Examples of questions library staff should NOT answer and should direct to census bureau staff:

  • Question: I’m not sure how I should answer the race question. Answer: That’s a question for the Census Bureau.
  • Question:My ex husband and I share custody of the kids and I’m not sure whether I should answer that they are at my house or his house. Answer: That’s a question for the Census Bureau.
  • Question:My cousin has been staying in my basement for a few weeks, I’m not sure if I should list him. Answer: That’s a question for the Census Bureau.

Questions library staff CAN help with:

  • Can I use a computer to complete the census? YES! Anyone, and here’s a guest pass if you’d like one.
  • Can I use the library’s wifi and my device to complete the census? YES!
  • Can I ask a question about the census? YES! Let’s look at https://2020census.gov together to find answers and I’ll refer you to the census directly if needed.


  • Please read the public website article Take Part in the 2020 Census. This is where the library will keep current information on the 2020 Census for the public.
  • DO NOT SPREAD MISINFORMATION ABOUT THE CENSUS, PLEASE. “It’s against the law for the Census Bureau to publicly release your responses in any way that could identify you or your household. By law, your responses cannot be used against you and can only be used to produce statistics.” Read more about census privacy and avoiding fraud/scams from 2020census.gov.

 Please watch this 9 minute video about what the census is going to ask and what answering online will look like.


LIBRARY STAFF DO NOT ANSWER QUESTIONS ABOUT THE CONTENT OF THE CENSUS QUESTIONS. Those are questions for census employees. They take an oath for life to protect people’s private information. We are not the census bureau. We can help connect people to census bureau employees and to the written information on the census bureau website. Library staff should use https://2020census.gov/ to answer basic questions and direct people to call the census with additional questions that aren’t answered at https://2020census.gov.

What’s happening at the library

Now and ongoing

  • Recruiting table for temporary census jobs in Rotunda
  • Census one-page article in current (Dec-Feb) Library News, small ad in March-May Library News

In early February

  • Graphic button added to the main website in early February.
  • Big sign on wall in Media Room and in Circulation Plaza encouraging everyone to complete their Census questionnaire.
  • Informational handouts in the Circulation Plaza and Media Room about Census.
  • Informational computer in Media Room in front of big wall sign

April 1 and beyond

The library’s role is to provide accurate information/education about the census and access to the internet for people in our community.

      • April 2020: Census takers begin visiting college students who live on campus, people living in senior centers, and others who live among large groups of people. Census takers also begin conducting quality check interviews to help ensure an accurate count.
      • May 2020: The Census Bureau begins visiting homes that haven’t responded to the 2020 Census to make sure everyone is counted.

One thought on “Census 2020 — expected increase in questions this week!

  1. Debbie Stanton on said:

    Quick clarification: We are not to enter any information for a customer on the census. If they’re unable to complete the census online themselves they will either have to bring in a helper or participate in one of the other options for how to respond to the census.