Block Island Times

Libraries and the census

Many islanders use the Groundhog Day count to answer the question: how many people actually live on the island? We often reply to that question with answers like, around a thousand, or just under a thousand or the number itself, when we can remember the number and not confuse this year’s count with a number from years past. We are proud of this unofficial official count and regale the process to all who are interested.
At the library, we like the Groundhog Day number because we get asked that question a lot and it is great to have an up-to-date count and a story to tell — this year’s count was 921.
This year the 2020 U.S. Census, the decennial count of all U.S. residents, begins in March. This count determines congressional representation and the annual allocation of an estimated $1.5 trillion in federal funding, with $1 billion going to states for public libraries. While the form is short and can be completed in 10 minutes, the impact of who is counted or not counted lasts for 10 years.
Public libraries across the country are participating with state and federal

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