The American Library Association is preparing academic libraries for the U.S. Census — the decennial count of every person living within the United States — by supplying a digest of resources. The newest tip sheet, Academic Libraries and the 2020 Census: Reaching College Students, gives insight on how an accurate count of students will help allocate $1.5 trillion annually spent for scholarships, facility upkeep, and research. The ALA tip sheet also touches on handling the rigors that go into counting students as they may have two places of residence, such as back in the town they grew up in and now apartments near their university.
The ALA also assembled a Libraries’ Guide to the 2020 Census, which provides content ranging from the basics to a detailed list of frequently asked questions.
Average college students are in the range of 18-29 years old, which a Pew Center for Research study found to be the least likely to contribute in the count. The 2020 Census site details the proper way to count students and other individuals, outlining that a person should be accounted for in the place where they slumber and reside the most.
Libraries have contributed to the accurate count by providing internet access, informing the public and partnering with local leaders. More ALA projects regarding the 2020 Census may be found on their site under Advocacy and Public Policy.