The 2020 Census is Coming in March--and the Town of Pelham Public Library is Here to Help

The 2020 Census is Coming in March–and the Town of Pelham Public Library is Here to Help

The 2020 Census is mere months away, and for the first time, it will be conducted largely online. Beginning in March 2020, the Census Bureau will be mailing a letter to every household inviting inhabitants to respond to a questionnaire online using a unique code. The questionnaire should only take about ten minutes to complete, and respondents also have the option to reply by phone. However, anyone without an Internet connection or needing help filling out the form online is welcome to come to the Town of Pelham Public Library for assistance and to use our computer terminals. The Library is also investigating the possibility of providing a secure laptop or desktop kiosk as a dedicated access point to the 2020 census.

The census is an essential part of democracy and is mandated by the U.S. Constitution. The population count is used to determine representation in Congress and the Electoral College. Census data is also used to determine per capita funding for programs and services that communities rely on—including annual state grants to libraries. Finally, communities and local school districts often use census data for planning purposes.

The timeline for the 2020 U.S. Census is as follows:

  • March 12-16: Households will be mailed a unique code to access the census online. Respondents are responsible for counting every person within the household and questionnaires will be available in 13 languages. Households will be able to respond online through July 31. People who never receive their unique code or who lose it will still be able to respond using a valid address.
  • April 1: Nationwide observance of Census Day. Respondents do not need to wait until April 1st but should include everyone who will be a “usual resident” as of April 1st, including babies and young children.
  • April 8-16: The Census Bureau will send out a reminder letter.
  • April 20-27: The Census Bureau will send a final reminder.
  • May 13: The Census Bureau will begin sending workers door-to-door to households that have not responded.
  • July 31: Last day to respond to Census.

The Town of Pelham Public Library is dedicated to making sure everyone gets counted and is here to help the community complete the questionnaire as well as answer any questions about the Census. Respondents should be on alert for possible scams and know that the Census Bureau will not email or text people or ask for any kind of bank information or a Social Security number. If you are unsure about the authenticity of a Census worker or suspect a scam, you are encouraged to call the New York Regional Office at (212) 584-3400 or 1-800-991-2520. If you would like the library to come and speak to your group or bring a secure laptop to help your constituents complete the questionnaire, please call the Library Director Patricia Perito at 914-738-1234.