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Everyone Counts


How Kern County Libraries Are Encouraging Local Participation in the 2020 Census



finger_puppets
The 2020 Census is the theme for upcoming programming at a Kern County Library branch near you. Themed activities, including scavenger hunts, the ability to research your family tree online and create a family coat of arms, and sessions to put together finger puppets are slated as free public events through April. A reading challenge is also part of what staffers have planned this spring.

Learn more about the diversity of founding families within Kern County with related library displays, and look up your family’s own immigration story, too. The theme’s purpose is to create more awareness of family history, personal identity, and the role of all Kern County residents in forming a society that should stand up and be counted, as community funding depends on that self-identification.

About the 2020 Census 

The Census is important because it helps to determine the amount of federal dollars allocated per person for services that support the community, including child care, public schools, roadway maintenance, hospitals, senior services, and more. 

According to the Kern County Library’s website, “The state will lose federal funding of approximately $1,950 per person, per year, for ten years, for every person not counted in the 2020 census. That’s a loss of funding equal to almost $20,000 per person who isn’t counted.” 

The Census will arrive by mail beginning in March. If you have not completed the mail-in forms or online submission option by April, a Census worker may visit your residence. The Census Bureau cannot share data collected with any other agency; all information is protected by law and no identifying information that can be traced back to your household will be made public.

“The Kern County Library truly believes that everyone counts, and that’s the whole focus of the complete count campaign, to ensure that everyone in Kern County is properly counted for the 2020 Census. Since the Library is located in nearly every community in Kern, rural and urban, with free access to computers and the internet, we know our community will be accessing the Library to fill out the Census questionnaire online,” said Jasmin LoBasso, Kern County Library marketing & promotions associate.

More About Kern County Library’s Campaign Programming

The Kern County Library will have one ‘Census Action Kiosk’ at ALL 24 library branches across the county. These will become available in March and will be dedicated solely to the community for filling out the Census online. The Library is hosting a range of census-inspired programming, including workshops on how to research your family genealogy, coloring stations full of fictional family tree coloring sheets, family-themed story times, and more! 

“Overall, the Library aims to get everyone counted, highlight the impact of the Census now and in the future, and to get our community excited through free activities and engagement opportunities,” said LoBasso. “At the Library, we always also want to emphasize the importance of reading in our communities and the direct impact it has on lifelong success and achievement, and that’s why we developed a reading challenge that is inspired by the Census. Community members can sign up online now on Beanstack (an online-based way to track participation). It is available through April. The focus of the challenge is to encourage family members to read books that celebrate families, the census, and genealogy, and to participate in activities such as learning about DNA and traits or asking a family member to tell them a story about their childhood.” 

Find more information at https://www.kerncountylibrary.org/census2020/ and check Kern County Family Magazine’s calendar over the next several months for related information.

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