March 11, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Nicholas A. Brown
(301) 699-3500, ext. 6142
Largo, MD – The 2020 U.S. Census marks the first time the census can be completed online. Beginning March 12, all Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) branches will serve as census hubs in Prince George’s County, which historically has a high undercount rate. Over 30% of the population was not counted in the 2010 U.S. Census. Every PGCMLS branch will have a dedicated public computer station for residents to get counted and play a direct role in bringing $18,250 in federal funds to public services in Prince George’s County over the next ten years. The dedicated census computers address the significant digital divide that exists in the community, providing residents with access to secure computers and internet to participate in this civic duty. Library staff are prepared to provide assistance with accessing the census online and connect non-English speakers with support in their primary languages. Residents will receive an invitation by April 1 to complete the census online, by phone, or by mail.
Prince George’s County has several hard-to-count areas, ranging from Suitland and Joint Base Andrews to Beltsville and Langley Park. Communities that have been undercounted in previous census efforts include veterans, undocumented immigrants, LGBTQ+, homeless, and disabled populations. The County’s libraries are safe spaces for all residents to play a role in securing resources to lead the community into the future.
“The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System is proud to be an essential partner in County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks’ effort to involve county agencies, non-profit organizations, and faith communities to maximize local participation in the census,” said Roberta Phillips, CEO of the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System. “We are uniquely positioned to ensure that residents can access computers and internet for taking advantage of the first-ever online option to get counted.”
Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding go to hospitals, public safety, schools, roads, affordable housing programs, libraries, and other public services based on census data. The census is mandated by the U.S. Constitution and provides community members with an opportunity to directly influence the amount of funding that supports local services. Census data also determines Maryland’s representation in Congress and provides the basis for planning the future of Prince George’s County, from transportation to housing.
The census collection process is confidential and participants’ privacy is fully protected by law. There are no questions about citizenship on the 2020 U.S. Census. The U.S. Census Bureau is bound by law to protect answers and keep them strictly confidential. Every census employee takes an oath to protect participants’ personal information for life. Census information is available in 59-non English languages, including American Sign Language. Large print and braille resources are also available.
For more information regarding the 2020 U.S. Census at PGCMLS, visit pgcmls.info/2020-census.
About Prince George’s County Memorial Library System
The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS), consisting of 19 branches, offers strategies for lifelong learning. Skills development library resources include Brainfuse’s HelpNow and JobNow, MANGO Languages, ArtistWorks for Libraries, and Learning Express Library. Early literacy resources are Ready 2 Read Centers, Ready 2 Read Backpacks, ABCmouse, AWE Early Literacy Stations, Beanstack, Playaway Launchpads and PebbleGo. All these services are free with your PGCMLS library card. Also, enjoy 3D printing, Minecraft, DREAM (Digital Resources for Electronic Applications in Media) Lab, chess clubs, and TAG (Teen Action Group), free at your library. Engage with us on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Instagram, and YouTube. Check out our mobile apps. Learn more about what your Library has to offer at pgcmls.info.