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Library is Census Questionnaire Assistance Center

Mar 09, 2020 03:26PM ● By Editor

From the Grand Marais Public Library - March 9, 2020

The 2020 Census officially begins April 1st, but an initial invitation to respond will begin appearing in mailboxes between March 12 and 20. For the first year in U.S. history, the census can be completed online in addition to responding by paper or phone. As a Questionnaire Assistance Center (QAC) for the 2020 Census, the Grand Marais Public Library will supply computer and Internet access, as well as support in accessing the online survey site.  

The United States Constitution requires the Census count. A small but powerful tool, the 12-question survey makes the resource needs of our community visible. Every 10 years, data from the count are used to determine how billions of dollars in federal funding will be allocated to our state and local schools, assistance programs, Medicaid, transit, fire departments and libraries. Census data are used to draw district lines and inform the number of congressional seats. They also inform infrastructure decisions regarding growth planning, roads, and hospitals. 

Historically, some of the populations that may benefit most have been undercounted. The Census Bureau reported these groups have included young children, low income persons, undocumented persons, racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+ persons, persons who distrust the government, persons with mental or physical disabilities, and peoples that do not live in traditional housing. Cook County had a low response score for the 2010 census, which indicates a greater chance of an undercount in the 2020 census. 

Minnesota Public Libraries are cooperating with the Minnesota State Demographic Center to create a network across the state to provide Minnesotans with the resources and assistance they need to submit their 2020 Census form. Commented Grand Marais Public Library Director Amanda St. John, “Library staff are not Census Bureau employees. Our aim is ensuring everyone who wants to access the survey can.”

The census is available in a variety of languages. There is no citizenship question and all personal details remain confidential.  By law, information collected cannot be shared with any other government agency, court, landlords, social workers, law enforcement, tribal authorities or employers. The Census Bureau will never ask for your social security number, money or donations, anything on behalf of a political party, or for your bank or credit card numbers. If anyone claiming to be a census worker asks for these items, consider it a scam. 

For more information about the U.S. 2020 Census, visit 


Amanda St John, Assistant Director (218) 387-1140
[email protected]
Grand Marais Public Library
104 2nd Ave W, Box 280
Grand Marais, MN  55604
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