Legislative Update -- August 6, 2020August 6, 2020
The deadline for data collection for the Decennial Census 2020 has been moved up, from October 31 to September 30! This follows an initial extension due to the COVID-19 pandemic to the October date from July 31. While this change may aid in the compilation of the final report required by law by the deadline of December 31, the October 31 date has been widely publicized, so it will be key for libraries to help get the September 30 deadline out to your communities. ILA has signed on to a letter circulated by Forefront's IL Count Me in Coalition urging the U.S. Census Bureau to restore the October 31 date, but the need to push for increased self-response is now.
As of 8/5/2020, Illinois is #7 for self-response rate among the 50 states, with a 67.9% rate of response, compared to 63.1% nationally. The ending national total in 2010 in Illinois was 70.5%; nationally it was 72%. Please visit RAILS's Census Pulse Page for numerous resources for libraries, including the Census Tool Kit.
The Illinois Heartland Library System (IHLS) is offering the Zoom event, "Make Your Community Count: Public Libraries and the Census Today," on Monday, August 10, from 1–2 p.m. Speakers include Joe Natale, Chief Deputy Director of the Illinois State Library and Census 2020 Complete Count Committee Member, and a panel of public library staff. Please register in advance. This event has been developed especially for public libraries in central and southern Illinois; however, all Illinois libraries are welcome to attend.
The FCC hosted a webinar on August 3 focusing on the role of libraries in advancing broadband adoption and literacy. We expect broadband-related policy and legislation to take on even more urgency for libraries as the importance of connecting our users to digital materials continues. In the meantime, view the webinar recording here; of particular interest is the panel moderated by Marijke Visser, Associate Director and Senior Policy Advocate in ALA's Public Policy and Advocacy Office.
UPDATE: Cosponsorship Building in the U.S. House and Senate for Library Stabilization Fund Act
U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos (IL-17) has joined Bradley Schneider (IL-10), Janice Schakowsky (IL-9), and Raja Krishnamoorthi as a cosponsor of the Library Stabilization Fund Act, which asks for $2 billion in funding for America's libraries for COVID-19 relief. This makes two additional in response to letters ILA sent to Illinois Senators and Representatives last week. Please enhance ILA's efforts by taking action here!