Legislative Update -- August 27, 2020August 27, 2020
Illinois has crept up one spot, tying with Iowa for #6 in the state for self-response rates at 69.5% of households, compared to the national rate of 64.6%. However, that's not good enough! Illinois' 2010 rate was 70.5%, compared to 72% nationally, when we lost a Congressional seat and millions of dollars in federal funds. It is estimated that each person who does not answer the Census costs the State of Illinois $1600 in federal dollars PER YEAR, meaning $16,000 per person until the next Census. The data collection deadline has been moved to September 30 from October 31, after an initial extension from the traditional 7/31. Nonresponse follow-up efforts (that is, door-to-door enumerator visits to households that have not yet responded) are underway. Resources you can share with your patrons regarding concerns about nonresponse followup include:
- Community Action Partnership's infographics on five ways to confirm and identify a Census employee, available in Spanish and English.
- The Census Counts campaign has created a Door to Door Outreach fact sheet.
Drop Boxes for Ballots
Did you know your library can become a location for drop boxes for mail-in or absentee ballots? ALA is collecting information on libraries around the country that are serving this important get-out-the-vote purpose. If your library is already doing it, please email Michael Dowling, Director of ALA's Chapter Relations Office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Several Illinois libraries are already doing so!
Several Illinois U.S. Representatives voted in favor of the Delivering for America Act this past weekend, in a show of bipartisan support for the Post Office. This is a critical issue for libraries that use USPS for interlibrary loan materials, particularly the Illinois State Library and academic libraries statewide. Academic and research libraries that share resources across state lines especially rely on the postal service, according to Anne Craig, Senior Director of the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI): "CARLI members rely on the USPS for interlibrary loan delivery and returns for out-of-state libraries, an important facet of library service in academic libraries that require specialized, scholarly sources that can be difficult to find. In short, the USPS is a critical link in the service portfolio for academic libraries serving educational and research needs."
Public libraries in Illinois primarily use the robust delivery service through the systems for interlibrary loan, but also use the USPS on occasion. Consider reaching out to your Representative to let them know how the Post Office is critical to your ability to serve your patrons!
PPC & Advocacy Committee Meetings Monday
The ILA Public Policy and Advocacy Committees are meeting on Monday, August 31. Please visit their websites to view agendas, minutes, and reports to the ILA Executive Board.