Written by Kelly Sheehy, Content Specialist, Downtown Main Library Did you know that the federal government uses the data taken every 10 years from the US Census to determine everything from how billions of dollars in federal funding gets distributed into communities to how many seats in Congress each state gets? It may seem trivial to think about filing your Census form in the midst of a global pandemic, but it’s times like these that make Census data so incredibly vital. “Having a complete count is so important because Census data is used to allocate a state’s appropriate number of Congressional and Electoral College representatives as well as determine federal funding for important programs and grants that organizations like libraries depend on,” said Elaine Fay, Government Relations Coordinator at the Library. “Communities that are undercounted won’t get the political influence and resources that they deserve and need, and without a complete count, organizations like the Library and other non-profits could miss out on funds that would help us help our community during this difficult time.” When you respond to the Census, your information is completely confidential and protected by law. It cannot be shared with any other government agencies including law enforcement or immigration officials. If you live in the United States, regardless of your citizenship status, you can and should fill out the Census. Everyone counts! This year, Census Day is on April 1, but in light of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, many of the deadlines have been extended, according to 2020census.gov : You now have until August 14 to submit your Census response. The public is strongly encouraged to respond to the Census online. However, options for responding by phone or mail are also available. You can respond online without your official Census invitation by providing your address. The delivery of invitations to participate in the Census has been delayed in some locations. Students affected by college and university closures will still be counted using their school addresses. For more information about updates, delays, and revisions visit the 2020 Census Operational Adjustments Due to COVID-19 website . Need help? Our Virtual Information Center is open and ready to take your call, email, or chat message if you have any questions about filling out your Census form. You can also contact our Adult Learning Center or the 2020 Census Helpline at (844) 330-2020. Visit the Language Support page for help in additional languages. To fill out your 2020 US Census right now, visit 2020census.gov . You can complete it in less than 10 minutes!