The Abilene Library Consortium (ALC) is a regional nonprofit organization for all types of libraries, museums, and information organizations.
A recipient of the Texas Counts Pooled Fund grant, the ALC conducted Census outreach in communities surrounding their member libraries, primarily small and rural counties of Central/West Texas. The ALC distributed funding, materials, and other resources to the 15 libraries participating in their Census outreach. In total, 25 counties were served through the ALC’s regional collaboration for the Census.
Libraries are essential community hubs in these communities, and sometimes the only source of free internet access. As a result, libraries were a key partner for the 2020 Census as they were a trusted community resource and provided internet for residents to complete their Census questionnaires online. Libraries also serve the region’s HTC populations, such as young children, low-income residents, minorities, and homeless.
In many cases, ALC libraries were also involved in their local CCCs, helping to distribute bilingual Census information and serve as a tech hub with internet access and/or mobile Census kiosks. After the Census, libraries were gifted the equipment, including laptops and mobile hotspots, to continue serving the needs of their community.
The ALC also participated in the Texas Counts Pooled Fund Phone Banking Campaign in the weeks leading up to the Census deadline in October 2020. Through this effort, 37,000 households in rural West Texas were contacted and encouraged to complete the Census.
Other strategies included gift cards for Census raffles, billboards and local media, tables and tents, and special events like Census ice cream socials and drive-through Census assistance events.