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Guide of the Week: finalizing plans for the 2010 Census

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently identified Finalizing plans for the 2010 Census as one of 13 urgent issues facing the next President and Congress. If you’re not a docs librarian or a policy wonk (there are a few of you reading FGI, right?) you might not realize the importance of this issue. The GAO spells out why every American should care about this issue:

The results of the 2010 Census are central to apportionment, redistricting congressional boundaries, and distributing around $300 billion in federal aid to states and localities each year.

Translation – The results of the 2010 census will redraw the legislative districts in your state, possibly changing how you are represented. The results will spark the redrawing of your congressional district, unless you live in Alaska or Wyoming, which have statewide Representatives. This redrawing could make it easier or harder to unseat your current Member of Congress. In addition, the 2010 results will affect how much federal money each state will receive.

In terms of Census planning, I’m afraid that for the first time in considering these critical transistion issues, I can’t find any guide from the ALA GODORT Exchange Wiki that would help you understand planning for the next census. For that, you had best just read the GAO page on the subject.

On the other hand, if you’re looking on how find and use census information once it’s published, librarians can help. A lot. Check out these guides for a start.

Next week I’ll be dealing with librarian produced guides relating to “caring for service members.” So if you have any guides relating to that topic, please try and post them to the Handout Exchange this week. Hopefully next week I won’t get caught flat-footed again.

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