Downtown Huntsville Library offers open computer labs for census respondents

  • Posted on: 9 March 2020
  • By: Melanie Thornton
Downtown Huntsville Library offers open computer labs for census respondents
All branches will also have computer assistive technology 
When the online census form opens on March 12, the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library (HMCPL) is preparing for an increase in computer usage across its system. If you are looking for one-on-one help with a librarian, the Downtown Huntsville Library is hosting open computer labs on the second floor for anyone wanting to take the census online. Here is the schedule:
*Thursday, March 12: 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
*Friday, March 13: 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
*Monday, March 16: 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
*Thursday, March 19: 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
Wednesday, March 25: 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

 *a Spanish-speaking librarian will be available to assist.

In addition, all 12 branches of the library system will have one computer outfitted with assistive technology for people with visual, hearing and physical disabilities. Features include:
  • Grayscale Color Filter 
  • Narrator screen reader 
  • On-screen Keyboard 
  • Magnifier 
  • Large print/high contrast keyboard with Braille overlays 
  • Ergonomic Optical Mouse 
  • High precision Trackpad 
  • Open Ear Bone Conduction Headphones 
The American Library Association has tasked public libraries across the country to inform and engage their communities about the upcoming census. 
“The Huntsville-Madison County Public Library has a far-reaching geographic presence with 12 locations throughout Madison County,” said Courtney Braggs, the Census Coordinator for the HMCPL. “The library’s goal is to reach as many of the hard-to-count-groups as possible through our library and outreach services.” According to the American Library Association, 99 percent of the hard-to-count census tracts are located within 5 miles of a public library. 
This is the first year that the Census Bureau is using the internet to securely collect your information. Responding online helps us conserve natural resources, save taxpayer money, and process data more efficiently. As of 2018, 10 percent of Madison County residents did not have a home computer and 18.7 percent did not have home internet access, resulting in approximately 68,000 people for whom the public library is their main connection to the rapidly digitizing world.  
The HMCPL has 200 Internet-connected public computers across the system.