Library aiding in county count and fed funds haul

M.P. Regan
Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Ever engaged in a wide variety of initiatives, the Dillon Public Library helps improve literacy and life in the city in almost countless ways.

But the library is still making room and time to help the community count its residents for the 2020 census.

“The community gets more federal dollars if more people here fill out the census,” said Dillon Public Library Director Lori Roberts.

To aid the community getting more of its share of federal funding, Roberts and library will host Census Week, starting Monday, Sept. 21, with a series of events and motivators designed to increase the county census count.

“All week long, all the way through Friday, if you come into the library and fill out your census, we’ll put your name into a drawing for gift certificates and gift cards and prizes from businesses from all over town,” said Roberts of perks provided by Rocky Mountain Supply, African Oasis, the Milk Pail, Atomic 79 and O’Reilly Auto Parts, among many others.

“The library has iPads for you to use to fill out your census questionnaire. You sit down, fill it out and five minutes later you’re registered for a chance at a prize,” explained Roberts of the process of filling out the relatively brief form.

“We’re having a lunch at the Elks that Tuesday,” said Roberts of a Sept. 22 event, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Elks Lodge in downtown Dillon.

“So come fill out your census and have a sandwich on us,” said Roberts, who will also stage a game and trivia family event that night at the Elks, complete with free pizza.

“There may even be bingo. We’re not sure yet,” laughed Roberts.

The following day, Sept. 23, will offer perking up perks at Wake up Wednesday, during which coffee and donuts will be served at the local library.

“We need everybody to register, because we get federal dollars for the census,” said Roberts, whose library has been designated as one of Montana’s Census Champions and given a grant to increase the county’s census response rate before the Sept. 30 deadline.

“That’s money for our schools, for our roads, for the library, and anything else the government might give us money for in that time,” added Roberts.

“That money could help our community immensely.”

For more information about Census Week at the Dillon Public Library, call 683-4544 or stop by the library at 121 S. Idaho St. in downtown Dillon.