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Mathews Memorial Library doing its part to boost 2020 Census count

Mathews Memorial Library is doing its part to encourage Mathews residents to take part in the 2020 U.S. Census.

Mathews County is currently sitting near the bottom of Virginia’s response rate to the census. Census response rates determine how billions of federal funds are distributed to counties across the nation, and a lack of response can harm a county for a decade.

Library Director Bette Dillehay said she contacted the county in early March to volunteer to take on a role in this year’s census. She said the first goal was to make the library a “census center” where people would have private, safe, and secure access to the census, so library staff set up a single computer in the music room that is only for people looking to fill out their census questionnaire.

The library closed because of the pandemic, but when it was able to reopen in May, staff resumed the work of encouraging the public to participate. The lone computer in the music room allows for social distancing, and ...

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