Columbus Metropolitan Library patrons who don't have internet service at home or who need assistance may stop by any branch to complete their 2020 U.S. census forms.

"Some of our 23 locations are in neighborhoods that have been deemed hard to reach for census counts," library spokesman Ben Zenitsky said. "We're well-positioned to help."

The library announced Feb. 18 that it is partnering with the city of Columbus and Franklin County to help share census information with its 671,000 cardholders.

Census officials said accuracy of the reports is important because its counts determine how billions of dollars in federal funding are distributed and spent.

This year marks the first time U.S. residents will be asked to complete the census online.

Although any library computer may be used to fill out the census form, one at each library branch will be set aside to accommodate census respondents. Library employees will be available to help patrons, Zenitsky said.

Initial census mailings are expected to be sent to Franklin County homes during the week of March 16, library officials said.

According to the federal government, all households should have received an invitation to participate by April 1. People may respond online, by phone or by mail.

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