Category Archives: Information Resources

A History of the Census in the United States: Part 5

The Fifth Census: Census Day was June 1, 1830.

Andrew Jackson was President of the United States
on Census Day, June 1, 1830.

Authorizing Legislation

President John Q. Adams, in his fourth address to the U.S. Congress on December 28, 1828, recommended starting the census earlier in the year than August 1. He also proposed that the collection of age data be extended from infancy, in intervals of 10 years, “to the utmost boundaries of life.” These changes were incorporated into the census act of March 23, 1830.


As in the previous census, marshals or their assistants visited every dwelling house for enumeration, or, as the law stated, made a personal inquiry of the head of every family in their district. Because of delays in the compilation of the census returns, the filing date was extended to August 1, 1831.

In 1830, enumerators used uniform printed schedules for the first time. In prior censuses, marshals had used whatever paper was available and had designed and bound the sheets themselves. Because federal census clerks did not have to sort through a huge variety of schedules in 1830, they were able to tabulate census results more efficiently.

The 1830 census counted the population only. After the failures of the past two censuses, no attempt was made to collect additional data on manufacturing and industry in the United States.

Further Information

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Resources for Libraries and the 2020 Census

Apply by Nov. 22 for Library Census Equity Fund

The American Library Association (ALA) is accepting applications for Library Census Equity Fund mini-grants until Nov. 22. ALA will provide 25 libraries with $2,000 mini-grants to bolster their service to hard-to-count communities and help achieve a complete count in the 2020 Census.

Census hiring: Nov. 6 webinar and new tip sheet

The U.S. Census Bureau is currently hiring 500,000 temporary workers for the 2020 Census through an online application process. To achieve a complete count in the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau needs to recruit qualified and diverse applicants in every part of the country. To learn how libraries can promote awareness of 2020 Census job opportunities, register for ALA’s free webinar on Nov. 6 and read ALA’s new tip sheet, “How Can My Library Increase Awareness of 2020 Census Hiring?” (PDF).

Preparing your library for the Census: Nov. 14 webinar and new tip sheet

With the 2020 Census just a few months away, how can libraries prepare, and what funding sources may be available to support libraries’ preparations and activities? Learn more at ALA’s free webinar on Nov. 14 and read ALA’s new tip sheet, “Preparing My Library for the 2020 Census” (PDF).

Trustees invited to become Library Census Champions

Library Census Champions is a new network of state, local and tribal library Trustees helping their libraries and communities prepare for the 2020 Census. Elected and appointed library Trustees can sign up to become a Library Census Champion and receive free information, resources, and actions to take to ensure a fair and accurate census. To learn more about this program, Register to watch the recording on-demand.

Census resources from ALACheck for updates through the 2020 Census as ALA continues to add new resources. For instance, find Libraries Transform images, template presentation slides (PPTX) and presenter notes (PDF)

Upcoming events

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A History of the Census in the United States: Part 4

The Fourth Census: Census Day was August 7, 1820.

James Monroe was President of the United States
on Census Day, August 7, 1820.

Authorizing Legislation

The fourth census was taken in accordance with the census act of March 14, 1820, which required more detailed population-related inquiries than earlier enumerations. This census is notable for being the first to inquire if respondents were engaged in agriculture, commerce, or manufacturing.


The enumeration began on the first Monday of August. Its scheduled six-month completion time frame was extended by about seven months to September 1, 1821. As in previous decades, the 1820 census act again required assistant marshals to visit every dwelling house, or head of every family within their designated districts.

Data relating to manufacturing were collected by assistants in each district, sent to the marshals, and then transmitted to the secretary of state along with the population returns. The report on manufacturing presented the data for these establishments by counties, but the results were not summarized for each district and the aggregate statement that was released was based on incomplete returns. The 1820 manufacturing census suffers the same criticism as that in 1810: Poor enumerator training resulted in dramatic variations in data quality and accuracy.

Further Information

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November is Native American Heritage Month

November is National American Indian Heritage MonthThe Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans.

Visit the National American Indian Heritage Month website to view a Calendar of Events, Exhibits and Collections, Audio and Video, Resources for Teachers, Images, and much more!

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Book Briefs: New University of Nebraska Press Books at the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse

The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP).  Each month we will be showcasing the UNP books that the Clearinghouse receives.                UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians, for their patrons, in Nebraska.

Here are the UNP books the Clearinghouse received in October:

Back to America : Identity, Political Culture, and the Tea Party Movement                                                                                                    William H. Westermeyer                                                                                (Series: Anthropology of Contemporary North America)

Back to America is an ethnography of local activist groups within the Tea Party, one of the most important recent political movements to emerge in the United States and one that continues to influence American politics. Though often viewed as the brainchild of conservative billionaires and Fox News, the success of the Tea Party movement was as much, if not more, the result of everyday activists at the grassroots level. William H. Westermeyer traces how local Tea Party groups (LTPGs) create submerged spaces where participants fashion action-oriented collective and personal political identities forged in the context of cultural or figured worlds. These figured worlds allow people to establish meaningful links between their own lives and concerns, on the one hand, and the movement’s goals and narratives, on the other. Collectively, the production and circulation of the figured worlds within LTPGs provide the basis for subjectivities that often nurture political activism.

Westermeyer reveals that LTPGs are vibrant and independent local organizations that, while constantly drawing on nationally disseminated cultural images and discourses, are far from simple agents of the larger organizations and the media. Back to America offers a welcome anthropological approach to this important social movement and to our understanding of grassroots political activism writ large.

Franz Boas : The Emergence of the Anthropologist                          Rosemary Levy Zumwalt                                                                            (Series: Critical Studies in the History of Anthropology)

Rosemary Lévy Zumwalt tells the remarkable story of Franz Boas, one of the leading scholars and public intellectuals of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The first book in a two-part biography, Franz Boas begins with the anthropologist’s birth in Minden, Germany, in 1858 and ends with his resignation from the American Museum of Natural History in 1906, while also examining his role in training professional anthropologists from his berth at Columbia University in New York City.

Zumwalt follows the stepping-stones that led Boas to his vision of anthropology as a four-field discipline, a journey demonstrating especially his tenacity to succeed, the passions that animated his life, and the toll that the professional struggle took on him. Zumwalt guides the reader through Boas’s childhood and university education, describes his joy at finding the great love of his life, Marie Krackowizer, traces his 1883 trip to Baffin Land, and recounts his efforts to find employment in the United States. A central interest in the book is Boas’s widely influential publications on cultural relativism and issues of race, particularly his book The Mind of Primitive Man (1911), which reshaped anthropology, the social sciences, and public debates about the problem of racism in American society.

Franz Boas presents the remarkable life story of an American intellectual giant as told in his own words through his unpublished letters, diaries, and field notes. Zumwalt weaves together the strands of the personal and the professional to reveal Boas’s love for his family and for the discipline of anthropology as he shaped it.

Skin Memory                                                                                                John Sibley Williams                                                                                (Series: Backwaters Prize in Poetry)

A stark, visceral collection of free verse and prose poetry, Skin Memory scours a wild landscape haunted by personal tragedy and the cruel consequences of human acts in search of tenderness and regeneration. In this book of daring and introspection, John Sibley Williams considers the capriciousness of youth, the terrifying loss of cultural identity and self-identity, and what it means to live in an imperfect world. He reveals each body as made up of all bodies, histories, and shared dreams of the future.

In these poems absence can be held, the body’s dust is just dust, and though childhood is but a poorly edited memory and even our well-intentioned gestures tend toward ruin, Williams nonetheless says, “I’m pretty sure, everything within us says something beautiful.”

Terrorizing Gender : Transgender Visibility and the Surveillance Practices of the U.S. Security States                                                    Mia Fischer                                                                                            (Series: Expanding Frontiers: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality)

The increased visibility of transgender people in mainstream media, exemplified by Time magazine’s declaration that 2014 marked a “transgender tipping point,” was widely believed to signal a civil rights breakthrough for trans communities in the United States. In Terrorizing Gender Mia Fischer challenges this narrative of progress, bringing together transgender, queer, critical race, legal, surveillance, and media studies to analyze the cases of Chelsea Manning, CeCe McDonald, and Monica Jones. Tracing how media and state actors collude in the violent disciplining of these trans women, Fischer exposes the traps of visibility by illustrating that dominant representations of trans people as deceptive, deviant, and threatening are integral to justifying, normalizing, and reinforcing the state-sanctioned violence enacted against them.

The heightened visibility of transgender people, Fischer argues, has actually occasioned a conservative backlash characterized by the increased surveillance of trans people by the security state, evident in debates over bathroom access laws, the trans military ban, and the rescission of federal protections for transgender students and workers. Terrorizing Gender concludes that the current moment of trans visibility constitutes a contingent cultural and national belonging, given the gendered and racialized violence that the state continues to enact against trans communities, particularly those of color.

**All synopses courtesy of University of Nebraska Press  (

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2020 Census: The Law Is Clear–Personal Information Cannot Be Shared

The mission of the Census Bureau is to serve as the nation’s leading provider of quality statistics about its people and economy. They couldn’t produce this information without you. Responsible data stewardship is how they maintain your trust. Being responsible stewards of your data is not only required by law but also embedded in their culture.

The Law Protects Your Information. Under Title 13 of the U.S. Code, your information must be kept confidential, and your answers cannot be used against you by any government agency or court. Anyone who violates this law faces severe penalties.

They Use Cutting-Edge Safeguards To Protect Your Identity. They do not identify individuals in the statistics they publish. Their policies and safeguards help them ensure the confidentiality of your information. Our Disclosure Review Board verifies that any product they release meets their confidentiality standards. Click on the link to learn more about the U.S Census Bureau’s Data Protection and Privacy Program: Find Out More.

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Resources for Veterans, their Families, Caregivers, and Survivors

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Nebraska Department of Veterans Affairs websites offer many resources for Veterans, their families, caregivers, and survivors.

For example, the U.S. VA website offers information on GI Bill benefits, Healthcare, Disability, Education, Veterans Day information and discounts, a website to help find old service friends, informational podcasts and webinars, and much, much more. You can even sign up for email updates to receive the latest news about VA benefits.

The Nebraska Department of Veterans Affairs website offers similar information, but more specifically for Nebraska Veterans. Job Fairs in Nebraska, general veterans employment, who to contact for veterans financial aid, tuition aid, and a guide to disability claims & appeals, just to name a few.

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November Health Outreach Resources

November is …

  • National Family Health History Month
  • National American Indian Heritage Month
  • American Diabetes Month

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine has just released resources to help you plan health programs and promote health information during November. Links include a program kit, webinars, electronic bulletin slides, posters, and social media materials. Visit this page for more details: offers a toolkit for American Diabetes Month. The toolkit provides ideas for hosting a community event, and resources to share health information through your website, newsletter, or social media. Visit this page for more details:

Christian Minter, MSLIS
Community Engagement and Health Literacy Librarian
Coordinator of Circulation Services
Assistant Professor
McGoogan Library of Medicine
University of Nebraska Medical Center
986705 Nebraska Medical Center | Omaha, NE 68198-6705

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Rural Nebraska Communities have Access to $2.2 Million for Disaster Recovery Due to FEMA-Major Disaster Declarations

Lincoln, Neb., Oct. 22, 2019 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Nebraska State Director Karl Elmshaeuser announced that Nebraska has been allocated with nearly $2.2 million in grants available through the Community Facilities Program to help rural communities continue in their recovery from the devastating effects of FEMA declared disasters in Nebraska.

“Nebraska has been hit hard by the devastating weather, with 83 of our counties receiving Major Disaster Declarations,” Elmshaeuser said. “USDA works hard to help communities thrive and this funding supports in their long-term recovery.”

The $2.2 million is included in the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act that President Trump signed into law on June 6, 2019.

Nebraska declared counties are: Adams, Antelope, Banner, Blaine, Boone, Box Butte, Boyd, Brown, Buffalo, Burt, Butler, Cass, Cedar, Cherry, Cheyenne, Clay, Colfax, Cuming, Custer, Dakota, Dawes, Dawson, Deuel, Dixon, Dodge, Douglas, Fillmore, Franklin, Frontier, Furnas, Gage, Garden, Garfield, Gosper, Greeley, Hall, Hamilton, Harlan, Holt, Howard, Jefferson, Johnson, Kearney, Keith, Keya Paha, Kimball, Knox, Lancaster, Lincoln, Logan, Loup, Madison, Merrick, Morrill, Nance, Nemaha, Nuckolls, Omaha Indian Reservation, Otoe, Pawnee, Phelps, Pierce, Platte, Polk, Ponca TDSA, Richardson, Rock, Sac and Fox Indian Reservation, Saline, Santee Indian Reservation, Sarpy, Saunders, Scotts Bluff, Seward, Sheridan, Sherman, Stanton, Thayer, Thomas, Thurston, Valley, Washington, Wayne, Webster, Wheeler, Winnebago Indian Reservation, and York.

Grant applications will be accepted at USDA Rural Development Attn: Community Programs; 100 Centennial Mall North; Federal Building Room 308; Lincoln, Neb. 68508. Applications will be accepted on a continual basis until funds are exhausted. Grant assistance will be provided on a graduated scale; smaller communities with the lowest median household income are eligible for a higher proportion of grant funds. For application details and additional information, see page 47477 of the Sept. 10 Federal Register. In Nebraska, contact your local Rural Development Community Program Staff.

More than 100 types of projects are eligible for Community Facilities funding. Eligible applicants include municipalities, public bodies, nonprofit organizations and federally recognized Native American tribes.

Projects must be in eligible rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less.

In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a cornerstone recommendation of the task force.

To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit

*USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.

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The Census and Special Districts in the U.S.

From Municipalities to Special Districts, Official Count of Every Type of Local Government is in the 2017 Census of Governments.

We know what counties and municipalities are. But what are special districts?  

Special districts are independent government units created for a limited, specific purpose and, every year, new districts are created and existing ones dissolve.

The latest in-depth, encyclopedic count of special districts and all types of local governments in the United States is now available.

Released earlier this year, the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 Census of Governments Organization component provides statistics on governments in the United States as of June 2017 and shows changes since the last count in 2012.

Tables show counts by government type, state, population-size groups, function and school systems. 

Local governments are classified into five types: county, municipal, township, special districts and school districts.  

County, municipal and township governments are general-purpose governments. The official count for those types of governments has not changed significantly since 2012.

Then there are special districts.

They typically have a shorter lifespan and higher turnover than general purpose governments, but the difference in their counts was also relatively slim between 2012 and 2017: The 2017 Census of Governments added more than 1,500 special districts and removed roughly 1,260 that are no longer operating.

Nebraska Examples of Special Districts

Airport Authorities, Cemetery Districts, Community Building Districts, County Fair Boards, Drainage Districts, Hospital Districts and Authorities, Housing Agencies, Interstate County Bridge Commissions, Irrigation Districts, Joint Electric Power, Sewerage and Solid Waste Disposal, Water Distribution Agencies—1981 Law, Joint Public Power Authorities—1982 Law, Metropolitan Transit Authority, Metropolitan Utilities Districts, Natural Resources Districts, Public Power Districts, Reclamation Districts, Risk Management Pools, Road and Street Improvement Districts—1957 and 1961 Laws, Rural and Suburban Fire Protection Districts, Rural Water Districts, and Sanitary and Improvement Districts.

Why So Many New Special Districts?

So why are states creating special districts these days?  

In some cases, states create them to provide services to newly- developed geographic areas.

In other cases, the special purpose activity or services already exist, but residents expect a higher level of quality.  

For example, a state may have fire protection services. However, the established governmental structure may not legally allow the fire district to raise enough funds to maintain the desired level of quality services.  

That’s when a state may choose to create a special district. Most special districts can levy additional property or sales taxes, and may borrow money to buy or build facilities by issuing bonds.  

Some districts are only active for a limited time, usually as long as it takes to pay back a debt.

Multifunction Districts

Between the 2012 and 2017 census, multifunction districts grew the most.  

Multifunction districts can collect property taxes and issue tax-exempt bonds. Legislation authorizing multifunction districts was passed in most states across the nation in the 1980s.

For example:

  • In Colorado, the 2017 Census of Governments added close to 270 metropolitan districts to the master list of local governments in the state.  

Metropolitan districts can provide a wide array of services, such as fire protection, street improvements, recreation, mosquito control and television relay services.  

These districts can collect property taxes and issue public debt. That’s why it’s important to keep track of public funds controlled by these districts.  

Most of the metropolitan districts in Colorado are development districts created to provide funding for development projects.

  • In Texas, multifunction districts, called Municipal Utility Districts (MUDs), also showed growth. The 2017 Census of Governments added nearly 200 units to the master list of local governments in Texas.  

MUDs provide a variety of utility services in areas not included in a municipality. These districts can finance developing infrastructure and housing.

MUDs can incur public debts in the form of bonds to finance infrastructure and/or housing, and may dissolve in 15 to 25 years after the debt is paid in full.  

As in Colorado, developers who see public-private partnerships as business opportunities usually drive the creation of multifunction districts.  

Development And Water Supply Districts

Financing capital improvement was the leading force behind special district growth in Florida.  

The 2017 Census of Governments added about 130 new Community Development Districts (CDD). In Florida, CDDs may finance a variety of community development projects, such as new sewage facilities.  

The 2017 Individual State Descriptions publication provides a comprehensive description of the governmental organization for the 50 states and the District of Columbia.  

Some of these districts are similar to Community Improvement Associations (CIAs) in size and scale of operations. Both are a result of the housing boom from 2003 to 2008.

The major difference is that CDDs are considered public government units that enjoy some tax exemptions, although this comes with other regulations and required transparency in governing these districts.

The 2017 Census of Governments data also reflect the creation of more water supply districts in New Mexico. Over 150 Mutual Domestic Water Consumers Associations were included as special district governments since the last census. Other states, including California, Arkansas, Missouri and Washington, also added between 10 to 20 water supply districts.

Fire And Emergency Services Districts

Nationally, Emergency Services Districts (ESD) that provide local fire protection and ambulance services have grown this decade: 150 were created from 2012 to 2017 — 130 of them in Texas.  

The increase is centered in areas experiencing the fastest population growth in the country since the 2010 Census.

Often, ESDs are organized as a funding tool for existing volunteer fire departments.  These allow volunteer fire districts to collect additional property and sales taxes to provide service to their expanding communities.

It can be challenging to find fire-fighting funding in areas losing population and experiencing declining property values.

In Arizona, for example, laws passed in 2013 allow fire districts to consolidate into fire authorities to reduce overhead costs. The 2017 Census of Governments shows 14 new joint fire authorities in Ohio.  

Some township volunteer fire departments have recently begun to combine personnel, equipment and property tax revenue to become official special district governments.

Another way districts can improve emergency response and rescue operations is by creating Emergency Communications (911) Districts to help coordinate resources between municipalities, counties and other local governments.

Some states, including Texas, Iowa, and Oregon, have had them since 1985. Others like Washington and Massachusetts have recently introduced laws enabling citizens to create 911 districts.

Download the Individual State Descriptions: 2017 Census of Governments

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A History of the Census in the United States : Part 3

The 3rd Census: Census Day was August 6, 1810

James Madison was President of the United States on Census Day, August 6, 1810.

Authorizing Legislation

The authorization act for the third census stipulated that an assistant marshal must actually visit each household, or the head of each family, within his designated enumeration district and should not rely on hearsay or the like to complete his count. The act also mandated that the enumeration commence on the first Monday of August.


An act of May 1, 1810 amended the earlier authorizing legislation to require that, while they were collecting demographic data, assistant marshals also collect available economic data. These men recorded the “several manufacturing establishments and manufactures within their several districts, territories, and divisions.” The marshals transmitted the manufacturing data to the secretary of the treasury at the same time they sent the results of the population enumeration to the secretary of state. No schedule was prescribed for the collection of industrial data and the nature of the inquiries were at the discretion of the secretary of the treasury. Because of this, the collection of manufacturing data was so erratic that it was generally considered useless except to identify broad industrial trends.

Intercensal Activity

An act of May 16, 1812, provided for the publication of a digest of manufactures containing data on the kind, quality, and value of goods manufactured, the number of establishments, and the number of machines of various kinds used in certain classes of manufactures. The report containing incomplete returns for more than 200 kinds of goods and including several items that were principally agricultural, was published in 1813.

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E-rate @ West Point

Have you registered for the upcoming E-rate workshops? In person workshops are still open for Grand Island (October 28), and Ashland (November 12). Registration information can be found here:

E-rate Workshops

Don’t worry if you miss (the workshop that is), as you can always register or view the online session. It’s the E-rate you don’t want to miss out on. You can also make it a full day and attend the afternoon Digital World session. For more information about the impact of E-rate, check out this week’s Adobe Spark video. Like the others, this was created using all free resources. This week’s story is from the John Stahl Public Library in West Point:

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A History of the Census in the United States : Part 2

The 2nd Census: Census Day was August 4, 1800

John Adams was President of the United States on Census Day, August 4, 1800.

Authorizing Legislation

An act of February 28, 1800 authorized the second census of the United States, which was to include the states and territories northwest of the Ohio River and Mississippi Territory. The census was to conclude within nine calendar months of its start.

The guidelines for the 1800 enumeration followed those of the first census, with only minor alterations in the law. John Marshall, secretary of state in 1800, was the nominal head of census operations. By early 1801, however, Marshall was chief justice of the Supreme Court. James Madison, his successor as secretary of state, oversaw the final tabulations and reported population totals to Congress and the president.


The questionnaire provided space to separately tally free white males and females in several age categories: under 10, 10 but under 15, 16 but under 25, 25 but under 45, and over 45. Indians, slaves, and free blacks were listed in single categories undivided into age groups.

Further Information

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Jobs Available for the 2020 Census!

The week of October 21st is Jobs Week for the 2020 Census! Anyone can apply!

The posters below can be printed out and placed anywhere in your library!

Visit 2020 Census Jobs for more information!

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A History of the Census in the United States : Part 1

President George Washington, Vice President John Adams, and Speaker of the House Frederick Muhlenberg signed the 1790 census act, March 1, 1790.

The First Census: Census Day was August 2, 1790.

Authorizing Legislation

The first census began more than a year after the inauguration of President Washington and shortly before the second session of the first Congress ended. Congress assigned responsibility for the 1790 census to the marshals of the U.S. judicial districts under an act which, with minor modifications and extensions, governed census taking through 1840. The law required that every household be visited, that completed census schedules be posted in “two of the most public places within [each jurisdiction], there to remain for the inspection of all concerned…” and that “the aggregate amount of each description of persons” for every district be transmitted to the president.


The six inquiries in 1790 called for the name of the head of the family and the number of persons in each household of the following descriptions:

  • Free White males of 16 years and upward (to assess the country’s industrial and military potential)
  • Free White males under 16 years
  • Free White females
  • All other free persons
  • Slaves

Under the general direction of Thomas Jefferson, the Secretary of State, marshals took the census in the original 13 States, plus the districts of Kentucky, Maine, and Vermont, and the Southwest Territory (Tennessee).

Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson expressed skepticism over the final count, expecting a number that exceeded the 3.9 million inhabitants counted in the census.

Further Information

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What’s Up Doc? New State Agency Publications at the Nebraska Library Commission

New state agency publications have been received at the Nebraska Library Commission for September 2019.  Included are reports from the Nebraska Auditor of Public Accounts, the Nebraska Information Technology Commission, the Nebraska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, and new books from the University of Nebraska Press, to name a few.

Most items, except the books from the University of Nebraska Press, are available for immediate viewing and printing by clicking on the highlighted link above, or directly in the .pdf below.  You can read synopses of the books received from the University of Nebraska Press books in the September Book Briefs blogpost.

The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse in 1972, a service of the Nebraska Library Commission. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, and provide access to all public information published by Nebraska state agencies.  By law (State Statutes 51-411 to 51-413) all Nebraska state agencies are required to submit their published documents to the Clearinghouse.  For more information, visit the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse page, contact Mary Sauers, Government Information Services Librarian; or contact Bonnie Henzel, State Documents Staff Assistant.

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E-rate Story

Special thanks to those public librarians who recently completed our technology and E-rate survey. As of today, we have received over 200 responses. While we are working on analyzing the results, here’s a little 2 minute video (see below), with special thanks to the Pawnee City Public Library. FREE tools were used to create this video using Adobe Spark. If you are interested in learning more about E-rate, consider attending one of the upcoming workshops:

October 21, 2019 – Columbus (Central Community College)
October 28, 2019 – Grand Island Public Library
November 5 – Online via GoToWebinar

The video has sound, so make sure to turn yours on. Here you go:

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Call for Speakers: Big Talk From Small Libraries 2020

The Call for Speakers for Big Talk From Small Libraries 2020 is now open!

This free one-day online conference is aimed at librarians from small libraries; the smaller the better! We are looking for speakers from small libraries or speakers who directly work with small libraries. Small libraries of all types – public, academic, school, museum, special, etc. – are encouraged to submit a proposal. We’re looking for seven 50-minute presentations and five 10-minute “lightning round” presentations.

Do you offer a service or program at your small library that other librarians might like to hear about? Have you implemented a new (or old) technology, hosted an event, partnered with others in your community, or just done something really cool? The Big Talk From Small Libraries online conference gives you the opportunity to share what you’ve done, while learning what your colleagues in other small libraries are doing. Here are some possible topics to get you thinking:

  • Unique Libraries
  • Special Collections
  • New buildings
  • Fundraising
  • Improved Workflows
  • Staff Development
  • Advocacy Efforts
  • Community Partnerships
  • That great thing you’re doing at your library!

Big Talk From Small Libraries 2020 will be held on Friday, February 28, 2020 between 8:45 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (CT) via the GoToWebinar online meeting service. Speakers will be able to present their programs from their own desktops. The schedule will accommodate speakers’ time-zones.

If you are interested in presenting, please submit your proposal by Friday, January 3, 2020.

Speakers from libraries serving fewer than 10,000 people will be preferred, but presentations from libraries with larger service populations will be considered.

This conference is organized and hosted by the Nebraska Library Commission and is co-sponsored by the Association for Rural & Small Libraries.

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Book Briefs: New University of Nebraska Press Books at the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse

The Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse receives documents every month from all Nebraska state agencies, including the University of Nebraska Press (UNP).  Each month we will be showcasing the UNP books that the Clearinghouse receives.                UNP books, as well as all Nebraska state documents, are available for checkout by libraries and librarians, for their patrons, in Nebraska.

Here are the UNP books the Clearinghouse received in September:

An Army in Crisis : Social Conflict and the U.. Army in Germany, 1968-1975                                                                                          Alexander Vazansky

Following the decision to maintain 250,000 U.S. troops in Germany after the Allied victory in 1945, the U.S. Army had, for the most part, been a model of what a peacetime occupying army stationed in an ally’s country should be. The army had initially benefited from the positive results of U.S. foreign policy toward West Germany and the deference of the Federal Republic toward it, establishing cordial and even friendly relations with German society. By 1968, however, the disciplined military of the Allies had been replaced with rundown barracks and shabby-looking GIs, and U.S. bases in Germany had become a symbol of the army’s greatest crisis, a crisis that threatened the army’s very existence.

In An Army in Crisis Alexander Vazansky analyzes the social crisis that developed among the U.S. Army forces stationed in Germany between 1968 and 1975. This crisis was the result of shifting deployment patterns across the world during the Vietnam War; changing social and political realities of life in postwar Germany and Europe; and racial tensions, drug use, dissent, and insubordination within the U.S. Army itself, influenced by the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, and the youth movement in the States. With particular attention to 1968, An Army in Crisis examines the changing relationships between American and German soldiers, from German deference to familiarity and fraternization, and the effects that a prolonged military presence in Germany had on American military personnel, their dependents, and the lives of Germans. Vazansky presents an innovative study of opposition and resistance within the ranks, affected by the Vietnam War and the limitations of personal freedom among the military during this era.

Bodies Built for Game : The Prairie Schooner Anthology of Contemporary Sports Writing                                                                    Edited by Natalie Diaz; Hannah Ensor, Associate Editor

Sport has always been central to the movements of both the nation-state and the people who resist that nation-state. Think of the Roman Colosseum, Jesse Owens’s four gold-medal victories in the 1936 Nazi Olympics, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s protest at the 1968 Olympics, and the fallout Colin Kaepernick suffered as a result of his recent protest on the sidelines of an NFL game. Sport is a place where the body and the mind are the most dangerous because they are allowed to be unified as one energy.

Bodies Built for Game brings together poems, essays, and stories that challenge our traditional ideas of sport and question the power structures that athletics enforce. What is it that drives us to athletics? What is it that makes us break our own bodies or the bodies of others as we root for these unnatural and performed victories? Featuring contributions from a diverse group of writers, including Hanif Abdurraqib, Fatimah Asghar, Reginald Dwayne Betts, Louise Erdrich, Toni Jensen, Ada Limón, Tommy Orange, Claudia Rankine, Danez Smith, and Maya Washington, this book challenges America by questioning its games.

Carrying Water to the Field : New and Selected Poems                          Joyce Sutphen; Introduction by Ted Kooser                                                  (Series: Ted Kooser Contemporary Poetry Series)

Joyce Sutphen’s evocations of life on a small farm, coming of age in the late 1960s, and traveling and searching for balance in a very modern world are both deeply personal and familiar. Readers from Maine to Minnesota and beyond will recognize themselves, their parents, aunts and uncles, and neighbors in these poems, which move us from delight in keen description toward something like wisdom or solace in the things of this world.

In addition to poems selected from the last twenty-five years, Carrying Water to the Field includes more than forty new poems on the themes of luck, hard work, and the ravages of time—erasures that Sutphen attempts to ameliorate with her careful attention to language and lyrical precision.

The Distance Between : A Memoir                                                              Timothy J. Hillegonds

At eighteen years old, with no high school diploma, a growing rap sheet, and a failed relationship with his estranged father, Timothy J. Hillegonds took a one-way flight from Chicago to Colorado in hopes of leaving his mounting rage and frustration behind. His plan was simple: snowboard, hang out, live an uncomplicated life.

The Distance Between chronicles how Hillegonds’s plan went awry after he immediately jumped head first into a turbulent relationship with April, a Denny’s coworker and single mother. At once passionate and volatile, their relationship was fueled by vodka, crystal methamphetamine, and poverty—and it sometimes became violent. Mere months after moving to the mountains, when the stakes felt like they couldn’t be higher, Hillegonds learned April was pregnant with his child.

More than just a harrowing story of addiction and abuse or a simple mea culpa, The Distance Between is a finely wrought exploration of, and reckoning with, absent fathers, fatherhood, violence, adolescent rage, white male privilege, and Hillegonds’s own toxic masculinity. With nuance and urgency, The Distance Between takes readers through the grit of life on the margins while grappling with the problematic nature of one man’s existence.

Edith Wharton, Willa Cather, and the Place of Culture                          Julie Olin-Ammentorp

Edith Wharton and Willa Cather wrote many of the most enduring American novels from the first half of the twentieth century, including Wharton’s The House of Mirth, Ethan Frome, and The Age of Innocence, and Cather’s O Pioneers!, My Ántonia, and Death Comes for the Archbishop. Yet despite their perennial popularity and their status as major American novelists, Wharton (1862–1937) and Cather (1873–1947) have rarely been studied together. Indeed, critics and scholars seem to have conspired to keep them at a distance: Wharton is seen as “our literary aristocrat,” an author who chronicles the lives of the East Coast, Europe-bound elite, while Cather is considered a prairie populist who describes the lives of rugged western pioneers. These depictions, though partially valid, nonetheless rely on oversimplifications and neglect the striking and important ways the works of these two authors intersect.

The first comparative study of Edith Wharton and Willa Cather in thirty years, this book combines biographical, historical, and literary analyses with a focus on place and aesthetics to reveal Wharton’s and Cather’s parallel experiences of dislocation, their relationship to each other as writers, and the profound similarities in their theories of fiction. Julie Olin-Ammentorp provides a new assessment of the affinities between Wharton and Cather by exploring the importance of literary and geographic place in their lives and works, including the role of New York City, the American West, France, and travel. In doing so she reveals the two authors’ shared concern about the culture of place and the place of culture in the United States.

Gothic Queer Culture : Marginalized Communities and the Ghosts of Insidious Trauma                                                                                Laura Westengard                                                                                        (Series: Expanding Frontiers: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality)

In Gothic Queer Culture, Laura Westengard proposes that contemporary U.S. queer culture is gothic at its core. Using interdisciplinary cultural studies to examine the gothicism in queer art, literature, and thought—including ghosts embedded in queer theory, shadowy crypts in lesbian pulp fiction, monstrosity and cannibalism in AIDS poetry, and sadomasochism in queer performance—Westengard argues that during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries a queer culture has emerged that challenges and responds to traumatic marginalization by creating a distinctly gothic aesthetic.

Gothic Queer Culture examines the material effects of marginalization, exclusion, and violence and explains why discourse around the complexities of genders and sexualities repeatedly returns to the gothic. Westengard places this queer knowledge production within a larger framework of gothic queer culture, which inherently includes theoretical texts, art, literature, performance, and popular culture.

By analyzing queer knowledge production alongside other forms of queer culture, Gothic Queer Culture enters into the most current conversations on the state of gender and sexuality, especially debates surrounding negativity, anti-relationalism, assimilation, and neoliberalism. It provides a framework for understanding these debates in the context of a distinctly gothic cultural mode that acknowledges violence and insidious trauma, depathologizes the association between trauma and queerness, and offers a rich counterhegemonic cultural aesthetic through the circulation of gothic tropes.

Meander Belt : Family, Loss, and Coming of Age in the Working-Class South                                                                                                              M. Randal O’Wain                                                                                          (Series: American Lives)

In Meander Belt M. Randal O’Wain offers a reflection on how a working-class boy from Memphis, Tennessee, came to fall in love with language, reading, writing, and the larger world outside of the American South. This memoir examines what it means for the son of a carpenter to value mental rather than physical labor and what this does to his relationship with his family, whose livelihood and sensibility are decidedly blue collar. Straining the father-son bond further, O’Wain leaves home to find a life outside Memphis, roaming from place to place, finding odd jobs, and touring with his band. From memory and observation, O’Wain assembles a subtle and spare portrait of his roots, family, and ultimately discovers that his working-class upbringing is not so antithetical to the man he has become.

Salvific Manhood : James Baldwin’s Novelization of Male Intimacy    Ernest L. Gibson III                                                                              (Series: Expanding Frontiers: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality)

Salvific Manhood foregrounds the radical power of male intimacy and vulnerability in surveying each of James Baldwin’s six novels. Asserting that manhood and masculinity hold the potential for both tragedy and salvation, Ernest L. Gibson III highlights the complex and difficult emotional choices Baldwin’s men must make within their varied lives, relationships, and experiences. In Salvific Manhood, Gibson offers a new and compelling way to understand the hidden connections between Baldwin’s novels. Thematically daring and theoretically provocative, he presents a queering of salvation, a nuanced approach that views redemption through the lenses of gender and sexuality.

Exploring how fraternal crises develop out of sociopolitical forces and conditions, Salvific Manhood theorizes a spatiality of manhood, where spaces in between men are erased through expressions of intimacy and love. Positioned at the intersections of literary criticism, queer studies, and male studies, Gibson deconstructs Baldwin’s wrestling with familial love, American identity, suicide, art, incarceration, and memory by magnifying the potent idea of salvific manhood. Ultimately, Salvific Manhood calls for an alternate reading of Baldwin’s novels, introducing new theories for understanding the intricacies of African American manhood and American identity, all within a space where the presence of tragedy can give way to the possibility of salvation.​

**All synopses courtesy of University of Nebraska Press  (

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BookFace Friday: You Were Always Mine, by Nicole Baart

When I was asked to read one of the books for this year’s Nebraska Book Festival, I immediately jumped at the chance to read You Were Always Mine, by Nicole Baart. As an adoptee from more than 50 years ago, I have wondered what my birth mother might have been like, as well as wondered about the adoption process. Nicole Baart has done an excellent job exploring a thriller scenario involving a birth mother, and it is definitely a can’t-put-it-down page-turner!

Iowa school teacher Jess Chamberlain, the heroine of this harrowing domestic thriller, and her husband, Evan, a family practitioner, have been separated for six months, and it’s been hard on their 13-year-old son, Max, and their six-year-old adopted son, Gabe. When Evan is killed in a hunting accident in Minnesota, Jess is shocked and suspicious, especially since Evan didn’t hunt. With the support of her family and friends, Jess struggles to move on from the death of a man she still loved. As Jess attempts to retrace Evan’s steps leading up to what becomes increasingly clear was his murder, she discovers that Evan was communicating with Gabe’s birth mother and may have been onto something that hits very close to home. Heartbreaking letters and emails sent by Gabe’s birth mother to various others, including Gabe, add emotional heft. Baart sensitively mines the bonds of motherhood and marriage while shining a light on a darker side of the adoption industry. (Publishers Weekly)

Don’t miss author Nicole Baart tomorrow at the Nebraska Book Festival!

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