$30 – $80

An Introduction to the US Census: Understand, Find, and Access Data

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METRO Library Council

599 11th Avenue, 8th Floor

New York, NY 10036

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An Introduction to the US Census: Understand, Find, and Access Data

How many people live in my neighborhood? How many Americans have a college degree? Which counties have the highest percentage of public transit users? What is the composition of the population or labor force by age, sex, and racial and ethnic group for my city or town?

These questions and many more can be answered by the census. More than just a ten-year population count, the US Census is a vast ecosystem of datasets that can be used for describing places and groups of people. All of these datasets share a common vocabulary and organizational system, and the data is available from many different sources. Knowing how the census is organized and which sources to use are the keys for unlocking this valuable resource.

This session will provide a conceptual overview of the census so you can learn to choose the best data and sources for answering specific questions from researchers with varying needs and skills. You will gain hands-on experience with exploring, finding, and accessing data using several different online tools, and will get some practice with basic data manipulation in a spreadsheet.

Prerequisites for this workshop include a laptop and familiarity with spreadsheets like MS Excel or LibreOffice Calc. Participants should be able to navigate the web and their laptop effortlessly.

About the instructor

Frank Donnelly is the Geospatial Data Librarian at Baruch College CUNY, where he supports members of his university with finding, processing, understanding, and using geographic data. He manages the library's GIS Lab (geographic information systems) which provides research consultations and GIS workshops and produces tutorials and data. Frank's book, "Exploring the US Census: Your Guide to America's Data", is slated to be published by SAGE publications at the end of 2019. Frank shares tips, tutorials, and stories about his work on his blog "At These Coordinates": https://atcoordinates.info/.

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METRO Library Council

599 11th Avenue, 8th Floor

New York, NY 10036

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