2902.0 - Census Update (Newsletter), Jul 2006  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/07/2006   
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ABS' partnership with libraries - a free knowledge network for the nation

Everything you wanted to know about the Census is waiting for you down at your local library!

Information at the library shows what the Census means to you, how it benefits individuals and groups and how it helps in planning tomorrow’s Australia.

You can also learn more about the Time Capsule option, offered again in 2006 as it was in the 2001 Census. Or you may wish simply to be reassured about other aspects of the Census, such as the absolute privacy it guarantees to all - by law and long-established tradition.

Libraries throughout Australia, with their wide geographical spread, are in an ideal partnership with the ABS, communicating statistical awareness to the wider community.

Called the Library Extension Program, or LEP, it is a partnership that provides a knowledge network for everyone via its participating public, reference and academic libraries nationwide.

The LEP came into existence in 1991, and since then it has flourished. It is recognised within the ABS as being central to the Bureau's business as the nation's statistical agency. The program incorporates 519 libraries.

The ABS LEP network gives people in Australia - wherever there are libraries - the opportunity to learn about the Census: how it is an absolute necessity in a democracy and what it does for communities and individuals in terms of planning.

The Census is the largest and most comprehensive of all of the many thousands of ongoing data collections undertaken by the ABS.
The ABS has been providing LEP libraries with comprehensive display materials, including posters and brochures, right from the start when 2006 Census recruitment of about 30,000 field officers began.

The ABS is also making available to libraries material for library staff to insert into their newsletters - equally available to clubs and other community organisations to disseminate to their stakeholders.

A tremendous amount of Census material is also available on a special ABS CD-ROM product for libraries, called CLIB 2001: the Census @ Your Library. This is sent to all requesting libraries, whether or not they participate in the LEP.

Libraries are also playing a key role as centres for regional launches of the 2006 Census public awareness campaign, supported by councils, other community group leaders and the media.

Some libraries around Australia will be open on Census night, giving the public the facility to conveniently complete their Census form on-line. If people have concerns about security of a shared PC, or privacy of their information in a public space, they should complete the paper form. Any information lodged through the system will be protected by strong data encryption and by a series of firewalls and other security hardware once it is received by the ABS.

So when you get down to your local library, you can reflect upon the way we were, how we are now, and what the future holds.