Community and User Groups


Description of Community Served: Newman Township Library has a primary and secondary service community. The primary community is Newman Township, Douglas County. The rural township is spread over 40 square miles and includes the town of Newman. There are 1,200 people in the township of which 956 live in Newman, and 244 in the outlying areas. The population has essentially stayed the same in town since 1990, though the 2000 census showed a decrease by 44 people or 18% of the population from the outlying parts of the township. The decrease seems to be in people between the ages of 30 and 64, as they have moved for better job opportunities.

The community is predominately white and English speaking with less than 1% of the population a race other than white. Children under 19 years of age constitute about a quarter of the population. Senior citizens also comprise about a quarter of the population. The other adult population (20-64 years old) accounts for 52% of the community.

The community is one of solo commuters, the mean travel time is 29 minutes. In 2000, of all the people who worked, 46% drove by themselves more than 30 minutes to get to their workplace. This is two times the number of long-distance commuters in 1990. 39% of the workforce drives 10-30 minutes. Only 15% of the workers drive less than ten minutes. The majority of these commuters are leaving the area between 5 and 8:30 a.m. and not returning until around 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. Children are also commuters. Those in the edges of the township might board buses for school as early as 7:00 a.m. and not return until 4:00 p.m. In 65% of the families with children, both parents are working.

This is a community of families. 68% of the households consider themselves family. 57% of the households have a married couple in the home, 8% are women living with their children and no husband. This latter number has increased since 1990. 30% of the population lives alone and just over half of these people are 65 and over. 5% of the population lives in the nursing home. The average household size is about 2 ¼ people.

The community is one of homeowners. In 2000, 78% of the population lived in owner occupied housing, leaving 22% in rental homes. The number of rentals has increased by 2% since 1990. 68% of the population lived in the same house in 2000 as they did in 1995.

While the community is rural, only 1.5% of the population is engaged in farming. The occupations of the workers is fairly well diversified: 30% in management or professional jobs; 20% in production or transportation occupations; 18% in service occupations; and 19% in sales or office jobs. 30% of the workers are in education, health and social services. The other major industries are manufacturing and retail trade. 86% of the population has a high school diploma or more education. 21% of the population has at least some college education.

The community is mostly middle class, though there was a 6% increase in the number of people below the poverty level from 1990 to 2000. The later census shows that 16% of the population is at that level. Often households with just mother and children are in this category.

The secondary community encompasses the Shiloh School District. This includes Murdock and Sargent townships in Douglas County and Young America, Shiloh, Embarrass, and Buck townships in Edgar County. There are several towns in the district that are smaller than Newman: Metcalf, Hume, Brocton, Redmon, and Murdock. There are no larger towns. This area includes over ? square miles and 3,726 people. The district population is almost identical to the description of the Newman Township population.

Newman Township Library User Groups

Children are one of our targeted user groups. 12% of the population is in the elementary or junior high schools. 7% are in the high school and 6% are under 5 years old. There is a strong program for preschool children and their families sponsored by the school district. Children may apply for their own library card at 8 years old. Thirty-three percent of our circulation is children and youth material.

A subgroup of the children are the ones in single, female only households. Many of these families are at or below the poverty level. These children also are often left alone after school while the parent is working.

Senior citizens are another major user group. Probably 60-70% of our patrons are over the age of 55. 5% of the total population lives in a nursing home in Newman. A significant portion of our senior population is caring for grandchildren on a regular basis.

Since the majority of our working-age adults are commuting an average of 29 minutes to work, they are a small percentage of our patrons. The library has recently targeted these commuters as a special group worth some focused attention.

Approved: June 9, 2003