Community Response Plan
BROADWATER PUBLIC LIBRARY
COMMUNITY RESPONSE PLAN
The Broadwater Public Library exists to provide information, educational, cultural, and recreational material and technologies to library patrons of all ages. We strive to effectively meet the needs of our community by offering a collection of interesting reading, listening, and viewing materials, as well as, helpful services to support the community’s business, cultural, recreational and educational needs, along with preservation of some local historical information. We promote life-long learning and uphold the public’s freedom of access to information.
PURPOSE AND SCOPE
This Community Response Plan will cover the goals and objectives to meet the community needs for the fiscal years 2018-2021. The Library Director and Library Board will review the Community Response Plan at each August board meeting, evaluate if the goals are being met and discuss any changes needed.
Data used in the Community Profile for population, demographics ,education, housing and economics was obtained from American FactFinder using the 2016 Community Survey Facts Profile for Broadwater Village, Nebraska.
Broadwater is a village in eastern Morrill County, Nebraska located at the intersection of US 26 and NE 92. The Union Pacific Railroad runs through town and has a siding. It is sixteen miles east of Bridgeport, the county seat of Morrill County.
The population of Broadwater is 163. The median age of the population is 43.8 years compared to the state median age of 36.2. The percentage of the population under 19 years is 24.5% with 9.2% being under five years, this compares with state figures of 27.7% and 6.9%. The population is 77.3% White, 22.1% Latino and .06% Asian. State figures are 80.3% White, 10.2% Latino and 2.1% Asian. The percentage of the population over 65 years of age is 22.1% compared with 13.5% state wide.
The Nebraska State data shows 90.7% of the population have a high school education or higher. The percentage of the population in Broadwater with the same level of education is 83.3%. Broadwater does not have a school system. The school age children in the area attend both Bridgeport Public Schools or Leyton Public schools. Bridgeport is 16 miles west of the village, while Leyton is 22 miles west and south. The number of students from the village enrolled in kindergarten to 12th grade is 17.
There are two cities with-in 50 miles that have a community college campus, Alliance to the north and Scottsbluff to the east.
The median household income the village of Broadwater is $31,350 while the state median is $54,384. The Average household income in Broadwater is $59,290 while the state average is $71,166. Broadwater unemployment is 3.8% with 93.7% of the population commuting to work. Unemployment for the state of Nebraska is 2.9% with 90.8% of the population commuting to work.
The percentage of Broadwater residents shown to be below the poverty line is 21.1% compared to a state figure or 12.4%
The median home value in Broadwater is $19,600. The is a high percentage of vacant houses, 39.3%, The percentage of homes occupied is 60.7%. Median rent is $614 and 29.4% of the residents rent. Only 9.3% of those who rent pay more than 35 percent of their income for rent. There is a high percentage of home ownership in the village with 70.6% of the population owning a home. State figures for comparison show the median home value to be far higher at $137,300. Median rent is $745 with 34% of the population renting. Rent takes up over 35 percent of the income of 34.7% of the state population. Occupancy state wide is 91% with only 9% vacancy. Home ownership is at 66% in the state and 34% of residents rent.
The primary industry in the Broadwater area is agriculture. There are seven businesses within the Village Limits: A convenience store and gas station, a diner, a Bed and Breakfast, a firearms dealer, a beauty salon, a farm co-op, and a tree service. The village also has a post office that is open four hours per day five days a week. The top occupations for Broadwater residents are Management, Service Industries and Sales.
COMMUNITY RESPONSE TEAM AND PROCESS
The Community Response Team included four Community Area Representatives, Larry Hedin, Jeri Yeager and Sean Carsen. The remainder of the team included the Library Staff, Library Board Chair person, Darlene Loomis and Village Board Chairperson, Susan Kelley. The Community response team began by reviewing the Community Survey for appropriateness. The survey was sent out in February, 2018 and the responses received and reviewed by the Library Director. A report of the survey responses was made to the Library Board at the April, 2018 meeting and then given to the Village Board for its May, 2018 meeting. The Library Board voted to open the May, 2018 meeting to the Community Area Representatives and Village Board Chairperson for discussion of possible Community Response goals. At the May 22, 2018 Library Board Meeting, Sean Carsen attended as a Community Area Representative and as a parent of four of the children in our After School Club Program (this is an after-school program for per-school- sixth grade students.). One of our Library Board members, Nicole Leeling is the parent of three of our After School Club students. Nettie and Dan Cape, grandparents of another After School Club student, also attended the meeting. It was decided by the Library Director to treat the group of four parents and guardians that attended the meeting as a Focus Group for the purpose of the Community Response needs assessment because of their special interest in the Community Response planning process.
STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESS OF BROADWATER PUBLIC LIBRARY
Please see Appendix B for a summary of the Peer Library comparisons discussed in this section.
Compared to libraries its size our library is open more hours. Our Library Director has a Level III Certification, where a Level I is required. The Library Director also works for the Bridgeport Public Library and the Morrill County Extension Service providing the Broadwater Public Library access to additional expertise, services and equipment.
The library has moved into a newer and larger building which provides space for more programming.
Our collection size and Staff FTE are in the median for comparable libraries. Our income is above average for our peer group. Local support of the library is good with significant donations of books and movies.
The Village of Broadwater was able to change internet providers in April, 2018 freeing up over $100 per month in expenses that can be used for programing and materials expenditures.
Our Library is below average on staff expenditures. We are also well below average for expenditures on materials. Our annual circulation and turnover rate are significantly below average compared to our peer group. Prior to the current year, our attendance at library programs was well below our peer libraries
The library currently has two patron computers providing access to the internet. One of those computers has limited memory and cannot download adequate security software.
OPPORTUNIES AND CHALLENGES OUTSIDE OF THE BROAWATER PUBLIC LIBRARY
The population of the village has grown from 128 at the time of the 2010 census, according to the American Factfinder website, to 163 in 2016. The total housing units has risen from 83 in 2010 to 112 in 2016. This may account for the higher vacancy rate of 39.3% compared to 27.7% in 2010.
The community has obtained a grant to update and improve the village water system. The community has an well maintained park and a playground at the new village building that houses the library and the city offices, museum and board room.
A new potato processing facility is being built 14 miles southeast of Broadwater. This could provide the residents with additional employment opportunities. Also a new motel is being built in Bridgeport which will provide more service jobs which is one of the highest employment areas for our community.
We have a significant number of vacant houses even with the increase in housing units from 83 to 112. This has continued to be a concern for several years. The Village board is attempting to address this issue but progress has been limited.
Our aging population with 22.1% of the population being over 65, increases the number of residence that can claim homestead exemption and decrease the tax income.
There are few employment opportunities in the village. At least three of the village businesses have owners over sixty. This leaves the possibility of these businesses closing, further reducing local revenues.
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Goal 1) Provide on-going after-school children’s programming. The Library began providing the after-school programming for the first time beginning in September 2017. This goal was determined after discussion with the Focus Group of parents and guardians who attended the May 22, 2018 Community Response Planning Meeting.
Objective: The Library will continue to provide once per month after-school programs from September through May during the school year. The library will also continue to provide a Summer Reading Program for preschool and elementary ages children with three to four program events. The Library will provide one “special” program event per school year.
Evaluation: We are currently averaging 10 students at 14 programs. We will be working to maintain this level of programming and participation.
Goal 2) Offer yard clean-up by the After School Club students as a Community Service to the village and to elderly and disabled village residents. This goal was specifically requested by the After School Club parents and guardians. The Library Chairperson also felt this was a worthy goal based on concerns voiced in our Community Response Survey about the need for volunteerism in the community.
Objective: Develop a flyer offering for the students to do yard clean-up of weeds, trash or leaves. Distribute these flyers to library patrons and to the Country Store, Village Hall and Post Office. Develop a Liability Release form for participants.
Evaluation: Provide one annual clean-up to the Village Hall. Provide two residents with assistance.
Goal 3) Offer a water awareness program. One of the concerns in the Community Response Survey was the water rates in the village. The Library Director has access to information from the Morrill County Extension Office which describes how to save water through wise usage practices and landscape design.
Objective: Have either the Library Director or an Extension Educator present a water savings program in the spring. Also develop an informational flyer to share the information from the program with the Library patrons or if possible mail to the community.
Evaluation: We should have 6 residents attending this meeting to meet our peer average.
Goal 4) Offer a special program to the elderly annually and increase purchases of Large Print books. This goal originated with survey participants asking for Large Print books. The Library Director then noted in researching the Community Profile that the community has a higher than average population over 65 (22.1%).
Objective: Invite a representative from the Office of Aging or a Morrill County Extension Educator or Representative to present a program at the Library once annually. Increase the purchases of Large print books to ten percent of the total purchasing budget.
Evaluation: We should reach at least two residents to meet our peer average.