Badenhausen Library begins new chapter

As of Monday, the Badenhausen Library became the Badenhausen Reading Room, but much of what was available as a library is still available to patrons since it remains a member of the North Country Library System. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

BRASHER FALLS — What was once a branch of the Massena Public Library has now branched off on its own.

As of Monday, the Badenhausen Library became the Badenhausen Reading Room, but much of what was available as a library is still available to patrons since it remains a member of the North Country Library System.

A board of trustees has been formed to work with the Friends of the Badenhausen Reading Room to oversee the facility’s operation. The Friends group includes volunteers from the towns of Brasher, Stockholm and Lawrence.

The transition to a reading room was necessary after town of Massena officials said they would no longer provide support for the library at the end of 2021, and the Friends of the Badenhausen Reading Room began forming to keep the facility open. The Massena Public Library offered assistance in the transition.

The library had opened its doors in 2014 after the late Dr. D. Susan Badenhausen saw the need in Brasher and the surrounding areas for an educational and cultural center. She donated the funds for the startup costs, as well as the operational expenses for seven years. The funding was no longer available after Dec. 31. Dr. Badenhausen’s friends, Patricia McKeown and Karen St. Hilaire, were instrumental in setting up the library, which was overseen by the Massena Public Library.

The annual budget of the library was $65,000, which included rent, utilities, staff, books and periodicals, plus connection to the New York State Library System through the Massena Public Library. The town of Massena was paid $5,000 annually for bookkeeping services.

The Friends have received $4,000 from the town of Stockholm and a private donor has pledged money.

Those wishing to financially support the reading room can send donations to P.O. Box 298, Brasher Falls, NY 13613 and specify “Reading Room.”

Supporters also can join the Friends of the Badenhausen Reading Room, which has a Facebook page, at https://www.facebook.com/librarybrasher/.

Support for the reading room and its mission can also be shown by contacting individual municipalities in writing or by phone.

The town of Brasher can be reached at 315-389-4223, the town of Stockholm’s phone number is 315-222-7329, and the town of Lawrence can be reached at 315-389-4487.

“Efforts to secure funding have met some road blocks,” Trustee Board President Laurel Murphy said in a statement, “but the dedicated group of volunteers will continue to work hard to make the transition from library to Reading room a success with little or no interruption in services.”

Those services including offering material for checkout, programming, Wi-Fi, computers, faxing, copying and more. The current collection of materials and resources continue to be available to patrons.

As a member of the North Country Library System, the Badenhausen Reading Room will continue to have access to the service it offers, including interlibrary loans.

Hours remain the same — 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, 1 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, closed on Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and closed on Sunday.

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