Library events booked

The Friends of the Badenhausen Reading Room have scheduled two upcoming activities at what is currently the Badenhausen Branch Library in Brasher Falls. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

BRASHER FALLS — As the end of the year approaches and funding expires for the Badenhausen Branch Library, the facility will become a reading room and the newly formed Friends of the Badenhausen Reading Room are already lining up activities.

“Wrap and Yap” is scheduled for 2 to 6 p.m. Dec. 11, when the community is invited to bring in wrapping paper for an afternoon of conversation and present wrapping. Some wrapping supplies will be available, and volunteers will be available to help.

A winter-themed story hour will be held at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 28. They’ll be reading “The Mitten,” a story about a boy’s lost mitten and the forest animals who find it. Following the story reading, the Friends will host a craft inspired by the book.

The late Dr. D. Susan Badenhausen saw the need in Brasher and the surrounding area for an educational and cultural center in 2014. She donated the funds for the startup costs, as well as the operational expenses for seven years. 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.

Town of Massena officials said that they would no longer provide support for the library at the end of the year, and the Friends of the Badenhausen Reading Room began forming to keep the facility open. They are receiving assistance from the Massena Public Library in making the transition.

“We’re working on it together as far as the transfer and how that’s going to work. We have been working very closely, our library and the group that’s taking over the Brasher Library. The fact that this library can stay open is wonderful,” Massena Public Library Director Elaine Dunne said.

She said money remains from Dr. Badenhausen’s estate which can be used to support the reading room once the end-of-year paperwork is done by town of Massena officials.

“We’ve always been very careful with our spending here and we’ve always had a bit of a fund balance because we need that for emergencies. There is some money left over from Dr. Badenhausen’s estate which she did designate for the library. Unfortunately, there’s going to be a lag,” Ms. Dunne said.

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

“It’s a start, and they’ll do what they can with what they have and go from there. They’re committed to the project. They’ve done a few things already. I’m just so excited to see them getting so involved in the library. That’s great,” she said.

The Friends of the Badenhausen Reading Room represents the tri-town community, with representatives from the towns of Brasher, Stockholm and Lawrence.

In addition to working with the Massena Public Library, they are also working with the North Country Library System. Because they will no longer be a branch of the Massena Public Library, but instead a reading room, they would not be eligible for New York state construction grants. However, that would be the only difference between a library and reading room, and they will continue to offer the same services that are available right now as a library. They will remain a member of the North Country Library System and will still have interlibrary loans and other services.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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