School Ballot Referendum

Formerly the Badenhausen Library, a branch of the Massena Public Library, the Badenhausen Reading Room was formed by a group of dedicated volunteers from Brasher, Stockholm and Lawrence.

The library was originally formed thanks to an ongoing commitment from Dr. D. S. Badenhausen. The library, located in the former Boothe Hardware Store in downtown Brasher Falls, opened its doors on December 11, 2014.

The Badenhausen Reading Room, operating in the same location as the library, opened its doors on January 3, 2022 funded largely by generous one-time donations. The Reading Room remains a part of the North Country Library System, which allows access to e-resources and materials from 65 libraries across the North Country.

For more information on e-resources and accessing books from other libraries, please visit:

On January 9, 2023, the Board of Trustees of the Badenhausen Reading Room presented a petition to the Brasher Falls Board of Education supporting a proposed referendum (see below). The petition was accepted by the Board of Education and the referendum was approved to go before the voters.

The Badenhausen Reading Room offers books (adult fiction, adult non-fiction, picture books, young adult, large print and more!) computers for use by the public, faxing, printing (black & white and color) wi-fi (available 24/7) and programming like story hour, author visits and more!


 “Shall the Badenhausen Reading Room be permanently established as a school district library for the benefit and free use of all residents of the Brasher Falls Central School District, such library to have five Library Board Trustees, elected by the voters of the School District for terms of up to five years, and be authorized to raise $77,000,
separate and apart from the annual School District budget, to support and maintain such library, said appropriation to be raised annually by a tax upon the taxable property of said School District, to be an annual appropriation thereafter until changed by further vote of the majority of voters of the Brasher Falls Central School District, and to be levied and collected yearly as are other general taxes?”


Q: What is the library asking for with this referendum vote?

The Reading Room Board of Trustees is asking voters to approve the establishment of the Reading Room as a school district library, to elect five Library Board of Trustees and to authorize $77,000, separate from the School District budget to support and maintain the library.

Q: How will the funding be used?

  • The funding will help to support the Reading Room (Library) in all aspects of operation.
  • Our library use statistics show an increased demand for additional hours.
  • Becoming a chartered library will require us to meet certain minimum standards set forth by the state, including additional hours.
  • Our recent survey to the community showed a strong interest in expanding our children’s programming.
  • Modern library service means providing high-speed internet access (including WiFi), as well as the equipment and infrastructure that make such access possible. Our plans are to expand our existing business center within the library.
  • The increased funding will also support and improve our existing services to patrons.

Q: Why now?

The New York State Division of Library Development (DLD) is working to transition all library funding to the school ballot and has made it clear that the DLD will not charter a library without stable funding. Currently, The Badenhausen Reading Room is funded through donations. This funding is completely discretionary and is never guaranteed.

North Country Library Service area maps

Q: Why a referendum instead of a loan or a grant?

Placing a referendum on the school ballot is a sustainable way for the library to ensure it has the means to provide high-quality service to our community. It allows the voters a direct voice in the funding process, and once approved, it’s funding the library can rely on year after year.

Q: How much will the increase cost me as a homeowner?

The Library budget of $77,000 will mean an approximate tax rate increase of .28-.36 cents per thousand of assessed value. Homeowners with property assessed at $100,000 will see an addition of between $28 and $36 per year, depending on the township in which they reside.

Q: What is the library’s portion of the latest property tax bill?

The library tax is a separate line item on your school tax bill. The tax is separate from the school tax and is not part of the school district budget. All money collected from the library tax goes directly to the library.

Q: What will happen if the referendum does not pass?

Closure. The Badenhausen Reading Room is striving to become a chartered NYS library. Without the stable funding the referendum provides, the DLD will not charter the Reading Room as the Badenhausen Public Library. No chartered library, no funds and no support would be the end of Dr. Badenhausen’s legacy to provide library services to the community.

Q: When will the vote be held?

The library’s referendum vote will be held on June 20, 2023, from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm, at the Badenhausen Reading Room.

Q: Who can vote?
Residents of the school district registered with the Board of Elections will be eligible to vote. Residents who are not registered with the Board of Elections are also eligible to vote if they are a US citizen, a resident of the district for 30 days and 18 years old. Such voters would be required to sign in at the time of voting with proof of residence (such as a utility bill or drivers license)

Q:Who is served by a school district public library?

A school district public library is chartered to serve the residents of the school district in which the library is located. A school district public library is its own governing body, legally independent from the school district, and reports to the State Education Department – State Library. 

Q:When does the library or reading center become a school district public library?

With successful passage of the referendum, the newly elected library board of trustees will file for a school district public library charter with NYS Education Department, The new board will await a provisional charter through the Board of Regents. In the meantime, the school district library operates as approved by the voters until the provisional charter is granted.

Q:How are trustees selected for the new school district public library? Similar to school board members, library trustees are elected by residents of the school district. In addition to the school district library proposition and levy amount, residents will need to elect trustees to govern the library. Trustee terms are staggered, so there will only be 1 trustee seat up for election each year. Candidates must obtain 25 signatures to be placed on the ballot for the school
district public library.