Skip to Main Content
New York State Library Logo

Public Library District Toolkit: Strategies to Assure your Library’s Legal and Financial Stability

Frequently Asked Questions about Reed Memorial Public Library District (2013) 

Why form a public library district? The Town of Carmel, which provides most of the library’s operating funds, has reduced the library’s funding and urged Reed to pursue another funding model. Based on recommendations from the New York State Board of Regents and discussions with the Carmel Town Board, the Library Board has decided to follow their recommendation to form a Special Legislative Public Library District. It was determined that this funding model, commonly used throughout New York State, would be the best way to enable Reed to meet community demands well into the future. Most importantly, this funding model provides its community with ownership and accountability; it puts your library in your hands.

How is a public library district formed? In order to establish the district, enabling legislation was passed by the NYS Assembly and Senate and was signed by Governor Cuomo in July 2013. The Library’s vote is scheduled for Monday December 9 from 10 am to 9 pm at the Carmel Firehouse. Voters will be asked to establish the district with a community-based funding level of $227,800 and to elect seven library trustees.

The library seems okay the way it is - why change things? Communities that have formed public library districts have found it advantageous to make their own decisions about library funding. Having direct control of the budget and board gives these communities a sense of ownership and accountability and ensures the library will be able to continue meeting community needs well into the future.

How much will this cost? The proposed $227,800 in community-based funding amounts to 33 cents per thousand of assessed value. For the average homeowner the cost will be about $56.19 annually, less than $5 a month.

This average investment in your library is returned to you many times over in available services and materials. A family of four, for example, will have their investment returned in one museum visit made by borrowing one of the many museum passes we lend. There are many ways to calculate your return on investment in the library. Visit the Library Use Value Calculator on our homepage.

Will the library tax automatically increase every year? No, any increase in funding must be approved by the voters. Decisions on library funding will be in the voters’ hands.

Why am I receiving this information? Your residence is located within the NYS Regents defined service area of Reed Memorial Library, which is the Town of Carmel that is not in the Mahopac School District.

I don’t even use the Library, why should I pay for it? Strong communities need strong libraries. A library improves the quality of life for all residents. Many things the library offers can be accessed from home: downloadable audio books, e-books, music, and videos as well as databases featuring newspapers, magazines, practice tests and so much more can be accessed with a library card by visiting Even if you are not a regular library user, the library is an important community resource that adds to the desirability of living in the area.

How will the money be spent? The library works to keep up with community needs and state mandates. The money will be used, as it is today, to provide those services and materials that are most requested by our community. Some, but not all, include: computers, wi-fi, children and adult programming, tutoring, job search help, books, audio books, DVDs, magazines, CDs, newspapers, museum passes and access to materials from the 60+ libraries in the Mid-Hudson Library System.

Who oversees the library? The Library will be governed by a seven member Board of Trustees elected by the residents of the district. The Library Board is composed of people like you, residents of the library district who know that strong communities need strong libraries.