The love of libraries is real in Moody. In the past year, residents of the small town have joined forces to raise enough money and donate enough time to bring a new resource to their community.

The new Moody Community Library has enough room to host more community-oriented events and classes, and plans are in place to extend its hours to meet the expected demand.

Plus, there is no more fear of mouse sightings.

Library board members a little more than a year ago launched a fundraising effort to move into a new space that would be able to serve as more of a community center, a growing role for many libraries in the digital age.

The building that originally housed the library on Fifth Street in downtown Moody was built in 1916 and was long past its prime, board members said.

The board will try to sell the old space, but hope is limited because of damage and deterioration. Board members considered repairing the century-old building but found that renovation and maintenance costs would far outweigh a move to a new building.

Now located in the former home of K&E Trading Post LLC on Avenue D, just north of Lucy’s Café, the Moody Community Library will hold an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Jan. 6. Yoga classes have already started up, and a genealogy class will start at 10 a.m. Jan. 11 and continue for about six weeks.

Donations of time, money, materials and equipment made the project possible, board members said.

Lake Air Interiors donated the carpet. Net1 provided the library complimentary internet. A $50,000 grant from the Tocker Foundation paid for some new furniture. The Rapoport Foundation also donated money for the project, and the list goes on, said Jane Gates, the library board’s fundraising chair.

“Moody is that way,” Gates said. “They just come together and get things done.”

Board President Anne Grimmett said even her grandchildren donated to the cause.

“These guys could not imagine living in a place without a library,” Grimmett said.

The nonprofit library will need continued financial support to maintain the jewel in Moody, but the maintenance work the old facility needed is no longer looming over board members’ heads, she said.

The library operates on $7,500 from the city, $5,000 from McLennan County and relies on donations and grants for the rest. It has one full-time employee.

In the previous location, the library averaged between 300 and 350 visits per month during most of the year, with brisker attendance during summer months.

Board members still want to purchase a sign and outdoor lighting for the new location and are in need of new front doors that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“It’s minor compared to where we started,” Grimmett said.

The new location also has a fenced in green space along the side of the building, and the board hopes to eventually turn that into an outdoor reading and activity area, she said.

Cassie L. Smith has covered county government for the Tribune-Herald since June 2014. She previously worked as a reporter for the Beaumont Enterprise and The Eagle in Bryan-College Station. Smith graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington.

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