TROUP, Texas (KLTV) - February is Love Your Library Month, and one East Texas library has recently received some love from a group aimed at supporting rural libraries.
The Troup Library received a grant to help remodel the entire inside space.
Oleva Smith was browsing the new shelves of the Troup Library. Once tall, dark wooden brown shelves are now a bit shorter and brighter. She is an avid reader who visits their space about every two weeks and says the new remodel is beautiful.
“It used to be so crowded in here and dark, and it was hard to see all the books,” Smith said.
Now she can see through the shelves and even sits down to do a puzzle with another family. The Ranshaw family comes to the library every week or two. They homeschool and use the library to check out books and movies, use the computer, and see friends.
“It’s definitely lighter, brighter now. More kid-friendly; my kids love coming. They think it’s a fun place to come and a playdate,” said Brooke Ranshaw, a library patron. “I want to instill the love of reading for them at a young age, and it’s just something that is important to us as a homeschool family. Just want them to be able to know how a library works, especially since they’re not having the traditional library in a school, that they have a community library to come to and check out all their resources.”
Library Director Melanie Brumit said she attended a conference a while back and learned about the Tocker Foundation Grant. She sent photos and videos of the old space with dark wooden shelves and more closed off areas.
“We got to pick out all the color patterns of the new furniture, the chairs, the tables, everything was customized. It was a real fun experience, it was like four hours long,” Brumit said.
From the adult readers to the children’s section, everything has been redone, with the exception of the computers.
“We got a notification mid-March of last year that we got the grant. And the grant was for over $57,000” Brumit said.
For Love Your Library month, they are offering an incentive to welcome people back into the remodeled space.
“In February, we’re waiving half of the fines anybody has gotten prior to this year,” Brumit said. “So let’s say you owe $20. Twenty dollars may be hard to come by right now, so we’re willing to waive the other ten if you can pay me $10 by the end of the month, waive the other ten,” Brumit said. “We just want to invite people back into the library.”
Brumit said they still have limited capacity. She added that people need to wear masks and limit time in the library to an hour, so they can accommodate everyone.