MEXIA, Texas – 37 days after a fire tore through the Gibbs Memorial Library in Mexia, books are available for rent again. They are not, however, in a familiar space.
A temporary location for the library opened its doors Monday on Main Street. The catalog featured a lot less books, and the building featured a lot less space than the old library – but spirits were undoubtedly high for the library to re-open.
For library officials, the quick rebuild was thanks in no small part to the members of the Mexia community.
“We’re here to help our community,” says Library Director Shiendee Pullman. “In turn, the community helps us grow.”
While the recuperation might have been quicker than usual, those who appreciate the library were itching to see it re-open.
“We are just so excited to be back in the community,” says Library Board Chairman Susan Miller. “I know it is a resource that a lot of people count on.”
The support for the library went further than Mexia, though. Much further.
Pullman announced the library received supportive messages and book donations from all over the nation – namely places such as Washington, Indiana, and Pennsylvania.
Even in a compromised location and with a depleted catalog of books, the library has rallied around this kind of support and has high hopes for the eventual permanent location.
“We’re gonna have a bigger and better library,” Miller says. “There are improvements that we have been wanting to make that now are having to make, y’know….so it’s gonna be even better than it was. So, it’s great.”
Community members can support the temporary library by donating their books at 318 East Main Street in Mexia.