"For eight years, the Landa Gardens Conservancy, a nonprofit volunteer organization, has been working to make the library more than just a place to check out books.
With more than $1.5 million it raised, the group has transformed the library in the historic Monte Vista neighborhood into a community center where parents can take their children to play and students from nearby Trinity University can sit under shade trees to read.
In 2008, the organization remade the five acres of land that surround the former private mansion by installing 30 benches, a medieval community garden and more than 7,000 plants.
Also that year, the conservancy commissioned Carlos Cortes, the craftsman responsible for the city's public art made of concrete designed to look like wood — called faux bois — to create the pavilion.
In 2011, new playground equipment was installed. This year, shade trees were added near the playground.
The organization strives to make the library an enjoyable place for anyone in the city, not just those in the neighborhood, said the group's former president, Ann Van Pelt, who now serves as a member of the board of directors."