Although Mooney’s art prints were given to the library with his death in 1941 they were not readily available to the public for over 50 years. In addition to lacking appropriate space to display them, the prints needed special framing to protect and preserve them.
In 1994 the Library Board appointed a committee to bring the Mooney Collection to the public. This committee worked to raise money and consulted with Arthur Frick, an art consultant. Since there was no space to display them at the library at that time, the committee commissioned custom crates to be built in order to allow the collection to be displayed at other venues.
In 1998 the Mooney Collection was publicly displayed at the Charles City Art Center for the first time. After that, the collection was loaned to other institutions.
When longtime library supporter, Katherine Zastrow died and bequeathed the library money to build a meeting room plans were made to include a gallery to house the art prints inside the library. At this time, the library applied for and was granted additional funding from the Andres Foundation.
Both the Gallery and Zastrow River Room were completed in 2000. The Mooney Collection is now on permanent display at the library.