Waukegan Public Library officials announced Friday the largest gift in the institution's 116-year history: $98,000 from the estate of a longtime employee.
Eleanor Moore, a circulation clerk who took a part-time job at the library after a 40-year teaching career at Waukegan Township High School, bequeathed the financial gift to the library in her trust.
The 97-year-old Waukegan resident died April 21, 2012, but it wasn't until last week that the library received a check from her lawyer after her estate was finally settled, according to Elizabeth Stearns, the library's assistant director of community services.
Stearns said Moore also included two other local organizations in her trust. She had no surviving family members.
The library does not have any official plans for the funds in the short term, though it's ultimately up to the library foundation board and library board to make those decisions, Stearns said. In the meantime, the funds will be put in a certificate of deposit.
Moore joins a famous list of library donors.
Noted science fiction author Ray Bradbury, a Waukegan native who died last June, had included the library in his will, but his estate hasn't yet been settled so officials haven't made an announcement about his gift, Stearns said.
Bradbury had already left the library a portion of his collection.
It was a gift, in fact, that created the library in the first place. Andrew Carnegie, the famous American industrialist and philanthropist, gave $25,000 to build the first tax-supported Waukegan library in 1898.