Ray Bradbury’s contributions to the literary world stretch beyond his many books, stories, poems and plays. A self-dubbed “librarian,” Bradbury spent much of his free time championing the cause of libraries everywhere, particularly those near his home in Los Angeles and his boyhood home in Waukegan. When the Waukegan Public Library launched its “Building for Tomorrow” campaign in May 2012, Bradbury signed on as honorary chairperson and wrote a letter of support. Now the library is accepting donations in his memory.
“Ray always took the time for us, whether we needed help with a creative contest or ideas for our storytelling festival,” said Richard Lee, the library’s executive director. “It’s especially fitting that donations for ‘Building for Tomorrow’ go in his honor, since he worked hard to secure the future of our library—and so many others.”
Funds raised through “Building for Tomorrow” will go toward helping repair and renovate the 47-year-old building. The library hopes to raise $500,000 from private sources to offset the $4.5 million needed to complete the renovation. Other funding sources include grants and awards. Lee estimates the project will take about two years to complete, and the library will remain open during construction.
The building plans include adding a new stairwell for more direct access to the Early Learning Center and Literacy Suite, replacing carpet and furniture, and updating the lighting and other features to make the building more energy-efficient. Along the stairwell and throughout the building patrons will see tributes to Bradbury, including a mural portrait and inspirational quotes from the author about his love of literature, learning and libraries.
To donate to “Building for Tomorrow” in Bradbury’s memory, click on the blue button in the column on the left of this website. Anyone interested in hearing about sponsorship opportunities should call Elizabeth Stearns at 847-623-2041, ext. 256.