Evanston library receives donation from former board president

Jia You, City Editor

For her husband’s 88th birthday, Evanston resident Una Malkinson spent $15,000 on a gift  to the Evanston Public Library.

The library hosted a reception for Fred and Una Malkinson last week to celebrate their involvement with the library, where staff told tales of Fred Malkinson, a former president of the Evanston Library Board.

Fred Malkinson played a key role in planning the construction of the main library that opened at 1703 Orrington Ave. in 1994. He helped organize a contest for the library’s architectural design and worked with the Evanston Arts Council to select art pieces to display throughout the library, including a sculpture by the renowned Richard Hunt.

“He’s one of the main reasons we have such a beautiful library,”said Margaret Lurie, vice president of the library’s board of trustees.

The donation will be spent on expanding the library’s American History collection, a passion of Fred Malkinson’s, Una Malkinson said. He is also working with Northwestern librarian Harriet Lightman to purchase an electronic database for the library’s American History collection. 

The library, which reclaimed its Chicago Avenue/Main Street branch in January, needs more donors to keep programs running, Lurie said.

“(The Malkinsons’) donation is like the icing on the cake and much appreciated,” she said.

— Jia You