A former librarian has given the Hennepin County Library a $646,000 gift. The bequest is from the estate of Lillian Wallis.
Wallis retired from the Minneapolis public libraries in 1987 and stipulated the money be used to help buy the most frequently circulated books and other publications.
Wallis' friend Linda Engberg, a retired librarian, said the terms of Wallis' gift fill an important need.
"It doesn't take much more than Oprah to say, 'This is my selection for the month,' to have hundreds and hundreds of people want to reserve a copy of that book," Engberg said. "You can only respond up to a certain point and certainly Lillian's money will help with that."
Wallis worked for the both the Minneapolis and the Hennepin County library systems before they were merged. She died in September last year.