Illinois' Smallest Library

It's been quite a few weeks since we drove the Knox County/Spoon River Scenic Drives, but I still have a number of pics from the trip. Today's feature, as the title suggests, is Illinois' smallest public library, located in Ellisville.

We spotted the sign (minus the apostrophe) just after we perused Ellisville's Scarecrow Contest and while we were waiting on our walleye sandwiches to fry up in the Walleye Truck (which we thought was unique to Ellisville but later realized was not, when we found them at a few other locations that day).

Eventually, stuffed with fish, we made our way down the street to the library, and once we were inside, the librarian handed us business cards she'd printed from a computer on regular old 20 lb. printer paper. I don't have a picture of the card, but it's on our refrigerator. When the woman handed it to me, she said, "Here. Have a memory."

It didn't take long to see the place. The above pic was taken from about the middle of the building, and that's the back wall. Once we'd seen what we wanted to see, we talked to the librarian for a few minutes. She'd established the library in 1966, and since all of us present were book people, we assumed she was too, so we chatted, told her how great it was that she had established and run the library as an unpaid volunteer for forty years. Eventually, though, she kind of advocated book burning. The gist of it: She thought that it was easier for parents to monitor their kids' book-reading habits than it is to monitor what they look at on the Internet. Because, you know, if parents find the kid with a book they disapprove of, then they can always throw it on the pyre.

It would be great if I had a picture of a book-burning pyre to put here, but since I don't, here's J.C., posing. I believe this is her "All I Have in the World" blog debut.

In case y'all are wondering: The library relies entirely on donations, and we did find a number of good books there. Lots of crime novels, and romances, but also some Lorrie Moore and Cormac McCarthy, and, of course, multiple copies of pretty much every book Oprah has ever selected for her book club.

If I ever publish a book, I'm going to hand-deliver a copy or two to this place, so long as the librarian promises not to burn it. Or stick it on the "free" table outside, where J.C. happened to pick up that day a copy of The Book of Mormon.

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