Celebrities and Libraries...Monty Hall and Louis L'Amour's Widow

Not a celebrity visit to a library, but celebrity support of a library. Does that count Blake?

In the tiny town of Ellisville IL, population 86, is one great big treasure: 3,500 books packed into 336 square feet, probably the smallest public library in the state. The tiny library, however, has actually grown over the last five years.

Town native Helen Meyers officially opened the new Ellisville Library, which is double the size of the old one, in 2003. Word of Helen’s work spread, and First Lady Laura Bush sent seven books and a letter, which is framed on the library’s back wall.

‘‘I purposely did not put her name in the books, because I figured somebody would check them out and keep them,’’ Helen says.

Television celebrity Monty Hall sent her a check for $100, and the widow of author Louis L’Amour sent $300. Canton Daily Ledger.

Five years after the new library’s opening, Helen, now 82, still opens up the library from 9 to 11 a.m. every Saturday and hopes that people will come discover a great book.

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