City Calls Cabinet Full Of Books To Borrow A “Structure,” Makes Family Remove It

little_free_libraryA “Little Free Library” is a small container, often a cabinet, filled with books that passers-by can take, read, and return as they please. They can also donate their own books. There are thousands of these mini-libraries all over the world, but the city of Leawood, Kansas won’t stand for it, and has asked the family to take theirs down.

When we say “thousands,” were’ not exaggerating. There’s probably an officially registered Little Free Library near you, which you can find using this map.

The city isn’t trying to claim a monopoly on library services or anything like that. The library, which is a house-shaped cabinet the size of a particularly spacious birdhouse, is considered a “structure” from the city’s point of view, and single-family homes can’t have “structures” in their front yards. The city thinks that the house is an “accessory structure” like a shed or playhouse. It had to be removed from the front yard yesterday, or the family would receive a citation from the city.

This library was built by a nine-year-old boy and his father as a Mother’s Day gift, since his mother had seen a similar library elsewhere and loved the idea. Now they’ve stashed the “accessory structure” in the garage until the next meeting of the city council, when the nine-year-old who put up the library plans to make his case to the government.

Boy plans to fight city ordinance that shut his “free little library” down in Leawood [WDAF]
Leawood shuts down boy’s little free library [KCWE]
Little Free Library [Official Site]

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  1. furiousd says:

    And… things like this are why I hate it when people in any level of government get too involved in my life. I need the government to be a daemon like antivirus software: there to protect me from nefarious outside forces at the expense of some computer time (or reasonable taxes, in the governmental situation). When it gets in my face and tries to force me to live how someone otherwise unimportant feels others should live then I have a problem. This kid’s ‘structure’ doesn’t negatively impact anyone else and for a laugh I’d like to see any arguments to the contrary.

  2. DyinMyelin says:

    Nice try Karl Marx Jr.