Local Governments Put A Stop To These Little Free Libraries Because Books Violate Zoning

The Little Free Library Movement started in 2009 when Todd Bol decided to build a model of a one-room school house to honor his deceased mother. The Hudson, Wisconsin resident put it on a post in his front yard, filled it with books and when his neighbors loved it made more. Each of these bird-house boxes were labeled “Free Books” and the rest is lovely literate history. Well, at least it was.

Six years later, Little Free Libraries have spread from Wisconsin across the country and even made a name for themselves in the City of Angels (where most people fail to do the same). But since earlier this year, homeowners in Shreveport, LA, with them in their yards have been told they’re in violation of city codes, according to the Los Angeles Times. Simply put, you are not zoned to encourage reading.

Louisiana isn’t the only local government turning these helpful boxes for humanity into weird bureaucratic soap boxes that serve no one. Last summer, now 10-year-old Spencer Collins of Leawood, Kansas, was told by city authorities to remove his Little Free Library.

The good news is that people are fighting back against this, even when they totally shouldn’t have to. After being forced to move his library to the garage, Collins literally stood on a milk crate to address The Leawood City Council about their stupidity (my words, not his). Leawood granted a temporary moratorium on Free Little Libraries and has kept quiet on the issue ever since.

After petitions and protests in Shreveport, LA culminated in free libraries being chained up and labeled, “Free Range Books,” the Metropolitan Planning Commission temporarily legalized Little Free Libraries. But when the operative word in both cases is temporary, free books better watch their backs.

Photo: Instagram

Tags: books, free books