The Suburbs

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Little Leawood boy can keep his Little Free Library, after all

Posted By on Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 6:59 AM

Vindicated!
  • Vindicated!
Leawood, Kansas, earned National Laughingstock Status in June when a story broke about the city ordering a family to take down a Little Free Library in their front yard. The cute, tiny, book-sharing box — built by a nine-year-old boy and his father, as a Mother's Day present — was in violation of Leawood's development ordinances.

Last night, the Leawood City Council met and heard from the community on the matter. After statements from the little boy, Spencer Collins; his father, Brian Collins; several who spoke in support of allowing the Little Free Libraries in the city; and one extremely crotchety motherfucker who suggested that permitting Little Free Libraries to exist in Leawood would "destroy our codes and bylaws," the council unanimously agreed to place a moratorium on enforcing the ordinance on Little Free Libraries until October. It will examine the ordinance in the meantime with an eye toward including the structures in a new version of the ordinance.

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Rogue library runs afoul of Leawood authorities; free book operation ordered destroyed

Posted By on Thu, Jun 19, 2014 at 8:32 AM

Hold it right there, book peddlers.
  • Hold it right there, book peddlers.
Over the last year or so, Little Free Libraries have been sprouting up across the Kansas City metro. The idea is pretty simple: You construct a birdhouse-like box, paint it up, put it in your yard, and fill it with some books. Anybody who passes by is free to take a book, swap a book, or add a new book to the little library. It's an informal thing that's meant to promote literacy and community in a cute, friendly way.

Leawood ain't about that life.

Brian Collins and his son, Spencer, built a Free Little Library as a Mother's Day gift this year, at their home in north Leawood, near 89th Street and Ensley Lane. They went out of town for a few weeks and arrived home recently to find a letter from the city informing them that the structure ran against city codes. "Your take a book leave a book structure must be attached to the house," the letter read.

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