U.S. News


Boy's Front-Yard Library Shut Down By City Government

A 9-year-old in a Kansas City suburb is taking on the city government after it shut down a little free library he built in his front yard.
Posted at 10:24 AM, Jun 20, 2014

A little boy and his little library are at the center of a little controversy after the Kansas City suburb where he lives forced him to shut it down. 

Nine-year-old Spencer Collins decided to share his passion for reading through a small free library in his front yard in Leawood, Kansas. (Via KSNT)

But the Prairie Village Post reports that didn't sit well with the city government, who sent Collins' parents a letter saying, "Your take-a-book, leave-a-book structure must be attached to the house."

That's because of a city law that bans freestanding structures in front yards. But the Collins say it doesn't make sense. 

"I think it's a nonsensical interpretation of the law. I want them to change the law; that's my main thought." (Via KSNT)

The little free library movement started in Hudson, Wisconsin, with an aim to promote literacy and community. (Via NBC

Little free libraries are mailbox-sized wooden boxes filled with books that people can put in their front yards. (Via Flickr / David Silver)

According to the movement's website, there are now little free libraries in all 50 states with more than 1.5 million books. 

But the case in Leawood isn't the first time little free libraries have come into conflict with city governments. 

In Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, last year, the city shut down a little free library citing a similar ordinance to the one in Leawood. Community support got the city to make an exception. (Via Whitefish Bay Now)

The Collins family say they're willing to take their case to the city government to get the law changed.