City Shuts Down Boy's Free Library on His Front Lawn

9-year-old plans to fight City Hall in Leawood, Kansas

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 19, 2014 6:44 PM CDT

(Newser) – A little city in Kansas is getting some bad press nationally because it forced a boy and his family to take down a small community book shelf in their front yard on Wednesday. Officials in the Kansas City suburb of Leawood say they had no choice but to order the Collins family to remove their "little free library" after getting two complaints, reports KMBC-TV. The "library" is essentially a box the size of a large birdhouse that sits on a stand, with a sign that reads "Take a book, leave a book." But under city law, it qualifies as an illegal "detached structure." (Click to see a photo of it set up via the Prairie Village Post.)

"I think the law is a good one," dad Brian Collins tells Fox4KC. "I think the intent of the law is a good one. I think applying it to something that won’t house mice is a bad idea." The family has moved it to the garage for now but plans to fight City Hall. "I want them to change the law," says Spencer, 9, who promises to read up on city code. "I think it’s unfair because it’s really good to the community." The family borrowed the idea from elsewhere, and it's not alone. (Click to read about a treehouse that got another family in trouble elsewhere.)

  (Shutterstock)
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