Kansas family forced to remove free library from front yard in Leawood

The Collins were told the library was a violation of a city development ordinance.
By Evan Bleier Follow @itishowitis Contact the Author   |   June 20, 2014 at 11:39 AM

LEAWOOD, Kan., June 20 (UPI) -- A Kansas family was trying to share their love of reading with the entire town of Leawood when they built a free library in their front yard on Mother's Day, but the city is forcing them to hide that love away.

The Collins family was told that their "Little Free Library" violates an ordinance that bans detached structures. Rather than pay the $25 per-day fine, they opted to put the library in the garage.

Spencer Collins, 9, doesn't agree with Leawood's policy and is planning to address the city council in July.

"I would tell them why it's good for the community and why they should drop the law," he told KMBC. "I just want to talk to them about how good it is."

The motto of the little library was "take a book, leave a book."

"We empathize with them, but we still have to follow the rules," said Richard Coleman of the City of Leawood. "We need to treat everybody the same. So we can't say if somebody files a complaint but we like the little libraries -- we think they're cute -- so we ignore it. We can't do that."

In a statement to the Prairie Village Post, Leawood Ward 1 Councilor Andrew Osman expressed sympathy for the family and said he hopes that "we come up with a solution that works for everyone."

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