Story Archive

A Little Less Free

“Take it down or the city will.” That was the note from “a neighbor who hates you and your kids” that Peter Cook and his family found on their curbside library in Los Angeles, Calif. — a little structure by the curb where people can take and leave books. He refused. Then a city inspector said it was an “obstruction” and had to go. Cook still refused, comparing the municipal government to a “blinded cyclops ... wildly swinging its cudgel to destroy something that has made the city and this neighborhood a better place.” In Shreveport, La., where controversy erupted over a “Little Free Library” being deemed a zoning violation, rules for book-swap boxes may be written into the new zoning laws officials are creating. But L.A. City Councilman Paul Koretz’s office suggested a different solution: the Cooks could get a permit. And if they needed money to get the permit, they could get that from the city. (AC/Los Angeles Times, Shreveport Times) ...What matters isn’t whether the library blocks the sidewalk or helps the community. What matters is whether one city office sent another one money.
Original Publication Date: 15 February 2015
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 21.

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