Monday, March 30, 2015

Illegal Freestanding Structure?

Illegal freestanding structure? I hope not. Little Free Library.
In my neighborhood in Seattle, these adorable book-lending birdhouses liven up almost every other block. Whenever I see one -- even if I'm mid-run rocking out to Nicki Minaj -- I stop, I look, and I smile up at the sky thinking, "God, I love this city." Little Free Libraries give you that kind of feeling -- they just do.
Source: Grist.

Apparently, not everyone sees LFLs as good things. "Some cities do have ordinances and zoning laws that prevent, or at least discourage, building these little libraries."

Richardson has a growing number of such little treasures. There's one in my neighborhood. There's probably one near you, too. How about we all promote their use so that no one at city hall even thinks about preventing or discouraging building these little libraries? If you have young children, establish a habit of walking to your closest LFL and getting, reading and exchanging books on a regular basis. Get up. Go outside. Walk. Read. Share. What's not to like?

From 2014 07 02 Juneau
Little Free Library in Juneau, Alaska


S. said...

The City has embraced this idea too. You will find one outside of the Richardson Public Library in the Friends Reading Garden on the north side of the building. And, if anyone doesn't find something in it to suit them, look for free library ebooks or magazines online or on the shelves of the Big library.

S. said...

Sorry, thought my comment entry would grab my name too. Steve Benson (aka S.)

mccalpin said...

Mark, we at the Friends of the Library had a discussion with Don Magner of the City when we first started sponsoring these LFLs (yes, about a dozen of them in Richardson were donated to neighborhoods by the Friends of the Richardson Library).

In this discussion, Don made it clear that the City appreciated the intent of the LFLs as a method to help strengthen neighborhoods. His only request was that we tell people that the LFL must be placed at least 10 feet or so from any right of way as well as adhere to any other city codes.

In practice, this means placing the LFL not in the parkway, but on the house side of your sidewalk.

So long as the LFLs are placed according to the code and are maintained, the City is happy to see them. You won't see any repeat in Richardson of what has happened in other cities where they were temporarily banned...of course, thanking city staff and the council for an atmosphere of permitting LFLs will surely be welcome...


Mark Steger said...

I am pleased that the City of Richardson embraces LFLs. Apparently, the City of Dallas is less welcoming.

mccalpin said...

Oh, those felonious bibliophiles!