Reading stimulates the mind and expands our knowledge leading to a better educated community. That doesn’t fly with city officials in Leawood, Kansas. Young nine-year old Spencer Collins loves literature and wanted to share this love with neighbors. Supposedly, America encourages ingenuity and creativity, but when Spencer setup a free library in his front yard, Leawood officials said ‘no’.
He started his library on Mother’s Day with books such as A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle and The BFG by Roald Dahl. Evidently, two local citizens complained and a month later, the city sent a zoning violation notice to Spencer’s parents. It stated that Spencer’s library violated accessory structure laws and that they could remove the library or face fines. Richard Coleman of the city explained:
We empathize with them, but we still have to follow the rules. 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.
The same motivation that spurred young Spencer to start the little library, also motivates him to now study the codes and persuade the city council to amend them. Spencer says:
I would tell them why it’s good for the community and why they should, like, drop the law and I just want to talk to them how good it is.
We give a big ‘boo’ to the two people who complained about Spencer’s little library. If we thwart our children’s love for books and their creativity, what does this teach them?
If you agree, support literacy and Spencer’s little library on his Facebook page, and please share this post.