Leawood, Kansas: City of Little Free Library Haters

A couple of interesting twists regarding my desire to create a Little Free Library in my front yard for the benefit of our neighborhood and for a project I would absolutely love and which would help me fill my empty-ish nest free time:

•My grant proposal was received, and it will be about a month before I hear back.

•Headline in the local news yesterday: “Leawood Shuts Down Little Boy’s Little Free Library.”

Leawood is the hoity-toitiest of the hoity-toity suburbs in this area. Seriously, they’ve got the worst case of affluenza in the ‘burbs. So a couple of neighbors complained to the city council (why, I have no idea – perhaps the concept of sharing is beyond them?). Turns out there’s a city ordinance against auxiliary buildings on a residential property. Believe me, if we were talking a guest house on the back 40 or a servant’s quarters, there would be no problem. But the LFL had to go.

Turns out there’s a similar ordinance in a neighboring city, Prairie Village, but PV does not enforce it and is happy to allow LFL’s to remain.

To be fair, I know a number of good, kind, generous people who live in Leawood. But the place leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and this kind of thing is one reason why.

I can’t help but wonder about my own plan to create a LFL. Certainly I will do my research about Overland Park ordinances before I begin the project.

There was a clip along with the story, of the boy removing the books from his library before his parents took it down. The stack of books included “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?”

Another reason I don’t like Leawood: I don’t want anything to do with a ‘burb full of “Brown Bear” haters.


13 thoughts on “Leawood, Kansas: City of Little Free Library Haters

    • Oh, I forgot that you once lived in OP. Truly, Johnson County is a bit snooty overall. But I do think OP is a little more down to earth – well, the northern-ish part, anyway, which is where I live. I suppose that’s because we actually have a much wider range of socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds. Don’t know if you’ve heard this interesting fact, but the JOCO suburbs now have a faster poverty growth rate than KCMO. The number of kids on free/reduced lunch in SMSD has more than doubled in the last six years.


  1. I hope you get to have your library, it is such a sweet idea! I had never heard of it before but then the other day someone posted on Facebook photographs of their “library”. It looked like a big mailbox in front of the house. I think its a terrific idea!!


  2. Okay, I liked this post, then I un-liked it. How ridiculous is this, and how do people have so much time on their hands that they can complain about a little boy’s kindness and sense of community sharing. Ugh. Sounds like our Home Owners Association.


    • That’s what I can’t imagine – being so full of one’s self and so small-minded that you would go to all the effort of lodging a formal complaint. I wasn’t kidding when I said it’s possible these neighbors have no understanding of the concept of “sharing.” I bet they’re experts at tax-dodging, too. 😦


  3. Man alive, I can’t ‘like’ this. Who could DO that to a small boy? What is WRONG with people?!?! Whoever complained and whoever saw regulations over and above common sense all need a good smack over the head with the heaviest book out there. They certainly don’t deserve Brown Bear, who I’m sure would see the wood for the trees.
    I suggest you write to the paper in strong support of the boy. I suggest you start/sign a petition. I suggest you carry on with your project.
    I want to cry on your behalf. Sometimes the world seems to be full of numpties…but who better to receive lessons in sharing and great literature?


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