Dallas wants to curb Little Free Libraries

Photo by Danny Fulgencio
Photo by Danny Fulgencio

Are Little Free Libraries too unstylish for some members of the Dallas City Council?

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A council subcommittee this week voted in favor of a plan to limit the grassroots take-a-book/leave-a-book movement that’s found some traction in Dallas.

Little Free Libraries have popped up in Dallas front yards over the past few years. And last year, a neighbor called 311 to complain about one in their Lake Highlands neighborhood.

The proposed city ordinance, apparently based on that one complaint, would regulate the size of  the libraries to no taller than 5 feet, no wider than 20 inches and no deeper than 18 inches. Also, they must be at least 10 feet away from neighboring property lines.

Ezra Vancil of Ravinia Heights recently made plans to make a Little Free Library as gift to his wife for their 11th wedding anniversary. He bought an old army chest for the box, but he thinks it would be too big, so he’s putting it off to see whether the full City Council votes the restrictions into law.

“I don’t understand it at all,” he says. “It would be like regulating the bird fountain in your yard. It’s yard art that’s useful and expresses who we are.”

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