The Perils of Whimsy: Bookshelf Reveals Community Dysfunction

A small town in Kansas exposed itself to ridicule not so long ago with their crack-down on a Little Free Library. Their problem goes a good bit deeper than clunky enforcement.

"Little Free Libraries — resident-initiated community bookshelves — are an increasingly popular tactic for bringing neighbors together through their shared love of browsing and reading books. Unless you live in Leawood, Kansas, that is, where the front-yard kiosk of 9 year old resident Spencer Collins was the subject of a citation for being what the city considered an illegal accessory structure."

"It wasn’t overzealous code enforcement — cruising neighborhoods itching for petty infractions — but, rather, two resident complaints that prompted the city to act. Suddenly it’s less a story about overreaching government and more one of responsive government. Less an instance where the problem is them. More an instance where the problem is us."

Scott Doyon goes on to talk about brokenness as it relates to people and the relationships that define us.

Full Story: The Perils of Whimsy: Bookshelf reveals community dysfunction


Brand new! Urban Grid City Collection

Each city has its own unique story. Commemorate where you came from or where you want to go.
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is the only comprehensive ranking and listing of graduate urban planning programs available.
Starting at $24.95
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $16.95 a month