Sometimes, things happen that seem good on the surface, but underneath all that, they’re actually really terrible.
A seemingly innocent act can be the precursor to chaos and anarchy. While the people perpetrating that act may have good intentions, we all know what the road to hell is paved with, right?
Urban and Suburban America Are Subject to a Scourge…of Books
There’s a horrifying new trend across America – a trend that is 40,000 strong.
Little Free Libraries are replacing actual government-funded libraries (maybe because the government is no longer funding them.) Since Obama came to the
throne White House in 2008, libraries, and in particular, smaller branch libraries, have seen their funding cut again and again. Many branch libraries have cut staff and the hours they are open, while others have closed altogether. Particularly in a place where public transit is not an option, this can make library access hard to come by for lower income people.
Christian Zabriskie from Urban Libraries Unite said this of the importance of libraries:
Libraries are the single most democratic institution in New York City. We are a bridge of opportunity, we are aids in time of trouble, we are a safe haven for seniors and a place of potential for youth. There is no door that is more readily opened in the city, and there is no place else with so much to offer any and all who pass over the threshold.
When public libraries began closing, private citizens began to misbehave.
So, with libraries becoming ever more difficult to access, some lawless folks have taken matters into their own hands and erected small, free lending structures in front of their homes to help bring the joy of reading to more people. These structures are known as “Little Free Libraries” and there are 10s of thousands of them across the US. The Little Free Library website details over 40,000 of these free-to-use libraries that don’t cost taxpayers or the government a cent.
In case you haven’t seen them, a box, cupboard, shelf or anything else that can hold books is set up in a front yard or driveway. People passing by are invited to take a book of their choice to read…and then leave another one when they return the one they borrowed. The movement started in 2009 when a man built an LFL in memory of his mother.
A 76-year-old in Sherman Oaks, California, felt that his little library, roughly the size of a dollhouse, “turned strangers into friends and a sometimes-impersonal neighborhood into a community,” the reporter observed. The man knew he was onto something “when a 9-year-old boy knocked on his door one morning to say how much he liked the little library.” He went on to explain, “I met more neighbors in the first three weeks than in the previous 30 years.” (source)
So the government had to regain control of these rebels.
You’d think that it would be encouraged for people to help each other out. Okay, if you’ve ever read anything I’ve written, you probably wouldn’t think that at all. We need to look no further than Louisiana, when neighbors began rescuing neighbors from flood waters without the help of the government, to see that “officials” really don’t like proof of their obsolescence.
And so it goes with Little Free Libraries.
Last year The LA Times published an article about the horrible problems Little Free Libraries seem to be causing.
Crime, homelessness and crumbling infrastructure are still a problem in almost every part of America, but two cities have recently cracked down on one of the country’s biggest problems: small community libraries where residents can share books.
Officials in Los Angeles and Shreveport, La., have told the owners of homemade lending libraries that they’re in violation of city codes, and asked them to remove or relocate their small book collections.
In Los Angeles, Peter Cook, who acts under the name Peter Mackenzie, and his wife, writer Lili Flanders, were told by a city investigator that their curbside library was an obstruction. They were given a week to remove it, or else face fines from the city. This came after an anonymous note from “a neighbor who hates you and your kids” was left on their library, ordering them to “Take it down or the city will.”
Even children are not exempt from being taught their places. Just ask young Spencer Collins.
9-year-old Spencer Collins erected a “take a book, leave a book” structure as a Mother’s Day gift and as an attempt to engage with his Leawood, Kan., community. But then the Leawood City Council ordered him to remove the small library from his front yard and even threatened the young librarian with fines. (source)
Why is this unacceptable?
There are many reasons that these unapproved libraries cannot be allowed. Their potential to damage to the social order is unfathomable. If you think Little Free Libraries are in any way acceptable, then you probably hate America, pug puppies, and snow cones on a hot day.
- We can’t have people thinking that they can do whatever they want at their own homes, setting up boxes of books all willy-nilly on their own property like this. Next thing you know, they’ll want to have say in things like whether they are allowed to grow food and whether property taxes are even necessary.
- If we aren’t careful, like-minded individuals will actually form friendships. Anything that says community and friendship is a threat to those who prefer our cities to be rife with division. An easy way to stop those insidious issues like unity from creeping into our everyday lives is to regulate them out of existence. If you don’t before you know it you will have a gang of book lovers getting together and who knows where that may lead?
- Heaven forbid there may be a couple of non-fiction books in the collection. People may actually learn something, or, merciful heavens, begin to question something that they’re told. Critical thinking is strongly frowned upon.
- This is absolutely anti-Common Core, the foundation of our entire education system. Common Core prefers that children spend their time reading informational texts on enthralling subjects like “The Evolution of the Grocery Bag” by Henry Petroski and “Invasive Plant Inventory” by the California Invasive Plant Council. (Go here to learn 9 Reasons Why Common Core is Bad for Education.) Little Free Libraries might have books that are actually good, and this sets a terrible example of reading for pleasure.
- It’s difficult to get kids to conform when their minds get filled with nonsense that does not follow Common Core curriculum. Some of the books might even supply an unauthorized view of
revisionisthistory, causing children to question what they’re being taught in the indoctrinationschool system.
- It’s difficult to keep up with the Kardashians and to consume government-directed “news” and
programmingentertainment if you always have your nose stuck in a book.
- And finally, as I may have mentioned once or twice, the government doesn’t like to have it proven that we can get by without them. If we realize that we’re perfectly capable of sharing without them, being generous, or helping others without permission, we may also begin to realize that we don’t need their rules, their regulations, and their tax bills. The next thing you know, chaos would erupt. People would be growing vegetables anywhere they pleased. They’d be driving cars without paying extortion fees. They might go fishing without paying fealty. Then, it would be anarchy!
Of course, I think these are all fine reasons to set up a Little Free Library of your own. For a guide to doing so, or to finding an existing one in your area visit littlefreelibrary.org.