Literacy v. the law is no contest in a Kansas town

Scofflaw Spencer Collins stands in front of his library from which he is accused of illegally engaging in the distribution of literacy. Photo: Spencer Collins Facebook page.

MPR’s Department of What Were They Thinking sends along today’s head scratcher.

In Leawood, Kansas, authorities have told Spencer Collins, 9, his Little Free Library has to go.

“Reading is one of my favorite things to do,” he tells a local TV station. “We built it on Mother’s Day as a present for my mom because she really wanted one.”

There’s mom, apple pie, and little free libraries, son, but there’s also the bureaucracy. No free-standing structures are allowed, so young Spencer had to move the library to the garage, which rather defeats the point of encouraging literacy and sharing.

Showing the spunk of youth, he’s set up a Facebook page to try to pressure the town.

One commenter suggests they might be coming after bird feeders next.

A city official said if they look the other way for books, who knows what sort of Midwest anarchy might follow.

“It applies to any structure, so we aren’t targeting the little libraries. You couldn’t put a bookcase out there, or a couch out there, or any items like that,” the official said.