SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The Shreveport City Council voted Tuesday to introduce an ordinance regulating book swap boxes called Little Free Libraries, but not all book lovers think the government regulation is a good idea. The proposed idea isn't final, another vote on the issue is expected at their October 13 meeting.
Earlier this year, the Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) declared the Little Free Libraries a zoning violation after an anonymous complaint was brought against a Little Free Library in the Highland area. The MPC claimed the free book swap program was a commercial business in a residential area and sent the owner of the tiny library a cease and desist letter.
After the complaint, the city cited the owner of the Little Free Library saying that technically it's a permanent structure built on a homeowner's property without permit or permission and by ordinance, it's illegal no matter its good intentions.
After an outcry from residents, the city council passed a moratorium allowing Little Free Libraries within the city until the MPC could rewrite the ordinances.
"I think the ordinances they are proposing are a little overbearing," Gibson said.
Everson is a Little Free Library supporter, but believes the regulations are necessary.
"It is in the best interest of public safety to have some regulation of where they are placed," he said at Tuesday's council meeting.
But Gibson doesn't agree.
"Let the citizens do a positive without them [the government] interfering," she said.
"I'm not sure this is the best use of resources and personnel for the city," Edgerton said to the council about the ordinances.
Edgerton also told the council she believes the ordinance will discourage people from setting up the Little Free Libraries.
"I just think it seems more intimidating and burdensome than it needs to be," she said.
Councilman Everson said he is open to more discussion of the ordinance before the final vote.
Little Free Library is a movement to encourage literacy by offering free books in communities.
There are 15,000 Little Free Libraries around the world that are meant to encourage literacy by offering free books in communities.
The Shreveport City Council will likely vote on the Little Free Library ordinance at their next council meeting on October 13.
To read the proposed ordinance click here.