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Send in the clowns

“The proposed ordinance also stipulates only “organizations, not-for-profit entities and licensed businesses” would be eligible to receive the necessary permit to build a bookcase on city land under the legislation.

Private individuals would not be allowed to construct the structures on public property at all, Lopez confirmed this week.

Libraries on private property, like a front yard, would not be impacted.”

Lopez did not directly answer a question about whether neighbors who have built Little Free Libraries on public property would be allowed to keep them. But he said they should “get ready to have that conversation” about the structure’s future. (Block Club Chicago)

In the realm of you gotta be f***ing kidding me. The Chicago Circus Council has nothing better to do than to “regulate” the Little Free Libraries that dot the city landscape. The concept of the Little Free Libraries is to place books in a small structure. People are encouraged to take a book and, if possible, leave one. Some provide non-perishable food items or toiletries for those in need.

In this age of book and language banning from the extremists on the right and the left, our alderclowns want these libraries to obtain permits if they are on the parkways. Only organizations, non-profits, and licensed businesses would be eligible. Individuals nope.

“So what this ordinance does is just basically creates a permit that will serve as a way of registering these in the public way.”

This is an ordinance Alderclown Ray Lopez (15th) proposed last week. It will move to the full Clown Council this week for passage. It is hoped there are enough alderclowns who will vote this preposterous idea down. But, too many of them think alike when it comes to power of Circus Hall to stifle great ideas. It means they are not thinking.

What next? The contents of the libraries need to be registered too to assure “objectionable content” is not in the free libraries? Will people leaving food and toiletries need to get a license? Will the city demand architectural drawings for the permits along with inspections by the Building Department? How far will this go?

These structures do not pose a threat or danger to citizens unless Lopez thinks the ideas in free books are dangerous, or providing sustenance and comfort to those in need is perilous. Every one of these libraries I have seen is well constructed. They can be bought as kits or pre-built all over the internet and they are pricey- 2–3-hundred-dollar price range.

People do all kinds of things in their parkways, including ripping out the lawns and replacing them with types of gravel or stones, encasing them with barriers and planting gardens, and other decorative effects. They put signage on or decorate trees, which are owned by the city. They place lawn signs on the parkways. No permits are required.

What does alderclown Lopez have against free books? Why does he want to regulate books? This is one of the dumbest ideas out of the many dumb ideas to come out of Circus Hall over the decades.

The Little Free Libraries harm no one. They are not unsafe or unsightly, like the ugly ghost bikes chained all over the city on parkways or other city land. Those do not require a permit. They are put up with no permission from the city. They are unregulated. Worse, they are litter and blight. Yet, the city refuses to remove them. Hmmm? Maybe the alderclowns get hefty donations from the whiny bike people and their crybaby organizations. It is the only reason I can think of that these ugly displays are allowed.

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