- Associated Press - Monday, January 25, 2016

BOSSIER CITY, La. (AP) - Bossier City currently has no regulations for Little Free Libraries, according the Bossier Metropolitan Planning Commission.

Little Free Libraries, book exchange boxes that worldwide are placed in communities with the goal to enhance literacy and promote the sharing of books, were the subject of controversy last year in Shreveport, where zoning laws were challenged and then adapted for their placement in neighborhoods.

Shreveport has seven on the books, and Bossier Parish has two, according to the registration website.

There are over 36,000 Little Free Library book exchanges around the world.

“As of right now we don’t have anything regulating them (Little Free Libraries) at all,” said Sam Marsiglia, director of Bossier Metropolitan Planning Commission. “What we’ve been doing is if anybody wanted to do it, then they could just contact us about where they’re doing it. As long as we know they’re not putting it out on the right-of-way or in a spot where a car might hit it.”

City officials are hopeful that by summer’s end, they’ll decide on zoning ordinances that include Little Free Library regulations, said Marsiglia. His team is in the process of writing those regulations.

If complaints against any current or future Little Free Library, the BMPC will investigate and take action from there depending on the validity of the complaint, Marsiglia said.

“We updated our comprehensive plan last year and part of that process is also to update the zoning regulations,” he said. “We’re not looking at making it a real heavy-handed ordinance, we just want to make sure it’s on private property and that they’re not too big or blocking visibility of automobiles. There won’t be any fees to my knowledge involved, certainly with the zoning department.”

Bossier Parish Schools’ Stockwell Place Elementary created their own Little Free Library and presented the final product Monday.

The students said the purpose of the Little Free Library is to encourage reading and to make a difference in their community at Carriage Oaks Crossing. The students worked on the project for a year.

Student council sponsor Carolyn Goodwin “thoroughly researched (Little Free Libraries) and Stockwell students did everything by the book, filling out the application, following the Little Free Library guidelines, getting the approval of the Carriage Oaks Crossing Homeowners Association and placing it on private property,” said Sonja Bailes, Bossier schools spokeswoman.

The BMPC doesn’t anticipate backlash with the most recently installed book exchange box students erected Monday.

“We are aware of the placement at Carriage Oaks, but the way they’re doing it - is really good,” Marsiglia said.

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Information from: The Times, https://www.shreveporttimes.com


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