Little Free Libraries to be allowed in Whitefish Bay

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WHITEFISH BAY (WITI) -- They're found on front lawns, even parks.  They’re made out of wood, filled with literature on limitless topics, and popping up in places like Bayside, Glendale and Shorewood.

“Some books that we get are really good,” said 10-year-old Siddarth Patel.

But in Whitefish Bay, a ban forced Bob Holmes to take down his Little Free Library.  He built it in the shape of a church, located on the lawn of Christ Church on Lake Drive.

“I wanted to make one that they could have.  People can come by to take a book and leave a book,” said Holmes.

A village ordinance prohibited permanent structures on front yards, so it was temporarily removed, until he and others found a loophole: make it "portable."

“We're trying to be good neighbor in the community here.  A lot of people do stop by and use it, and we thought that would be good for everybody,” said Holmes.

After some complaints and a change of heart, the Village Board in May moved to amend the law, now allowing little free libraries in Whitefish Bay.  It joins many other communities who use this free exchange.

“They could get books if they don't have money buying books,” said 5-year-old Arjun Patel.

“I think it makes you feel good.  You get such a good thing back and you can share it with other people,” said Jan Effinger.

Currently the Little Free Library on Lake Drive is the only one in the village, but soon, there could be more, after the snafu spread awareness and sparked interest area-wide.

“This would have been very, very quiet, but now it's much more public,” said Effinger.

The ordinance has not officially been changed.  That is expected to get final approval by the full Village Board next month.