Neighbors on library: We learned the hard way - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Neighbors on library: We learned the hard way

By: Bill Schammert

It seems to be the talk of the town this week, the Little Free Library versus the city. As of Wednesday, it appears the tug-of-war may be over.

"We love the concept," Public Works Director Miki Esposito said. "It's great for the community and obviously we want to support it."

Just don't put your Little Free Library in the right of way.

"We've got water, waste water, electric lines, electric poles, street trees," Esposito said. "All of those things are meant to be in that area and it's public infrastructure owned by the public."

That's the problem with the library just two blocks south of 16th and Van Dorn. It's in the right of way. The city says it sent a letter and warned the neighborhood before the library was even installed. Barbara Arendt, who helped get the library, says she doesn't see the big deal. But, they've agreed to move the new neighborhood addition.

"We just felt it was like a mailbox and they're allowed in public right of ways," she said. "So why not a library? We learned the hard way and will follow whatever the city has in store for us."

The only problem, to move the library onto the other side of the sidewalk, they'll have to maneuver around an underground sprinkler system. Arendt is worried that will cost more money, but says they'll get it figured out.

The city originally said the library needed to be moved by Thursday, July 10th, but has since given the neighborhood a two week extension.

The battle may be over, but Arendt says she's not done. She hopes to maybe petition the mayor to get the ordinance blocking the Little Free Library's placement, changed.

"It's not hurting anybody and it's certainly a positive thing for the neighborhood."

Arendt says there are 25 similar libraries around town. For information on how to add one to your neighborhood, click here.

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