A Point Pleasant Boro family were told to take down their “mailbox library” after complaints were made by a neighbor – and police were ultimately called on them.
And they were told to dismantle it very soon after it opened, according to the family, even though kids had already come by to pick up books.
The matter was resolved by Tuesday, when local officials told the Hagemeyer family to just stick it deeper on the property. The “mailbox library” was too close to the roadway and was a possible obstruction to cars, Point Pleasant Boro Administrator Frank Pannucci Jr. said
But that decision came a week after the matter drew the ire of the family and their supporters who appreciated the service that the Hagemeyers were providing. And the Hagemeyers say the borough initially offered a different explanation for why they wanted the library taken down.
“We’re still shaking our heads over the whole thing,” Grace Hagemeyer told Patch.
After getting the call and talking to the family, the police initially said there was nothing they can do about it, according to the family, even though thousands of “mailbox libraries” have been popping up all over the country.
Grace said she and her husband, Peter, put one up on their property and had a grand opening on July 29 at their Hardenbergh Avenue home. That same day, they had a visit from police. The next day, they were contacted by code enforcement officers.
The Hagemeyers then were told they had 10 days to take the structure down off their property. The family was initially told that such libraries are not allowed because they’re not mentioned in the land-use ordinance.
Click Here: Cardiff Blues Store
Borough officials told Patch they had to do something because an unidentified person filed a formal complaint with police. “If they get an official complaint, they have to look into it,” Pannucci said.
Grace said the library has been up for a little over a week, and she’s seen some of the neighborhood kids walking around with books.
“Seriously, does it get any better than that? ” she told Patch. “Neighborhood kids walking around carrying books, instead of having their noses buried in their phones.”
Grace, who grew up in Point Pleasant Boro, talked to a teacher who took a book for her classroom. Another neighbor said her daughter grabbed a book to read at the beach – they walked past on their way to get ice cream.
“We live in a great town, on a friendly street,” Grace said. “This is the kind of community we should be encouraging.”
You can find a little free library by clicking here.
Photo courtesy of Grace Secula Hagemeyer