San Francisco Stewards Celebrate ‘Love Our Neighborhoods’ Ordinance

By Sarah Nelson

The City of San Francisco recently passed the ‘Love Our Neighborhoods’ ordinance, which makes it easier for residents to add Little Free Libraries, sidewalk benches, and more to enrich San Francisco’s neighborhoods.

In March of 2023, Little Free Library stewards Susan and Joe Meyers were faced with a $1,400 fine, after the city received a single complaint about the Meyers’ book-sharing box encroaching on the sidewalk. Susan and Joe decided not to pay the fine out of principle, and they worked with the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to resolve the issue and create change. The result? The Love Our Neighborhoods ordinance, which protects San Francisco Little Free Libraries from fees or fines.

To celebrate the passing of the ordinance, Susan and Joe threw a party at their Little Free Library—the book-sharing box that inspired the ordinance! Little Free Library Executive Director Greig Metzger attended the event and enjoyed speaking with local stewards and Little Free Library fans.

Stewards Susan and Joe Meyers opened their home to the community to celebrate the Love Your Neighborhoods ordinance.
LFL Executive Director Greig Metzger leaves a book in the Meyers’ Little Free Library
Steward Susan Meyers shows off a Certificate of Honor from the city

“The ‘Love Our Neighborhoods’ ordinance is a great example of how a Little Free Library book-sharing box can be a catalyst for building community and inspiring action by citizens and elected officials,” said Metzger. “As we have seen across the nation and the globe, a Little Free Library can pull a community together, can create a positive, caring atmosphere, and generally bring beauty and joy to a neighborhood.  The San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ action provides clarity, structure and support for its residents to grow the Little Free Library network in San Francisco.  This ordinance is a direct result of Susan and Joe Meyers’ concern for their community.  Little Free Library would like to thank Susan and Joe for their initiative and perseverance.”

Supervisor Catherine Stefani, who helped get the legislation passed, also attended the event. She later noted on X/Twitter that Susan and Joe Meyers “embody the spirit” of San Francisco and hopes that “they serve as an inspiration to others to beautify their spaces.”

The Little Free Library organization welcomes everyone to participate in sharing books and building community, regardless of background, beliefs, or economic status. We hope that the Love Our Neighborhoods ordinance will serve as a model for cities across the country that wish to welcome Little Free Libraries and other community enhancements without penalizing their citizens.

Read other fascinating steward stories on our blog, and learn more about starting a Little Free Library of your own.

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