Woman forced to take down free library displayed on front lawn in NJ

Michelle Charlesworth Image
Tuesday, March 23, 2021
Woman forced to take down free library on front lawn
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Michelle Charlesworth reports on free library on one New Jersey woman's lawn.

ORADELL, New Jersey (WABC) -- Free, little libraries have been popping up on front lawns during the COVID pandemic with public libraries closed, but for one woman in Oradell, she was told to take it down.

People loved the little free library that was on Tina Musich's lawn, until somebody complained, and the building inspector dropped off a notice.

"We got a note on Friday that there was a zoning law against it in our town, against structures on the front lawn," Musich said.

The free library was so embraced by the community that even law enforcement took to it.

RELATED | My Very Own Library program gifts New Jersey students 240K free books

Since 2011, the My Very Own Library program has provided more than 2 million books to elementary school students in Newark.

"We had a police officer drop of books," Musich said.

And neighbors thought it was adorable.

Right now, the wooden library is out of the ground and has been in the garage. The books are in a bin on the porch because that is allowed -- everything from adult thrillers to Winnie the Pooh.

Speaking of children's books, remember Shel Silverstein's "Where the Sidewalk Ends?" Well, six feet from where the little library was standing, is where the sidewalk ends.

"Yes - we find this strange that right there in front of our house is the sidewalk that goes nowhere," Musich said.

So funny. But people want the library back.

"I think this is just overkill, I don't think this is necessary at all. Great way to meet and see other people," neighbor Lorraine Brosnahan.

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The United States' top immunologist will soon be the focus of a children's book.

"If there's something with the zoning laws maybe revisit that," resident Lauren Aimi said.

The mayor called Eyewitness News to say that she too, hopes a compromise or code change can happen. She just found out about this.

That's welcome news for everyone who is pulling for the books.

"With spring coming we were hoping even more people would be out here," Musich said.

So hopes are high for this page turner in New Jersey.

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