OVIEDO, Fla. -- An Oviedo homeowner says she refuses to take down a library in her front yard, despite her homeowner association’s refusal to allow it.
- Oviedo woman refuses to take down 'little free library'
- Homeowners association wants her to take it down
- Autumn Garick says she has no plans to take it down
Autumn Garick says her family bought her the “Little Free Library” for her birthday.
“Some of my best memories with my daughters when they were kids was sitting and reading,” said Garick. “I can’t think of anything better than sharing books with people.”
Little Free Libraries have become popular across the country. Garick says it didn’t take long for hers to become popular with her neighbors.
“It’s not just me stocking this. Some people take books, they bring books back,” said Garick. “The Dr. Seuss (books) usually leave and never come back, but I’m okay with that.”
Within a few days of her small library going up in her front yard, the property manager for her Oviedo neighborhood -- Bentley Woods -- thanked her for the library, but suggested she move it to a common area in the neighborhood.
Garick says that common area is about a half-mile from her home, and she believes it wouldn’t have been a practical place for her to maintain the library.
When Bentley applied for approval to keep the little library on her property, the HOA denied it, stating in a letter “The Community is charged with the responsibility of preserving the aesthetic appearance of the Community to help protect the value of the homes.”
When Garick went door to door in her neighborhood with a petition, she says more than half of the homeowners in her neighborhood supported the little library.
“I talked to about 130 people – everyone was on board with it,” said Garick.
Garick says she has no plans to take the library down. She says it’s about even more than books -- it’s also about making connections with her neighbors.
“The idea was to foster personal relationships through books,” said Garick. “I’d much rather they be in someone else’s hands and homes than be on my bookshelf collecting dust.”
Spectrum News 13 reached out to the Bentley Woods property manager and an attorney for the neighborhood’s community association. The attorney said he couldn’t provide a statement because it’s a pending legal matter.