New Prairie Village Little Free Library is a true work of art

Jay Senter - October 22, 2014 9:00 am
The back side of the "Adventure Time Free Library" on 71st Terrace in Prairie Village.
The back side of the “Adventure Time Free Library” on 71st Terrace in Prairie Village.

On Monday, Brian Collins told the Leawood City Council he believed Little Free Libraries were “works of art” that should be subject to freedom of expression protections.

A new Little Free Library in Prairie Village goes a long way in supporting that point of view.

The Little Free Library on 71st Terrace between Tomahawk Road and 71st Street, just southeast of the Village Shops, takes the form of a camper, complete with pop-up awning and the backlit sillouhettes of people inside. The LFL is the work of 71st Terrace resident Mark Franzke, who built it for his neighbor three doors down.

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She and I had been talking about doing one of these and I said, ‘If we’re going to do this, let’s do something fun,’” Franzke said.

Among the concepts Franzke sketched out before they settled on the camper were a bookmobile and a saloon.

“I like that it had that kind of retro look to it, that it was something you could have a vintage feel with,” Franzke said.

Franzke spared no detail in creating the Little Free Library, which features real-looking wheels, a propane tank, and even tiny rivets on the campers frame. Though parts of the structure look like they’re metal, Franzke built almost the entire piece from fence-grade cedar. A luthier by trade, he has the tools and experience to create intricate detail working with wood. He even designed a logo for the piece that reads “Adventure Time Free Library.”

“I had a lot of fun with that and the license plate,” he said. “I kind of had to make some changes along the way from the original plan. But it all came together.”

Franzke installed the piece in his neighbor’s yard in September, and it’s got a good collection going:


Here’s a shot of the front of the library with the doors shut:


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