A small, wooden box called a Little Free Library sits on St. Marks Avenue in Prospect Heights, filled with books and attracting passers-by both adult and child. It operates on a simple, utopian premise: community members donate books to the library, and the books are available to anyone who’d like to take them.

Suzanne Pettypiece, who set up the box, took a gung ho approach when dealing with the city–after becoming frustrated when she didn’t get a clear answer about whether the library would be allowed, she went rogue and put it up without permission. “I figure if I get opposition to it, I’ll just start a petition or something,” she said. Build little libraries first, ask questions later.

“It’s real and it’s humble,” said Siddhartha Sanchez, a neighborhood father whose daughters frequent the library. Resident Ryan Taylor agreed, telling the New York Times the library is a “marker of increasing friendliness” in the area. More importantly, it’s a marker of more renegade little librarians sidestepping city bureaucracy and giving out free books without authorization. That, along with kindness and realness and humility and all that other good stuff, is worth getting behind.

(Photo: Svadilfari/Flickr)