The red phone box that has become Britain's smallest libraryby Daily Mail Reporter, dailymail.co.uk
December 1st 2009
Cunning villagers have found a novel way to cope with the shortage of libraries in their area by turning an old red phone box into a book exchange.
The former BT phone kiosk has been transformed from a telephone exchange to Britain's smallest library by cunning residents and now stocks around 100 titles.
Villagers rallied together to set up the book box after their mobile library service was cancelled.
The parish council purchased the box, a Giles Gilbert Scott K6 design, for £1, and residents in the Somerset village of Westbury-sub-Mendip put up wooden shelves inside and donated their own books.
The phone box now houses titles from cooking books to the classics and blockbusters to children's books.
‘It has really taken off,’ Parish councillor Bob Dolby told The Guardian.
‘Turnover is rapid and there's a good range of books, everything from reference books to biographies and blockbusters.’
Meanwhile resident Angela Buchanan was also full of praise for the book box.
'It's such a brilliant idea,' she said. 'Our nearest library is Wells, four miles away, so if you don't want to go into the town but have run out of something to read, it's great you can use this.
'All sorts of interesting books turn up – manuals, picture books, good literary novels.’
The phone box library is open every day for 24 hours and is lit at night. There is a regular check on it to see if some titles are not moving. These are then shipped on to a charity shop to keep the phone box collection fresh.
BT has received 770 applications for communities to 'adopt a kiosk' and so far 350 old boxes have been handed to parish councils.
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