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Village Library in a Phone Box


I’ve always loved the red phone boxes of Britain. They are bright and cheerful and  one of the most recognizable icons of the British Isles.  It’s no wonder that the impending loss of such a phone box could send villagers into somewhat of a panic.

Rather than just panic, the residents of Westbury-sub-Mendip, a village in Somerset, took action. Not only was their beloved Giles Gilbert Scott K6 design phone box under threat, the mobile library was no longer servicing the 800 inhabitants.  So why not kill two birds with one stone?  And that’s what the villagers did – they turned the phone box into a mini-library.

With an investment of £30 (of which £1 was the purchase cost of the phone box), shelving, and books donated by residents,  the local library was up and running.

Unlike other libraries, this one is open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.  Circulation is carefully monitored and if a book garners little or no interest, it’s donated to a charity.

Parish councillor Bob Dolby says, “It’s very pleasing that the phone box has been saved but is also being used to provide a service for the village.”

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