Thursday, December 03, 2009

Britain's Smallest Public Library

It's time for another feel-good story and this time around it comes all the way from the little English village known as Westbury-sub-Mendip. It seems that the villagers have adopted one of those old British phone booths, the reds one everyone remembers from the day when phones weren't carried in our pockets. But it's what they've done with it that is so cool.

They've created the U.K.'s smallest library. Actually, it's a village book exchange, but, hey, that's close enough for me - maybe even better. Details come from Mail Online:
Villagers rallied together to set up the book box after their mobile library service was cancelled.

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.’

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.
As someone who has started book exchanges in locations ranging from Algeria's Sahara Desert to the tallest office towers in Houston, I have to applaud these guys. Well done, folks.


  1. I love it, but I hope they can get their mobile library service back, too.

  2. Awesome! It's a great idea no matter what, but having it one of those cool old phone booths makes it so much better. I'm actually jealous.

  3. this is a great story, thanks for sharing it. talk about turning a bad situation into good.

  4. I agree, Annie. I love to have one of those old phone booths in my yard - hey, I could start a free neighborhood library except that I'm not sure that my neighbors actually read books.

  5. Leave it to the Brits, Janet. They seem to do this kind of thing more than anyone else. Wonder why?