Little Itty Bitty Lending Library

With my affinity for both over-sized objects and miniatures, is it any shock that this lending library caught my eye (and heart)?

The Daily Mail reported this story in December 2009, but I missed it.  Check it out!

“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 canceled.

Book box: Villagers in the Somerset village of Westbury-sub-Mendip wait in line to use the country’s smallest library which was converted from an old red phone box

Happy reading: The phone box now houses titles from cooking books to the classics and blockbusters to children's books

Happy reading: The phone box now houses titles from cooking books to the classics and blockbusters to children’s books

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 councilor Bob Dolby told The Guardian.

‘Turnover is rapid and there’s a good range of books, everything from reference books to biographies and blockbusters.’

Reinvented: The box was bought for £1 and residents put up wooden shelves inside and donated their own books while a located business supplied the signs

Reinvented: The box was bought for £1 and residents put up wooden shelves inside and donated their own books while a located business supplied the signs

Reinvented: The box was bought for £1 and residents put up wooden shelves inside and donated their own books while a located business supplied the signs

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.”

20 Comments

  • At 2010.05.05 23:11, Lisa said:

    The bright spot of this for me is that it kind of proves that people still read. Take away their library and they’ll make their own!
    .-= Lisa´s last blog .."The Danish Girl" by David Ebershoff =-.

    • At 2010.05.06 02:59, Lex Cut said:

      Very intelligent of these people. With these, the government might put up a library just for them.
      .-= Lex Cut´s last blog ..The Eclipse =-.

      • At 2010.05.06 06:44, bybee said:

        Bravo to this village!
        .-= bybee´s last blog ..April: Buying =-.

        • At 2010.05.06 07:27, Mary (Bookfan) said:

          What a charming idea. I love it!
          .-= Mary (Bookfan)´s last blog ..Waiting On Wednesday – May 5 =-.

          • At 2010.05.06 07:45, Jeane said:

            That’s so clever! I love it. People sharing their love of reading all by themselves.
            .-= Jeane´s last blog ..winner! =-.

            • At 2010.05.06 08:01, bermudaonion (Kathy) said:

              I love this! Wouldn’t it be great to have something like that in your neighborhood?

              • At 2010.05.06 11:39, dw said:

                I agree!! The closest library to me is about 25 minutes away! Its such a pain to get to because there so many red lights between my my house and the library. I would love a mini library in my neighborhood although some would argue that I already have a mini library in my room with all the books piling up.

              • At 2010.05.06 09:04, Beth F said:

                Awwww – I love this!!
                .-= Beth F´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday 77 =-.

                • At 2010.05.06 10:07, Steph said:

                  What a great idea! I love British phone “boxes”, so combining them with books? Heaven!
                  .-= Steph´s last blog ..“Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World” by Haruki Murakami =-.

                  • At 2010.05.06 10:40, nat @book, line, and sinker said:

                    hey, i’ve been meaning to email you to see how you’re doing in light of the biblical flooding in your neck of the woods. hope you’re okay!! 🙂

                  • At 2010.05.06 10:20, Ti said:

                    I love the idea but look at that line! They obviously take some time to browse in there.
                    .-= Ti´s last blog ..Wuthering Heights Wednesday: May 5, 2010 – Week 5 =-.

                    • At 2010.05.06 10:48, Kerri said:

                      I love it! I could use one of those at my train station on the way to work.
                      .-= Kerri´s last blog ..ARC Review: City of Veils by Zoe Ferraris =-.

                      • At 2010.05.06 13:35, Kathleen said:

                        I love this. If I ever move to a small, out of the way place, I am going to build/start one of these in my town. Brilliant!
                        .-= Kathleen´s last blog ..Are you Ready for the Storm? And are you Ready for the Giveaway? =-.

                        • At 2010.05.07 10:10, Jess - A Book Hoarder said:

                          I saw this a few months back and LOVE IT! When I was in London I couldn’t get enough of these phone booths. I bet I could convince my husband that this would be a great gift for me because it would keep my books in one place and out of his way. Hmm…I’ll have to work on how to pitch it.

                          • At 2010.05.07 10:35, Meg said:

                            Love this on approximately 75 million different levels! 🙂
                            .-= Meg´s last blog ..Book review: ‘The Man Who Loved Pride & Prejudice’ by Abigail Reynolds =-.

                            • At 2010.05.07 11:21, Dishy said:

                              Too cute! I love seeing how resourceful & clever people can be in the face of adversity.
                              .-= Dishy´s last blog ..Grease stains, Ice cream cones and Walmart – Oh MY. =-.

                              • At 2010.05.07 18:20, Christie said:

                                How fantastic. Thanks so much for sharing this!

                                • At 2010.05.07 18:35, Jenners said:

                                  So cool! I love stuff like this … I would love to have a little itty bitty library like this in my neighborhood.
                                  .-= Jenners´s last blog ..Reading with the Little One: "Hound from the Pound" by Jessica Swaim and Jill McElmurry =-.

                                  • At 2010.05.08 17:51, Lydia said:

                                    That is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen! How creative.

                                    -L
                                    .-= Lydia´s last blog ..Sophie by Guy Burt =-.

                                    • At 2010.08.02 10:53, Jane Maddan said:

                                      What a brilliant idea. Not only do they find a way to bring books to the community, but also recycle old phone booths.

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