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Library in a Box

September 10th, 2010 by karenmartin

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a couple of posts about libraries, librarians and what services and characteristics they might provide in the future based on the talks and discussion at Be2camp Brum 2010.

To my mind,  a  library’s primary function is to lend books to people and this service of sharing books in a community is beautifully carried out by this library-in-a-phone-box in Westbury-sub-Mendip, Somerset.

The phone box was bought from BT for £1 in 2009 and then a tea party was held to decide what to do with it. The idea of a mini-library was instantly popular as the nearest public library is four miles away and the mobile library stopped visiting the year before.

There is no full-time librarian and the phone box is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for members of the village to pop by and drop off books and borrow new ones. There are four wooden shelves of books and the children’s section is a red box on the floor.

I think it’s a great reminder that libraries don’t have to be huge to be valued and makes me wonder what an eBook library might look like and where it might be located. Perhaps a cardboard box in the corner of a café or an old cupboard at the end of the street is all that is needed..

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