Clark Kent’s no longer the only one who can step into a phone booth and walk out a superhero. Now anyone in Westbury-sub-Mendip can. All it takes is a little imagination, belief in the power of literature, and this phone booth:
Faced with the prospect of losing their phone booth, residents of Westbury-sub-Mendip (located in southwestern England) decided to buy it from British Telecom for £1. Shortly thereafter they learned that BT was holding a national competition for innovative uses of these old phone booths. After tossing around a few ideas during a tea party, one of the residents came up with idea of transforming it into a book exchange. Having recently lost their mobile library service just a few months prior, this was the perfect solution. Shelves were installed and filled with books donated by the residents.
The guidelines for using the book exchange are simple: take a book, leave a book. There are over 100 books in the Westbury Book Exchange and the turnover rate is high. The shelves are regularly monitored and any books that aren’t moving are donated to a local charity shop. The phone booth is lit at night and it stays open 24/7, 365 days a year. Community response to the mini library has been overwhelmingly positive; the residents treat it with respect and the shelves are always full.
Three very hearty cheers for the Westbury Book Exchange!
Photo credit: Alex (thanks!)
Read the Library Love Fine Print here.