Saturday, June 1, 2013

Library in a Telephone Box: British Ingenuity!

Readers of this blog know how much I like libraries, so when I saw this library I had to share it with you.

I'm staying near Little Shelford outside Cambridge in the United Kingdom at the moment and have been impressed by what must be one of the world's smallest libraries. When the local council in this small town found that the famous British red telephone box was no longer needed, they asked local residents for suggestions concerning its use. A retired school teacher, Mary Palazzo, decided that it would be the perfect way to start a community library.  She's the closest thing to the librarian which of course we know all libraries need!

“The parish council asked for suggestions for what to do with the phone box and I had seen that a mini-lending library was working in Somerset and thought it would be great to try here.”
Mrs Palazzo sought the help of members of the Little Shelford book club to set it up. One resident added shelves to the phone box and many began to gather books. The books are organized in a number of broad categories to make it easier to find what you want.

Library Rules
The library has a set of simple rules posted inside the box and requests for particular books are left on post-it notes. Town members are encouraged to take a book to read and to leave one in its place. The telephone box contains adult and children's books, including some wonderful picture books.

The library is aimed at Little Shelford’s 700 residents. Mrs Palazzo has found some books are more popular, with mystery and detective stories being the most popular. After two years it is still going strong.

The project is one of a number of similar projects that have been started by local citizens in small villages across the United Kingdom that have red telephone boxes that are no longer viable as a public phone service in the age of the cell phone.

HT: Thanks to my daughter who spotted the Phone Booth library while she was staying in Cambridge and mentioned it on her blog.


Coral said...

This is a delightful blog entry.
On a Saturday afternoon of several surprises,seeing this Little Library is another super surprise.
I looove it!
What a fantastic idea... and I am so glad a retired teacher came up with a simple and great idea enabling people to keep reading 'real' books.
Enjoy England...

Trevor Cairney said...

Hi Coral. Glad you liked it. It is a remarkable and very effective way to get people within a small community reading and and talking about books. Regards, Trevor

PragmaticMom said...

I am so jealous! I would love to have a "found" library like this in my neighborhood!!

Terry Doherty said...

I'm like Pragmatic Mom! I would love to have a library like this in my neighborhood. Sure wish DIY was a possibility!