For many American’s that iconic and instantly recognizable British phone booth is seen as part of the U.K. landscape. We Yanks have rarely watched a movie, that somewhere in the background lurked that red booth. With the advent of cellular service these lovely booths have been disappearing. Lack of use, maintenance and reduction in services are among the reasons.
Yet, in one town British creativity has given one of those phone booths a new lease on life – as a library. In the quaint village of Minchinhampton the (as the British term it) phone kiosk has become a lending library. It was the idea of resident Carolyn Dolan. “I got some shelves and opened the mini-library,” she said. “Anyone can help themselves and bring in books whcih they don’t want. It’s a very simple idea.”
Apparently, the idea is meeting with success, Ms. Dolan states that. “It’s only been there a few weeks but it is certainly being used.”
The phone box was purchased from BT Communications for one-pound by the community Box Village Society after the phone was taken out. Seeing the booths as “an integral part of the village we thought we would like to keep it,” said Carolyn. “The mobile library doesn’t come here any more and there are quite a few elderly people in the village, so hopefully it will be well used.”