Dorset village transforms telephone box into library
EIGHTEEN months ago Kington Magna had one decommissioned telephone box on their hands and no library, so it seemed prefect sense to make the most of the iconic red box and transform it into the village library.
Kington Magna and Buckhorn Weston Parish Council bought the telephone box from British Telecom for the sum of £1 and just over a year ago the phone-box library opened for ‘business’.
“I’d always wanted to do one of these,” said Terry Mole, “as I’d seen it done on Points West and it seemed a really good idea.”
The idea of the library is it is an exchange - someone brings a book and takes one home - so it is always fully stocked, and always open.
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There is also a comments book and tally chart to keep tabs of how many books of each genre are out on loan.
All in all there are approximately 300 books on the phone box shelves, from crime and thriller novels to romance, gardening, miscellaneous and some children’s books - and all donated from villagers. “The crime, thriller and romance novels are the most popular,” said Val Mills, phone box librarian, book replenisher and Kington Magna Village Hall and club committee member. “And it’s all done on trust. And we have had some lovely comments in the book, such as ‘please can you put up some more shelves’ - which we have done, to ‘some Ernest Hemingway would be good for my Dad’, to ‘generally I return them’!
“There is an overflow of books and from time to time I change what’s on the shelves, but we are in need of children’s books, particularly for the eight - 11 age group.”
So, if you have any books, particularly children’s books for the younger phone-box library readers, please take them to Val or contact her via the village hall.
Report and pictures by Jane Norman