Phone Box Library List

BT's Adopt a Kiosk scheme allowed local communities and parish councils to adopt their red telephone boxes which would otherwise have been removed. Since 2009 over 1,500 have been adopted.

The parish councils across the land have converted phone boxes to many other uses including art galleries, tea rooms and florists, one of the most popular reuses is as a book exchange.

The phone boxes used are exclusively of the iconic K6 design.

These local communities have given them several different names, the majority are simply called Book Exchanges (45%) although many are called Libraries (34%), although Book Swap (11%) and Book Box (7%) are also common terms.

The vast majority have been created purely because of the opportunity presented by the Adopt a Kiosk scheme, although a few have come about partly due to the reduction of local mobile library provision due to council spending cuts.

There has been disagreements amongst some quarters of the internet about to what degree these phone boxes are 'libraries' and whether they can or should be called this. Against the backdrop of library funding cuts in the UK this can be an emotive topic, professional librarians are losing their jobs, and some may be frustrated that their position is being usurped.

The phone box libraries are on average 4.37 miles away from the nearest public library, although a couple are as far away as 12 miles, and a few are as near as a mile away.

The earliest was established in late 2009, and the vast majority in 2011.

The area with the most seems to be Somerset where fourteen have been founded, although Cambridgeshire is doing well with eight. There are two phone box libraries in Wales (Paen-y-Coed and Brynberian), and one known of in Scotland (Kinnesswood). There is one in America, in Clinton, New York, where a K8 unit has been used to create a Book Booth along similar lines.


View Phone box libraries in a larger map

Below is a list of one hundred phone boxes that have been found across the UK, there may be many more. Not all of these have photos, nor have I visited more than a small fraction of them.

1. Westbury-Sub-Mendip, Somerset
Book Exchange

Earliest date found: 01/12/2009
Books, shelves: 200 books, 4 shelves, kids box
Nearest public library: Wells Library, 4 miles away
Links: Daily Mail, BBC, This is Somerset, Guardian

2. St Margaret South Elmham, Suffolk
Swap Box

Earliest date found: 23/07/2011
Books, shelves: 3 shelves
Nearest public library: Bungay Library, 5.1 miles away, under threat of closure in January 2011
Link: Eastern Daily Press, The Mirror

3. Marton Cum Grafton, North Yorkshire
Tiny Library

Earliest date found: 23/09/2010
Books, shelves: 40 books, 5 shelves, box for kids
Nearest public library: Boroughbridge Library, 2.7 miles away
Links: BBC, Yorkshire Press

4. Apethorpe, Cambridgeshire
Library

Earliest date found: 08/03/2011
Books, shelves: N/A (still being set up)
Nearest public library: Oundle Library, 6.1 miles away
Links: Apethorpe News (last status update in March 2011)

5. Point, Cornwall
Book Swap

Earliest date found: 10/03/2011
Books, shelves: 150 books, 5 shelves (only 4 usable)
Nearest public library: Truro Library, 5.3 miles away, fortnightly mobile library
Links: BBC, In the K(er)now

6. Horsley, Surrey
Library

Earliest date found: 17/04/2011
Books, shelves: 4 connected shelves (concealed in roof of phone box)
Nearest public library: Horsley Library, 2.1 miles away
Links: This is Surrey Today, BBC

7. Little Shelford, Cambridgeshire
Library

Earliest date found: 19/07/2011
Books, shelves: 150 books, 4 shelves, box for kids
Nearest public library: Great Shelford Library, 0.8 miles away
Links: Little Shelford, Cambridge News

8. Thruxton, Hampshire
Library

Earliest date found: 10/06/2011
Books, shelves: 100 books, 4 shelves
Nearest public library: Andover Library, 5.3 miles away
Links: This is Hampshire, People


9. Feock, Cornwall
Book Swap

Earliest date found: 10/03/2011
Books, shelves: 71 books, 4 shelves
Nearest public library: Truro Library, 5.3 miles away
Links: In the K(er)now, Facebook


10. Staplehay, Somerset
Book Exchange

Earliest date found: 15/04/2011
Books, shelves: 150 books, 4 shelves, box for kids
Nearest public library: Taunton Library, 2.2 miles away (reduced hours due to funding cuts)
Links: This is the West Country, Somerset County Gazette



11. Hatton, Cheshire
Book exchange

Earliest date found: 10/12/2011
Books, shelves: 220 books, 8 shelves
Nearest public library: Stockton Heath Library, 3.7 miles away
Links: Warrington Guardian, Warrington Worldwide

12. Coxley, Somerset
Library

Earliest date found: 14/04/2011
Books, shelves: N/A
Nearest public library: Wells Library, 2.1 miles away
Links: High Beam Research, This is Somerset
Notes: was robbed of all books in April 2012

13. Cotebrook, Cheshire
Book Box

Earliest date found: 13/01/2011
Books, shelves: 60 books, 5 shelves
Nearest public library: Tarporley Library, 2.7 miles away
Links: Chester Chronicle, Northwich Guardian

14. Blagdon, Somerset
Library

Earliest date found: 30/07/2010
Books, shelves: 6 shelves
Nearest public library: Congresbury Library, 6.1 miles away (was under threat of closure in 2009, now run by volunteers)
Links: BBC Bristol

15. Dinder, Somerset
Library

Earliest date found: 14/04/2011
Books, shelves:5 shelves
Nearest public library: Wells Library, 2.6 miles away
Links: Wells People

16. Tollerton, Nottinghamshire
Library

Earliest date found: 28/02/2011
Books, shelves: 50 books
Nearest public library: Keyworth Library, 2.7 miles away
Links: This is Nottingham

17. Timsbury, Somerset
Library

Earliest date found: 01/05/2011
Books, shelves: 3 shelves
Nearest public library: Radstock Library, 3.8 miles away
Links: Timsbury




18. Shirley, Derbyshire
Library

Earliest date found: 01/06/2011
Books, shelves: 250 books, 10 shelves
Nearest public library: Ashbourne Library, 4.8 miles away
Links: Ashbourne News Telegraph, BBC, This is Derbyshire






19. Cowlinge, Suffolk
Library

Earliest date found: 09/02/2011
Books, shelves: 5 shelves
Nearest public library: Newmarket Library, 8.8 miles away
Links: The Three Tuns Pub

20. Woodborough, Nottinghamshire
Book Exchange

Earliest date found: 18/03/2011
Books, shelves: 4 shelves
Nearest public library: Calverton Library, 1.7 miles away
Links: Dumbles, This is Nottingham

21. Box, Gloucestershire
Lending Library

Earliest date found: 31/08/2011
Books, shelves: 3 shelves
Nearest public library: Nailsworth Library, 1.1 miles away
Links: BBC, This is Gloucestershire, Box Village

22. Coed-y-Paen, Torfaen
Library

Earliest date found: 04/09/2011
Books, shelves: 200+ books, 6 shelves
Nearest public library: Cwmbran Library, 3.8 miles away
Links: South Wales Argus, Bike Brothers



 

23. Haybridge, Somerset
Library

Earliest date found: 12/09/2011
Books, shelves: 4 shelves
Nearest public library: Wells Library, 1.3 miles away
Links: xrisglmv14

24. Arkesden, Essex
Library

Earliest date found: 28/09/2011
Books, shelves:
Nearest public library: Stansted Library, 5.6 miles away
Link: Saffron Walden Weekly News

25. Henham, Essex 
Library

Earliest date found: 09/09/2011
Books, shelves: 4 shelves, 100 books
Nearest public library: Stansted Library, 3.9 miles away
Link: Saffron Walden Weekly News 

26. Polsham, Somerset
Library

Earliest date found: 12/09/2011
Books, shelves: N/A
Nearest public library: Wells Library, 3 miles away
Link: Wells Journal

27. Brynberian, PembrokeshirePembrokeshire-61
Swop Library

Earliest date found: 09/10/2011
Books, shelves: 80 books, 5 shelves
Nearest public library: Newport Library, 5.1 miles away
Links: Tourist Vs Traveller


Telephone box library28. Chedworth, Gloucestershire
Book Exchange

Earliest date found: 17/12/2010
Books, shelves: 4 shelves
Nearest public library: Cirencester Library, 8.1 miles away
Links: Ranger Stuff , Small World News Service, Flickr





Telephone Books29. Belbroughton, Worcestershire
Book Exchange

Earliest date found: 09/04/2011
Books, shelves: 8 shelves
Nearest public library: Hagley Library, 3.5 miles away
Links: Rambling Rose, Flickr


30. Brinkworth, Wiltshire
Book Exchange

Earliest date found:20/03/2010
Books, shelves: 4 shelves, box for kids
Nearest public library: Wootton Bassett Library, 5.1 miles away
Links: Swindon Advertiser




The Reading Room31. Kinnesswood, Perth and Kinross
Reading Room

Earliest date found: 15/01/2010
Books, shelves: 12 shelves
Nearest public library: Lochore Library, 4.1 miles away
Links: Flickr





The Book Exchange, Cargreen, Cornwall32. Cargreen, Cornwall
Book Exchange

Earliest date found: 18/08/2011
Books, shelves: 7 shelves
Nearest public library: Saltash Library, 4.2 miles away
Links: Flickr






33. Thorganby, North Yorkshire
Book Exchange

Earliest date found: 22/10/2010
Books, shelves: 4 shelves
Nearest public library: Barby Library, 8.2 miles away
Links: BBC, flickr




34. Stanton Wick, Somerset10-08 Stanton Wick
Book swap

Earliest date found: 24/08/2010
Books, shelves: 1 shelf
Nearest public library: Stockwood Library, 5.8 miles away
Link: Flickr






35. West and East Horrington, Somerset
Library

Earliest date found: 14/04/2011
Books, shelves: N/A
Nearest public library: Wells Library, 2.5 miles away
Link: Wells Journal

Ickle library36. Burton Flemming, Yorkshire
Library

Earliest date found: 24/09/2011
Books, shelves: 4 shelves
Nearest public library: Hunmanby Library, 4 miles away
Link: Small Motorhome Forum





Phone-box library37. Hadham Ford / Little Hadden, Hertfordshire
Book Exchange

Earliest date found: 22/01/2011
Books, shelves: 4 shelves
Nearest public library: Bishops Stortford Library, 3.5 miles away
Links: Flickr, Flickr





38. Little Rissington, GloucestershireRed Telephone Box and Berries
Book Exchange

Earliest date found: 31/05/2011
Books, shelves: 4 shelves
Nearest public library: Bourton-On-The-Water Library, 1.8 miles away
Links: Flickr, Little Rissington

39. Little Eaton, Derbyshire
Book Exchange

Earliest date found: 31/12/2011
Books, shelves: 4 shelves
Nearest public library: Duffield Library 2.2 miles away
Link: BBC
Notes: Is kept locked at night

40. Thorpe Salvin, South Yorkshire
Book Exchange

Nearest public library: Kiveton Park Community Library 2.9 miles away
Link: Christine Hall on Flickr
Notes: was robbed of all books in March 2012


41. Caythorpe, Nottinghamshire
Book Exchange

Nearest public library: Lowdham Library 1.7 miles away
Link: Walking Britain
 
42. Wood Ditton, Cambridgeshire
Book Exchange

Date found: 22/09/2011
Nearest public library: Newmarket Library 4.2 miles away
Link: Newmarket Journal

43. Hutton Magna, Durham
New Box

Date found: 25/08/2009
Nearest public library: Darlington Library 12.8 miles away
Link: Teesdale Mercury

44. Marston Montgomery, Derbyshire
Nearest public library: Uttoexeter Library 5.6 miles away
Link: Marston Montgomery Community Website

45. Emery Down, Hampshire
Community Kiosk

Nearest public library: Lyndhurst Library 1 mile away
Links: Emery Down Phonebox, BBC News website

46. Thornhaugh, Cambridgeshire
Nearest public library: Stamford Library 5.8 miles away
Link: Geograph

47. Halmore, Gloucestershire
Library

Date Found: 15/04/2012
Shelves, Books:  4 shelves
Nearest public library: Berkley Library 2.9 miles away
Link: GWilliams851 on Flickr

48. Limpley Stoke, Wiltshire
Book Exchange

Nearest public library: Bath Central Library 4.8 miles away
Link: Freshford & Limpley Stoke Community Association

49. Goxhill, Lincolnshire
Book Box

Nearest public library: Barton Upon Humber Library 4.9 miles away
Link: BBC News website

50. Penycae, Wrexham
Nearest public library: Ystradgynlais Library 5.7 miles away
Link: The Leader

51. St Cross South Elmham, Suffolk
Book Exchange
Nearest public library: Harleston Library 4.9 miles away
Link: Richie Wisbey Collection on Flickr

52. Boxworth, Cambridgeshire
Book Exchange

Nearest public library: Bar Hill Library 3.8 miles away
Link: ETDM on Flickr

53. Great Livermere, Suffolk
Book Exchange

Date Found: 05/02/2012
Shelves, Books: 10 shelves, 180 books
Nearest public library: Thurston Library 4.2 miles away
Link: Eddie Olliffe


54. Beer, Devon
Swap Shop

Date Found: 19/02/2012
Nearest public library: Seaton Library 1.7 miles away
Link: Devon24 , Isisbridge on Flickr

55. East Dean, Wiltshire
Nearest public library: Romsey Library 9.1 miles away
Link: ailsatruckle on Flickr

56. Preston St. Mary, Suffolk
Book Box

Date Found: August 2011
Nearest public library: Lavenham Library 2.6 miles away
Link: The Original SimonB

57. Cowden, Kent
Nearest public library: Edenbridge Library 4.2 miles away
Link: Trevor Dale on Flickr

58. Great Comberton, Worcestershire
Library

Shelves, books: 7 shelves
Nearest public library: Evesham Library 8 miles away
Link: Miss Minion on Flickr

The book exchange
59. Guilden Morden, Cambridgeshire
Book Exchange

Nearest public library: Potton Library 5.4 miles away
Link: Simon Webster on Flickr

60. Sheepwash, Devon
Book Exchange

Nearest public library: Torrington Library 9.4 miles away
Link: This is Devon

61. Cotesbach, Leicestershire
Book Exchange
Nearest public library: Lutterworth Library 2 miles away
Link: I am into this

62. Colton, North Yorkshire
Book Exchange

Nearest public library: Easingwold Library 8.1 miles away
Link: A Life More Ordinary

63. Coton,  Cambridgeshire
Nearest public library: Cambridge University 2.7 miles away
Link: Kirsty on Flickr

64. Lach Dennis, Cheshire
Library

Earliest date found: 2011
Books, shelves: 3 shelves
Nearest public library: Northwich Library 3.6 miles away
Links: Sicrit on Flickr

65. Hemmingford Abbots, Cambridgeshire
Swap Box

Date first found: 03/03/2012
Books, shelves: 5 shelves
Nearest public library: St. Ives Library 3 miles away
Links: The Tanjara

66. Barton Stacey, Hampshire
Library

Date first found: January 2012
Books, shelves: 3 shelves, 70 books
Nearest public library: Andover Library, 7 miles away
Link: John Spooner on Flickr

67. Little Bentley, Essex
Book Swap

Date first found: 12/08/2011
Books, shelves: 4 shelves, 100 books
Nearest public library: Greenstead Library, 7.2 miles away
Links: Flickr, EADT24

68. Bodsham, Kent
Exchange

Date first found: 11/04/2012
Books, shelves: 5 shelves
Nearest public library: Wye Library, 5 miles away
Link: Kent Online

69. Wix, Essex
Book Swap Shop

Date first found: 22/04/2012
Books, shelves: 5 shelves, 100 books
Nearest public library: Manningtree Library, 5 miles away
Link: Harwich and Manningtree Standard
70. Feering, Essex
Library

Earliest date found: 26/04/2012
Books, shelves: 7 shelves 120 books
Nearest public library: Coggeshall, 2.5 miles away
Link: This is Total Essex, Trevor Powell on Flickr

71. Great Hinton, Wiltshire
Library

Earliest date found: July 2011
Books, shelves: 5 shelves
Nearest public library: Trowbridge Library 4.5 miles away
Link: Flickr, GeoCaching

72.  Longstock, Hampshire
Library

Earliest date found: 02/01/2012
Books, shelves: 3 shelves
Nearest public library: Andover Library 5.9 miles away
Link: The Art of Letting Go
73. Tisbury, Wiltshire
Library

Earliest date found: 18/03/2012
Books, shelves: 4 shelves
Link: TisBiz 

74. West Monkton, Somerset
Book Swap

Earliest Date Found 11/05/2011
Nearest public library: Priorswood Library 2.8 miles away
Link: West Monkton 

75. Ryme Intrinseca, Dorset
Library

Link: Flickr

76. Kenwyn, Cornwall
Book Exchange

Link: Flickr

book booth
77. Netherthorpe, Derbyshire
Book Exchange

Link: Simon McCheung on Flickr

78. Bucklebury, Berkshire
Book Exchange
Link: BBC News website

79. Great Sampford, Essex
Library

Earliest Date Found: March 2012
Nearest public library: Thaxted Library 3.6 miles away
Link: Flickr, Parish Council Minutes

80. High Hutton, North Yorkshire
Freecycle Centre

Earliest Date Found: 11/02/2012
Link: HuttonsAmbo

81. East Bridgford, Nottinghamshire
Book Exchange
Link: Newark Advertiser

82. Deppers Bridge, Warwickshire
Books in the Box
Link: Leamington Courier

83. Burton Overy, Leicestershire
Swap Shop
Link: Lutterworth Mail

84. Long Wittenham, Oxfordshire
Book Exchange
Link: Long Wittenham

85. Oake, Somerset
Book Exchange

Shelves, books: 6 shelves
Link: Somerset County Gazette

86. Flitton, Bedfordshire
Book Exchange


Link: Flitton and Greenfield Parish Council
Notes: "If the shelves are full, please do not leave books on the floor"

87. Ingham, Lincolnshire
Book Exchange

Link: Ingham Parish Council

88. Llangrove, Herefordshire
Book and Magazine Exchange
Link: Llangrove Links

89. Brattleby, Lincolnshire
Link: Brattleby Parish Council

90. Lea, Wiltshire
Book Exchange
Link: North Wilts Community Web

91. Tockington, Gloucestershire
Link: Olveston Parish Council

92. Trudoxhill, Somerset
Link: Trudoxhill Parish Council

93. Rushton, Northamptonshire
Link: Chester Chronicle

94. Moulton, Northamptonshire
Book Exchange

Link: The 2 R's

95. South Kilworth, Leicestershire
Book Swap

Link: South Kilworth

96. Cotleigh, Devon
Book Exchange
Link: Cotleigh Parish Council


97. Carlingcott, North East Somerset
Book Exchange
Link: Peasedown St. John Parish Council

98. Burnett, North East Somerset
Link: Compton Dando Parish Council

99. Charlton Musgrove, Somerset
Link: Charlton Musgrove

100. Upper Clatford, Hampshire
Book Exchange
Link: Parish Council Minutes (PDF)

Thrilling stuff, I'm sure you'll agree, but is it just a fad that'll fizzle out in a few months, rather then the years and decades that public libraries have lasted for?

Its too early to tell, but since the first telephone box book exchange opened in Westbury in 2009, there has been a steady increase each year.

2009 - 1 new phonebox
2010 - 12 new phoneboxes
2011 - 58 new phoneboxes
2012 - 32 new phone boxes in the first six months

It will take a bit of time and a lot of petrol and mileage to check whether the earlier ones are still going, but I shall investigate further

9 comments:

  1. No. 84 isn't mentioned on the village website, it's now got a defib. machine in it rather than books I think?

    I love this though, books in telephone boxes are great. I'm into bookcrossing.com and love book exchanges etc. This is such an inventive use of redundant places.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think I saw a photo on Flickr of the Long Wittenham phone box with books as well as the defib machine, I could be mistaken, will have to check myself.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh great, let me know if it's got both please!

    ReplyDelete
  4. There is also one in Heddington, Wiltshire.

    ReplyDelete
  5. There is one in Sapperton, South Lincolnshire

    ReplyDelete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hiya, just to let you know there are several new telephone box libraries now in two areas I frequent. North Somerset (Yatton, Weston in Gordano & Clapton in Gordano)
    in the New Forest (Marchwood, & Bramshaw). So 5 newish ones in total

    ReplyDelete
  8. There is one in Sunningdale (near Ascot), Berkshire now.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I can think of a few more. Heddington in Wiltshire, Roundway (near Devizes) in Wiltshire, All Cannings in Wiltshire, Rudge in Somerset & Standerwick in Somerset

    ReplyDelete