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Where Superman gets books? Library opens in old phone booth

November 30, 2009 |  3:09 pm

Townspeople in a village in Somerset, England, now have a new library -- a decommissioned classic red phone booth (locals there would call it a phone box). It's more of a location for swapping books than an official library --  there are no late fees, and no room for a librarian. But there is enough space to store about 100 books and DVDs, which people are free to take and return at their leisure.

The idea came to a local resident when Westbury-sub-Mendip, the small Somerset village, "lost its phone box and mobile library in quick succession,"  the BBC reports.

British Telecom has been unplugging the classic phone booths by the hundreds. Some have been turned into art projects. One is a shower; another a public toilet. The one in Somerset seems to be the first to become a lending library.

While 100 books makes for a rather small collection, it seems to be enough for Westbury-sub-Mendip, which boasts a population of 800.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: A row of phone boxes four times the size of the new Westbury-sub-Mendip library. Credit: Matt Dunham / Associated Press