Banbury: Phone Box Library To Be Made Official

BT have confirmed that Banbury Council have adopted the so-called "Phone-Box Library".

A campaigner from Banbury in Oxfordshire is over the moon that their phonebox-turned-makeshift-library looks like it's going to be saved.

Meredith Christy said books started appearing anonymously last year and the collection of titles available on the make-shift shelves for people to help themselves to has slowly grown.

But earlier this week, BT put a notice up in the make shift facility - asking people to remove their books for health and safety reasons. They were concerned that either the books or shelves could fall and hurt somebody.

The telecoms company insisted nobody's actually asked their permission yet and that more than a thousand calls were made from the phone box last year.

Here's the full interview:


But now BT have confirmed that the phone box is being adopted by the local Council, and it looks certain that it will remain a dual-purpose phonebooth/library.

In response to the Twitter storm that started on Wednesday, under #SaveOurPhoneBoxLibrary, BT issued the following statement:

A BT spokesman said:  “We shouldn’t read too much into this.  People in Banbury, who are no doubt very well read, may want to shelve their response until hearing the BT story.  We have opened libraries in phone boxes across the country with the cooperation of parish councils, local authorities and charities.  In all 2,400 boxes have been adopted for £1 for all sorts of uses –book exchange, heart defibrillators, libraries, map sales, and an ale house .

“This is a page turner because the flimsy, Heath Robinson shelf was put into a phone box that is very well used. Unfortunately no one asked to use it for books.  There were 1,093 calls made from this box in the past year.  We then had a complaint about the wobbly shelving from a Banbury resident and we can’t just ignore it.  If we had ignored it and little Janet or John had been injured by a collapsing shelf and books there would have been hell to pay – right outside St John’s Church. 

“If people want to adopt a phone box in Banbury please contact us and we will see if we can open a new chapter in this running saga, and book worms in Banbury can review the situation and plot a new course for a library.”