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The Lewisham MicroLibrary

Home > London > Free | Libraries | Places of Interest | Quirky
by Mike Whyte (subscribe)
Published August 19th 2014
When is a phonebox not a phonebox? When it's a library
The Phonebox Library

This is quite simply genius...

These days, thanks to the mobile phone, there is little need for the iconic red telephone boxes seen dotted around the streets of London. So they have started to stand around, looking a bit sorry for themselves, sometimes used by tourists for posing for photographs in, but very little else - until now...

Should you happen to find yourself on the road to Lewisham any given day, you may want to take a quick look around you - see that telephone box over there near the car park? Well, not all is as it seems - for that is not a telephone box as you may know it - it is in fact a public lending library.

How? Well, take a sneaky peak inside - instead of seeing a telephone in there, you will see a row of shelves taking up the space instead. That's right, packed floor to ceiling are books, in fact over spilling to stacks on the floor. You may wonder, how this all works - after all, it seems that in London you only have to leave something outside for five minutes before it disappears. Well, the fact is, it works on a simple policy, you take a book, you replace it with one of your own. Judging by the amount of books in there, it is working too - creating a library based on that greatest of commodities - trust.

With no room for a librarian or any kind of security (though there are people who check the condition of the books and keep the library tidy), the fact that this works so well can do nothing but put a smile on your face.

The Lewisham Micro Library, as it is properly known, has become a real feature of the Lewisham landscape these days; it is famous enough to have its own Facebook page after all - so if you should be in the area, take a look, and don't forget to replace what you take with something you have, then you too can be part of the feelgood factor this place provides...

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Why? A project that really shows community spirit
When: 24 hour access
Phone: n/a
Where: Loampit Hill London SE13 7SW
Cost: Free (though should you take anything, you should replace it with another book of your own)
Your Comment
That is so cool. How does the borrowing system actually work though? Is there a self scanning machine to show you've borrowed a book?
by Bastion Harrison (score: 4|12626) 2878 days ago
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