WITH libraries under threat residents at Staplehay have set up their own ... in an old phone box.

Britain’s familiar red telephone boxes are no longer in use and BT gave Trull Parish Council the option of having their box removed, reinstalled ... or they could buy it for £1.

They opted to purchase the phone box and after redecorating it, installing new shelving and fitting it with new signs, the informal book exchange is now quickly filling up with literature.

Parish councillor Dee Luke will be acting as volunteer librarian when the exchange opens to the public next week.

Don Archer, one of the parish councillors involved in the decision, said: “At a time when county libraries are reducing their hours of access to the public, we have a new facility that will be open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

“BT are kindly continuing to pay for the lighting in the kiosk for the first five years. We have seen empty and neglected former phone kiosks in other local villages and we hope that publicity about what we have done may encourage them to follow suit.”

The move was inspired by similar action taken by Westbury-sub-Mendip parish council in 2009, who bought and converted an old telephone box into a book exchange on the suggestion of villager Janet Fisher.

The free-to-use service will be officially opened on Monday, April 18, at 5pm by Mrs Fisher and Westbury-sub-Mendip councillor Bob Dolby on the invitation of Trull parish council.