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Stuston villagers’ novel new library

A new book swap facility in Stuston has proved popular with villagers.
A new book swap facility in Stuston has proved popular with villagers.

A community has created its own library – for just £1.

Enterprising villagers in Stuston have converted an old phone box into a new, albeit compact, library.

Officially opened on Saturday, the book swap facility is already proving a hit.

“Lots of people have donated books and we must have more than 100 already, including children’s books,” said Dick Pass, a member of the Stuston Village Social and Welfare Committee.

“The phone box was still working but it hasn’t been used for years, in this age of mobile phones.

“BT was thinking of stopping the service, but also offered to sell it to us for £1.

“It had become run down over the years, and was pretty filthy.

“We considered different uses for it, including a book swap facility, or a defibrillator, but that was too expensive.

“People can borrow any of the books and all we ask is that they leave a note to say when they borrowed it and how long for, so we can see what’s proving popular.

“It works the same way as a library, just a very small one.”

BT also donated some paint for the box, which was lovingly restored by villagers, starting with an undercoat of pink.

Local carpenters and builders helped build a shelving system to house the books.

“It’s free to use and we have also added lights, which make it really attractive at night,” said Mr Pass.

“They have a similar book swap in Thorndon and they kindly invited us over to see theirs so that we could carry out some research.

“The books will change over time and everyone seems to love the idea.”

The book swap was opened by Cllr David Burn, cabinet member for environment for Mid Suffolk District Council.

The official ribbon cutting was attended by villagers who were kept warm with free tea and coffee.

Villagers also have plans to restore the village pump and also start another area for surplus garden plants.

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