No, you didn’t read that wrong. Friends of the Somerville Public Library president and book art aficionado James Fox has recently turned the abandoned payphone station across from Lyndell’s Bakery in Ball Square into a perfectly charming “Little Library.”
The booth contains several dozen books of varying genres and is looking pretty snazzy thanks to some repairs by Fox and library trustee Akil Williams, which turned it from an empty booth into a cherry red, multi-shelved wonder filled with books that, at this time this article was written, range from children’s story “Don’t Frighten The Chickens” to more predictable library fare such as “Ivanhoe” and “Old Yeller,” to name a few.
The sign is equipped with several signs, reading “Take one, leave one,” “Lleva uno, deja uno,” and “heck, just take one”, that make users well-aware of the lax policies regarding book return. Fox has refilled it three times to date since its unveiling.
The idea of a phone booth dates back to Wisconsin innovators in 2009, and Fox’s brainchild will join the ranks of “little libraries” mapped out across the country. However, this specific one also came to be in conjunction with Nave Gallery’s Phone Art Box project, prompting the group to reach out to Fox in search of something unique.
And it looks like the box is set to stick around for while, Fox says. –Caroline Kelly