BT has responded to the community outrage over its eviction notice in the much-loved Banbury Phone Box Library outside St John’s Church in South Bar.
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 co-operation 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 at: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.”
Local authorities, councils or local charities can adopt the phone boxes but they would need to give BT their plans and reasons.
BT will then check the recent use of the phone, if that is OK the box can then be bought for £1.
BT works with the Community Heart Beat Trust with regards to defibrillators and on four known occasions they have saved lives.