Outmoded phone kiosks in Penang start new chapter as mini libraries

Passers-by browsing the books at an old phone booth that has been transformed into a mini library in Beach Street, Penang. – Filepic

INSPIRED by the repurposing of outmoded public telephone booths in the United Kingdom, a youth community group in George Town, Penang, has initiated a project to convert old booths into mini libraries.

The pocket library project saw five old phone booths turned into community libraries where the public could borrow, exchange or donate books.

Three are located at the north end of Beach Street (just outside the police station), one in Gat Lebuh Gereja and another in Lebuh China. They stand out in their striking hues of yellow, blue and pink.

The project was an initiative of Penggerak Komuniti Muda (Peka) to cultivate the reading habit and for book lovers to exchange books with the community.

It cost RM9,000 and was also supported by the Penang Island City Council (MBPP).

Peka executive director Joshua Woo had said that he got the idea when he chanced upon vandalised phone cubicles in Beach Street and wanted to change them into something iconic, useful and pleasing while also involving youths.

He said the structures of the phone booths were not changed.

Peka’s team worked on cleaning the phone booths, removed protruding wires and unwanted parts, did the paint work and installed racks with acrylic covers, he said.

Woo added that MBPP provided the USB ports and light.

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public , telephone booths , United Kingdom , Penang


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