Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Library in a Phone Box #27 Brynberian, Pembrokeshire

Pembrokeshire-61Via the joy that is twitter, another phonebox library has appeared on my radar. A flickr user by the name of Katchoo found a llyfrgell cyfnewid in Brynberian, Pembrokeshire, on the road to Pentre Ifan, the largest dolmen on the British mainland. Katchoo has some fine photos there, and without much difficulty I was able to locate it on google maps too.

Its a good solid five shelf affair, about eighty books, with no sign of kids books as is usual for these things, but a couple of copies of Garden Answers magazine are a nice alternative.Pembrokeshire-56

But in Katchoo's accompanying blogpost, a comment has been left by a chap called John Kirriemuir:-
It’s good if there was nothing in the community for book lending before. Not a library in all but the narrowest of definitions though; it’s just a bunch of books that people can borrow.

It’s not so good if the local library has been closed, or taken over as a big society sham “community volunteer-run library” – much more in a post am writing on this. As it means (a) skilled information professional has been made unemployed and (b) the community has lost most or all of these”
This is easy to look into. According to Pembrokeshire council the nearest council-run libraries to Brynberian are Crymych Library which is 7 miles to the east and Newport Library which is 5.1 miles to the north. Also Pembrokeshire has three Mobile Libraries that visit villages and rural areas once every three weeks. So as there are clearly other things in the community for book lending, the phone box swop library is not "good".

I had a check on google and it appears there's no library closures being mooted in Pembrokeshire, there are no news stories about library closures, there are no council documents, there's no easily findable evidence that this phone box library has come about because of library closures. As no local libraries have been closed in Pembrokeshire and no skilled information professionals have been made unemployed, its not "not so good".

Its not a zero sum game, there has never previously been a public library in Brynberian, but there is one now.

This has however pointed me in a new direction in documenting these phone box swop libraries, I can find out how far away the nearest council run libraries are and the proximity of library closures, and then see statistically if there is any correlation.

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