by cristina lanz azcarate
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Sebastian’s micro library in Lewisham

(This is a piece about a colleague of mine that I recently wrote for my 6 year old niece in a collaboration we are doing)

Today I will be telling you a story in English. It is the story of the smallest library we have in London: The Lewisham Micro-Library.

It is in Lewinsham (South East London) and it is open every day, all day. You do not have to be a member to borrow the books, there is nobody at the door controling if peope take books and you never need to be worried about finding the door closed because it has no lock on the door.

It is a library inside a telephone box.

The K2 is a special telephone box like those you often see in the movies and it was the result of a design competition which took place in 1924 and which was only opened to a small group of respected architects. It is bright red and was designed by Gilbert Scott, the winner of the competition.

Sebastian and I work together at the office. He is an architectural technician…this is, he is the person who thinks about how the building parts should be put together.

Sebastian loves constructing things and he is also very creative. He writes poems and composes music, so it was not a surprise for me, to find out hat he had decided to repair a telephone box located near his house and give it a new life as a library.

Sebastian carefully researched the history of the telephone box and restore it before building the shelves for the books. He also designed the light fitting, which has a secret message “Its not what you get, it’s what you leave behind”

The library opened in November 2013 with books donated by many of us . Since then people have taken and given books and everday, each shelf is full.

Every day Sebastian goes to the library, in the morning, to tidy up and every evening he makes sure that everything is nice and clean for everyone to enjoy.

There are books for children (on the low shelf for children to pick up what they like) , cooking books, magazines, and big books like those that aitona has.

Because it is in the street, even people who live in the street and have no home or a library membership are welcome and thanks to Sebastian, they too can enjoy reading books again.

I am very happy that Sebastian has been able to build such a beautiful project in a city as big as London where many people don’t know each other. It proves that even in the big cities, people need small things that make their life better.

To see some photographs of the library, look here

The images belong to Sebastian Handley
Text by Cristina Lanz-Azcarate

Please feel free to use this piece for your own personal use, not commercially. All images and text are property of the author/s as specified and all rights are reserved. If you wanted to share any of the information provided, send a link to the website but do not extract/copy the information without prior permission.

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