Book readers’ DELIGHT
Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn graciously presided over the official opening of the Bangkok City Library on Friday afternoon.
Located near Khok Wua intersection on Rajdamnoen Klang Road, this modern library operated by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) offers good books in various languages – Thai, English, Chinese, French and even Arabic.
It also appears to vindicate Unesco’s declaration of Bangkok as “World Book Capital” in 2013.
The Bangkok City Library spans 4,880 square metres, making it the largest of the capital’s 36 public libraries. It’s also the only one to have a section for Braille and audio books.
The library currently stores about half of its capacity of over 100,000 books, so members of the public have been encouraged to donate books to the new premises.
Those interested in becoming members can do so by showing their Thai national ID, student ID or civil servant ID cards when they apply. Those under 15 will have to pay a Bt5 yearly membership fee, while others will pay Bt10.
The library will be open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 8am-9pm and on Sundays from 9am-8pm. It will be closed on Mondays and public holidays.
Bangkok was selected as World Book Capital 2013 by an international committee made up of representatives from the publishing world and Unesco and construction of this new library was part of the nine key missions in the BMA proposal to Unesco to increasing the space for reading. That spurred city officials to rent this building from the Crown Property Bureau and renovate it.
Work on the library sought to maintain the building’s old architectural features and an “East-meets-West” allure.
The library is made up of three floors plus a loft. The first floor highlight is the “Follow the Light of Wisdom of the King Bhumibol Adulyadej” – a display about the late King’s speeches about reading and learning.
It includes a rotating exhibition hall, a magazine and newspaper room, an information counter, a theatre and a library section for persons with disabilities, notably Braille and audio books.
The loft has a “Play, Learn and Grow together with the Light of Wisdom” theme, featuring children books and a family learning activity zone.
The second floor has a “Welcome to the Land of the Great King” theme, with stories about the world’s capitals, books from Thai embassies and books from Bangkok’s sister cities, as well as information about ASEAN, plus Thai and foreign books. There is also a research room and a conference hall, plus a rotating exhibition zone.
The third floor has a theme of “King’s sciences” so people can learn about the late King’s initiatives, work principles and various royal projects and knowledge on various matters, as well as browse through the city’s documents, journals and related material.
Photo by: Courtesy Bangkok city library Facebook page
Nation photo / Tanachai Pramarnpanich
national May 02,2017 15:19