Libraries may appear to be things of the past, what with Google, Wikipedia and all…however, there is something so charming about Fuen Baan Yan Wiang Library, that we recommend you to take some time out of your busy schedule and step in for a visit. This small local library, located in Chiang Mai City Arts & Cultural Centre, was a project born of the concerted efforts of numerous local communities and groups.
‘A good library will bring a good society’ is the concept of Fuen Baan Yan Wiang which turned an empty contemporary building into not only a great local resource, but a community space.
The library is small and modest with most books and furniture donated, for instance the historical books mostly came from the Chiang Mai City Arts & Cultural Centre’s library.
There are no stern libraries scowling at you from her horn rimmed glasses, all librarians here are volunteers and are full of welcome enthusiasm.
“This library is not only library where we keep and read books. It’s more than that. We want this place to be a centre that connects everyone to meet, read and do activities together,” said one of volunteer librarians.
A book club every Saturday brings many regulars and visitors. The library also organises special talks and group activities such as inviting guest writers, artists or other people to come in and share their knowledge and experience.
“One reader asked me to borrow a book for three weeks. It is unusual because readers can actually borrow only three books per week. She told me that she wanted to bring the book she loveed on her journey on the trans-Siberian railway. Our library doesn’t really have any specific rules regarding fines, we ask people to volunteer and donate according to what they see fit. So, I asked her to share her travelling experience in the book club as an exchange. And, now we have a new topic for the book club next month,” beamed the volunteer who wished to remain anonymous.
“Sometimes I see people who I don’t actually know come in and simply help to arrange books in the shelves,” said another volunteer librarian.
Outside the library is a garden and a few sets of tables and chairs where you can bring a book to read.
Fuen Baan Yan Wiang library always welcome everyone who would like to donate. English speakers will be pleased to know that they also have English language books, from fiction to historical. You don’t need to leave your passport or any documents to borrow a book, as this library is run on trust. You can bring books to the library or send by post to Chiang Mai City Arts & Cultural Centre. The library daily opens 8.30 am until 8 pm. Let’s visit this library and then you will fall in love with the nature of this place. Call 053 327 164 for more information.