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Paying for the pleasure to read

One thing I miss from home is the libraries. The peace and quiet, and the books. I recently went to join a library in Phuket Town that my wife told me about, and I was astounded to be asked to pay a fee to join.

By The Phuket News

Sunday 6 September 2015, 02:00PM

The library near Baan Bang Neow School is public, but it costs to join. Photo: Google Maps

The library near Baan Bang Neow School is public, but it costs to join. Photo: Google Maps

The fee was pretty steep, considering it was supposed to be a government library, which I thought would be free to join. Why do government libraries charge joining fees?

– Samuel, Chalong



The membership fees for joining our libraries are: B50 for people aged under 15, B100 for people aged 15-25; and B300 for people for over 25. This is a standard fee for all public libraries in Thailand.

We do not receive much support from the government to keep them open, and what we do receive is not enough to cover all library expenses, such as staff salaries, electricity and all basic office expenses.


Each year, Phuket City Municipality has to support them with our own budget. We have to cover the shortfall for all their expenses.

In addition to the membership fee, all you need to bring to join a public library is a copy of your ID card (for Thais) or your passport (for foreigners). You will also need to bring two current one-inch photos clearly showing your face.

However, we do have free-of-charge libraries supported by the Non-formal and Informal Education Association (KorSorNor). They are also known as your local “Chalerm Rajkumari Public Library”. There are three such libraries in Phuket: on Haad Patong Rd in Patong, in Thalang, and one near the Governor’s residence in Phuket Town.

This library is the easiest to join. All you need to bring is your ID card or passport. Membership is free.

– Thawatchai Tongmang, Chief Administrative Officer (Palad), Phuket City Municipality.



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prosinger | 23 October 2015 - 05:34:00

Wow. You are such a cheap Charlie. 300 baht is not a lot for the pleasure of availing yourself to reading material. You would soon cut that out if you were to buy foreign newspapers. Remember that Thailand is no different than foreign countries in that all public amenities are paid by taxes. Do your bit and pay the fee. Even it is a way of helping the library keep the doors open

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