To help nurture a knowledge-based society, the Education Ministry is moving to give public libraries a more attractive face, equip them with the latest information tools, encourage more interaction with users, and send mobile units out into the community. Part of its plan is to set up the mobile boat library.
Early this month, the first two mobile boat libraries were launched at Rama VIII Bridge. Education Minister Jurin Laksanawisit, who presided over the opening ceremony, said that the boats, named Maharat and Nang Noppamas, will provide library services for the riverside community along the Chao Phraya River. To attract more readers, the boats are stuffed with multimedia facilities.
Official figures show that very few Thai people read a book and visit a library, which is why the national agenda of encouraging the reading habit has been set up.
Mr. Jurin said that, to mark HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s birthday anniversary on April 2, the government has set the date as National Reading Day and designated the years 2009-2018 as the National Reading Decade.
The minister noted that three strategies will be engaged to make this national agenda successful. They include enhancing reading capability, encouraging the reading habit, and creating a more pleasant environment to promote the habit of reading and learning. There are five plans and 20 projects to help the three strategies materialize. Promotional campaigns will be finalized within January and related government agencies and private sector organizations will be encouraged to take action.
As part of the ministry’s outreach effort, mobile bus libraries will also be staged upcountry and will travel to remote areas nationwide. The boat and bus libraries will offer a wide range of materials for people to choose from.
The mobile units will bring libraries closer to the public and the Education Minister assured the public that this project will be a continuing one.