A gem Pattaya library has been a wonderful discovery. As a now frequent user, I can safely say that the staff and management deserve some praise. There are some small issues like finding the place (wrongly mapped on Google) and no free WiFi (council cost?) but the positives outweigh the negatives by far.
Located near the Pattaya Youth Center, the library has all the facilities of a much larger library. A small lecture room, dedicated display room, offices and storage on the top floor. On the ground floor there is the main library area with a range of books (including some foreign languages), a small bank of computers (a miniscule fee for usage), and a wonderful children’s room (more rubber mats coverage needed).
Outside there is a small playground that my three-year-old thoroughly enjoys (some items needs grease). There is ample parking with extra parking nearby. The garden is relaxing (needs more benches) and appears regularly maintained in the front.
There is space around the building for more outdoor activities. Vegetable and fruit trees to the back add a flair of sorts to the library. An eco-garden with potential for teaching adds to the uniqueness, appropriateness, and far-sightedness (though unintentional) of a truly learning environment.
The staff appears to be competent and able to communicate in basic English. I have offered my service as a native English speaker to assist but no takers. Staff is visibly polite and appears to like the place, regularly rearranging, putting up new displays and involved. Unfortunately, my conversation with the staff is limited but the smiles appear genuine.
Topics on the shelves appear to be wide though the books appear dated. There are some new books, but most are in Thai. German, English and French books all have their space. The magazine section seems to lean towards the social and up to date. The daily newspaper seems to be a hit with the readers and regular users. The two major national newspapers in English are available though not Pattaya Mail (or any local English language paper).
One suggestion made was a story reading morning on Saturdays. For one hour, myself or other volunteers can read stories in English and Thai to children. Reading sessions would lend to the attractiveness of the library, contribute to further use, educate others, and promote the mission of the library. Lost in translation or bureaucracy, I do not know.
Any time you have time and or want a few minutes of quiet contemplation, visit. Inside or outside there is something for all.