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Why Luang Prabang Library is special ?
The Luang Prabang Library is a wonderful place to visit and offers the chance for you to give something back to the children of Laos. Many of the children here will be lucky if they ever get to even hold a book which is literally an unaffordable luxury for poor families and schools. In many of the villages, schools themselves are a rarity.
The library works towards providing reading materials to kids in some of the more remote areas by operating two library boats which deliver books to 75 different villages along the Mekong. The boats can only operate due to donations with just $2US buying a book. However if you were to increase that donation to the region of a few hundred dollars, then you will also get the opportunity to pay for fuel and teaching on the boat for a couple of weeks and the chance to get on board and see how your money is being spent.
What to explore at Luang Prabang Library?
There are a couple of ways that you can be involved with the library. Children go to the library in the afternoons after school and you could visit the library at that time and help the children with their reading.
If you are spending a few days in Luang Prabang, you could sponsor a Tuk-Tuk Library run and you could accompany the librarians and teachers when they go to a village with the books.
Visit the library, exchange books, buy a map and souvenirs to raise money for the library or buy books for a book bag to go to a village.
How to get to Luang Prabang Library?
It takes 13 mins driving from Luang Prabang International Airport.
- Give a new book to a village child
- Great way to Educate the Tourists
- A great cultural exchange
- Good place to practice English with the novice (monks) and contribute to a book run
- Great place for a stroll
Sisavangvong Rd, Luang Prabang, Laos
Tips for you
This local library is right on the tribal market street, on the left as you head out of town. On several visits I noticed that they ran a daycare program for young children of working mothers. As it was during school holidays it was extremely busy. The main library was frequented by older children, whose parents work in the vicinity. A young boy I came across was brought there by his grandmother, his parents apparently were in jail on drug offences. One of the men working there, Seng Dao, seems to be a de facto guardian of these children! He will be able to fill you in on donating a book for the book pouch. Apparently, once the pouch is full they make a trip to a village to donate them to the local kids. The books are both in Lao and English. I have seen tourists giving English lessons to the locals, monks included. There are two other libraries run by foreign residents, who do a great job of providing facilities for the locals to improve their English and to have conversational practice with foreigners, called My Little Library (where I played scrabble with a monk) and Big Brother Mouse.