Friday, June 10, 2005

Academic Books and Thai University libraries

I and my buddy went to a book sale at PB Foreign Books (Pathumthani) yesterday. It 's claimed to be Thailand's largest retailer of Biological and Medical books. So far we spent some 13K Baht combined on those on sales. There were Profs. from other Universities there as well.
Many of the books I got were good ones that would otherwise not read by anyone else in Thailand, except me. They were too cheap to let them go to trash, say some were 90% off. But many of newer ones were some 25% to 70% off. The company yearly organize a sale once a year, to clear old stocks and get some cash.

After visiting the bookstore, I remember my old bad feeling about Thai university libraries. I wish that more budget is allocated to the libraries so they could buy more books into their archive. Never mind that most of Thai students have poor English and would pass those books. But most Profs. would read them for sure. Science and technology are continuously changing and lacking updated books and journals would put the country in a lack-of-information state forever. Updated academic books (and journals) must be sufficiently availble to University libraries. As far as I know, when the Budget Bureau routinely gave only about 70% of the annual budget requested by each University, the first casualty of the budget insufficiency is the libraries. That why we might have the worst University libraries, perhaps among the "Tiger" countries.

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