Modernizing the AIT Library for the 21st Century

Once upon a time, univesity libraries were primarily places of solidary study where students went to do homework, check out a book and quietly search for information related to their assignments.

Nowadays, however, campus libraries around the world are undergoing a renaissance. Not only are they home to large physical book collections and traditional spaces for study, today's best libraries are also true wonders of architecture, design and information and communication technology, which combine to create an attractive destination for students' social learning and academic discovery.

The original AIT Library, constructed from funds donated by the Government of Japan, was officially opened in August 1981. It was an example of a typical university library built at that time, with bookshelves dominating the ground floor and special collections on the upper floor. Later in 2007, a minor renovation was completed which gave a facelit to the interior of the Library. This work was funded by the AIT Alumni Association Thailand Chapter.

In October 2011, Thailand experienced some of its worst flooding on record. More than two-thirds of the country was severely affected, directly impacting over two million people, shutting down thousands of industries and displacing thousands of people from their homes without shelter, food and clean water.

As flood barriers in our home Pathumthani province were breached, industrial estates as well as suburban residential areas became submerged by water. The Great Thailand Flood proved similarly disastrous for the Asian Institute of Technology, and the Library.

At AIT after the flood we now have a good opportunity to modernize our library to be the intellectual centerpieve for our campus, offering the finest technological opportunities that characterize aspects of education in the 21st Century.

By upgrading the facility with state-of-the-art-facilities, the Library will better meet the needs of our campus community by creating suitable spaces for students to meet and study, and by providing the technology tools expected of scholars in the digital age.

At this important moment, I would like to invite AIT alumni, friends of AIT, well-wishers, trustees, faculty, staff, parents, students, and everyone within the AIT Community, to join us in realizing our goal of modernizing the AIT Library into a world-class learning facility.

Prof. Worsak Kanok-Nukulchai
President, Asian Institute of Technology