Neilson Hays Library Bangkok
Centenary Restoration Project
The Library Association called a public meeting in December 2016 to announce the Neilson Hays Library Restoration Project 2017. A structural survey recommended urgent repairs to the main building together with interior renovation to reduce humidity and condensation.
The Library Will Not Close During Restoration
Neilson Hays Library will remain open but can offer only a limited service for up to six months.
Members and Friends of Neilson Hays Library appreciate that this disruption is unfortunate but necessary. They also realise that the library needs to raise funds to carry out the work. Income is principally from Subscriptions, Book Sales, Venue Hire, and Donations. Ideas for promotion and publicity are welcome – as are the services of Volunteers.
Plan of Attack
Work will begin on the exterior buildings first: these are the café and offices and storage area. In February 2017, some 3000 of the most recent and popular book titles will move to the Garden Café. This will serve as a temporary library. The rest of the collection goes into store for the duration. The Association hopes to resume normal events and open the renovated library by August 2017.
There are a number of ideas and possibilities to consider. For example, Book Sales and Arts Fairs require the erection of tents in the garden. Can the library use the parking lot and the paved area in a similar way? Will there be any catering while the café is closed? What events or exhibitions are possible in the garden – at least while the good weather holds?
The Last Exhibition
The last exhibition of 2016 shows dilapidation in the Rotunda Gallery. It is only a warning of things to come if the problems of dampness and condensation are not corrected. Recent visitors have seen that the wooden floor is beginning to buckle. The foundations need to be stabilised.
The original founders of the Library Association raised money by sales of work, bring and buy stalls, goodwill, and donations. That was in 1869. Since then, the role of libraries has changed and we need to adapt to survive.
If you are concerned about preservation of culture and community, please get in touch. Please come to the library and look around, volunteer for schools projects, book sales and publicity duties. You could even buy a souvenir – be it a book bag or a tee-shirt or a handmade book – all with the NHL Logo. Every gesture of good-will is appreciated. The library is attempting to reach as many potential members and friends as possible. Join the library and support the Restoration Project. Help us with publicity.
The Public Meeting on 15 December 2016 gave details of the structural damage and the Restoration Project. More information will come soon regarding contractors and closures.