You won't find any ancient bespectacled librarians around here - this is a spacious reading room that has managed to transform studying from tedious to hip.
At Thailand Knowledge Park (TK Park), learning and reading are no longer limited to conventional hushed libraries. Founded in early 2005 by the Office of Knowledge Management and Development, this innovative study park, perched at the top of the CentralWorld shopping complex, twists the image of a traditional learning resource centre with its living library, a concept that aims to encourage young people to gain knowledge through reading in a pleasant atmosphere.
The common image of a library as a boring and dusty place is etched in the minds of most young people, which coupled with advances in technology and widespread internet access has resulted in a generation of youngsters with an ever-shortening attention span and poor reading habits.
In order to reverse this trend, TK Park has come up with a solution for the lack of reading motivation by shrugging off the traditional library's old-fashioned appearance and the typically unexciting aura surrounding it.
The "learning place" and "leisure space" have been integrated, creating an information-rich, yet recreational setting favourable to collaborative learning. An array of well-designed and modish decorative elements and a vibrant buzz have been added to the site to make it the place to be.
The venue was originally opened to the public as a learning showcase on the sixth floor of CentralWorld in 2005. Following its success, the learning centre was relocated to the eighth floor of the complex as a fully equipped knowledge park the following year.
The entire area of 4,500 square metres is segmented into 12 zones in two major sections - library and practical - that offer an extensive range of books, journals, magazines and multimedia learning tools.
The library section comprises seven zones, from the communal reading section, Reading Park and Mediatheque, to a reading quarter for children that is set up to provide an appropriate learning environment to suit their active nature. There is also a Quiet Room for those seeking to read and study in a tranquil atmosphere, a coffee corner, along with libraries for specific interests such as music and IT for anyone in search of audio or technological material and knowledge. The last zone in this category is the Mind Room, the latest learning space focusing on creative productivity that allows youngsters' imagination to be stirred and ideas to be shared in accordance with the theory of the creative economy, which approaches the arts as a business.
The practical section boasts various flexible areas for educational activities and training, ranging from the Open Square for stage performances, the Mini Theatre, the Learning Auditorium, the IT Workshop and the Sound Room, which serves as a recording studio.
This place is by all means not just for kids however. Though it features a heavy dose of youngsters, different zones of TK Park are always flooded with people of all ages on any given day, who have either come to utilise the cutting edge resources for some heavy studying, or just simply take a break from a hectic shopping spree.
- USEFUL INFORMATION
Thailand Knowledge Park is open from 10am to 8pm, every day except Mondays. Admission is 20 baht. Annual membership, for people under 25 and senior citizens, is 100 baht. Annual membership for adults between 25 and 59 is 200 baht.
Visit http://www.tkpark.or.th or call 02-257-4300 for more information.
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