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To Bangkok Conference programme

65th IFLA Council and General

Bangkok, Thailand,
August 20 - August 28, 1999

Code Number: 096-106-E
Division Number: 106
Professional Group: Library Services to Multicultural Populations
Joint Meeting with: Management and Marketing
Meeting Number: 106
Simultaneous Interpretation:   Yes

Meeting the needs of foreign student users in Chiang Mai University and Payap University libraries, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Tasana Saladyanant
Faculty of Humanities, Chiang Mai University
Chiang Mai, Thailand


Chang Mai University and Payap University are the first public and private regional universities. The universities offer courses and programs to foreign students. The libraries, as information resources, provide materials mostly in Thai and English languages. Foreign students' problems and needs in using libraries are: the increasing number of books and journals in the English language; the up-to-datedness of those materials; the period of book lending; and the language problem.



Chiang Mai is Thailand's principal northern city, about 700 km. from Bangkok, 310 metres above the sea level. It can be reached by car, train, and plane. The area covers 107 square km. It is located in a fertile valley, surrounded by ranges of mountains. The Ping River runs through the city and many streams run down from the mountains. The population of Chiang Mai is around 1.5 million. Chiang Mai used to be the capital of Lan Na Kingdom (Kingdom of One Million Rice Fields) founded in 1296 and independent. It was a cultural and trading centre until the invasion of theBurmese in 1556 and then becoming part of Northern Thai in 1775. Today Chiang Mai is the centre for education, economics, and tourism in Northern Thailand.

Chiang Mai University


Chiang Mai University was the first regional university in Thailand, founded in 1964. Its philosophy is "The graduates train themselves" which means that the graduate of this university should always be training themselves to be well educated, well thinking, well practice, able to control themselves, man, and their work, with ethics and social consciousness. It is situated at the foot of the Suthep Mountain, 4 km. west from the centre of Chiang Mai city.

Area of Studies

Chiang Mai University provides 3 certificate programs; 85 undergraduate programs; and 113 graduate programs of which 10 programs lead to doctoral degrees, 79 programs lead to master degrees, and 24 programs lead to a graduate diploma. The above programs are run by 16 faculties, i.e. Faculties of Humanities; Education; Fine Arts; Social Sciences; Sciences, Engineering; Medicine; Agriculture; Dentistry; Pharmacy; Medical Science; Nursing; Agora-Industry; Veterinary Medicine; Business Administration; Economics; and a Graduate School.

Academic co-operation with foreign countries

Aiming to be international, the University has launched academic co-operation with many foreign institutions, running a number of joint programs, exchanges of students and faculty, and gives academic assistance to students from regional countries. International programs and short courses are offered to foreign students from USA, UK, Canada, Korea, Germany, the Republic of China, Laos, Africa, and Australia. The total number of Thai students in 1998 was 19,971. Foreign students at the undergraduate level totalled 37; at the graduate level - 144.

The University Libraries

The University has a central library and 16 faculty libraries, administered in a centralized system. The central library holds general collections, and includes a Northern Thai collection, while the faculty libraries hold special materials. The central library holdings are about 300,000 books, 560 journals, and 28 newspapers mostly in the Thai and English languages. Some in other languages such as French, German, Japanese are in the library of the Humanities Faculty which offers courses in these languages.


Chiang Mai University provides :

  1. An OPAC. Users can search for bibliographic information concerning the library using an OPAC system in the central library and faculty libraries.
  2. CD-ROMs on agriculture, chemistry, energy, environment, food science, geology, life sciences, physics, social science, education and psychology.
  3. On-line searching from foreign databases : DIALOG and BRS through the Technical Information Access Center, Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment. Full text can be acquired from the Center.
  4. Index to Thai journals. Thai and English local newspapers; and the Royal Gazette. Foreign journals can be searched and ordered via the Internet from the Un-Cover Co.Ltd.


The libraries offer reading service ; reference service ; circulation; inter-library loan; photo-copying; on-line searching; CD-ROM searching.

Staff Officers

46 professional and 157 non-professional.

The problems and needs of foreign students in using the libraries

  1. The amount of material is limited, the students would like to have plenty of material to search.
  2. The books are not up to date, the students need new books in every field.
  3. Students whose native language is not English (e.g. Laos) have language problems with both Thai and English materials.

Payap University


Payap University was founded in 1984. It became the first private higher educational institution in Thailand to achieve university status. It is established and administered by the Church of Christ in Thailand.The motto of the University is "Truth and Service". Students of Payap University learn to acquire knowledge, exhibit wisdom, think creatively, and appreciate self-development. The University has three campuses which cover about 200 acres altogether, all thecampuses are in Chiang Mai Province.

Accreditation and area of studies

Payap University is accredited by the Ministry of University Affairs. 5 Graduate and 25 undergraduate programs are offered in nine faculties, i.e. Humanities; Social Science; Business Management; Accountancy; Money and Banking; Nursing; Sciences; Law; Religion; and Economics.International programs include intensive Thai language study, a one or two term Thai Language and Culture Studies; intensive English Language Study, and various other cultural training programs and exchange.

Academic co-operation with foreign countries

Payap University co-operates in carrying out research; exchanges faculty and students with Australia, Japan, Canada, United Kingdom, and the USA. 41 Students in undergraduate and graduate programs are from Australia, China, India, Japan, Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom and the USA. The Thai language courses are arranged in three levels, i.e. beginner, advanced beginner, and intermediate.

The University Library

Payap University Library was established in the same year as the University, including the libraries of the School of Nurses and the Faculty of Theology. The University's main library houses more than 100,000 books, 650 periodical and journals; and multi-media. The libraries offer: OPAC searching; circulation; books reserve; references services; library guidance; current awareness; audio-visual service; CD-ROM searching; interlibrary loan; photo-copying.

The problems that foreign student encounter in using the library

1) Library materials are mostly in Thai language. Materials in English language are not sufficient. 2) Some students have language problem in communicatiing with librarians. 3) Library publications are only provided in the Thai language. Foreign students cannot understand them. 4) The number of books that can be borrowed is too low for foreign students. (They would like to be able to borrow more).


Foreign students at the Chiang Mai University and Payap University share common problems in using the library, i.e. 1) The amount of library material in English is too small, 2) books are not up to date, 3) the number of books that can be borrowed is not suffient, and 4) there is a language barrier. The problems of the limited quantity of books and journals in English is difficult to solve, due to the library budget, the exchange rate, and the price of foreign books. The problem of accessing current issues of journals can be solved by Internet searching. The number of books that can be borrowed could be flexible. The language problem, in addition to languagecourses, might be helped by the provision of a translation service.


Chiang Mai University. Annual Report 1998. Chiangmai : 1999.

-------------------. Educational Services Division. Chiang Mai Univesity Bulletin 1997-1998. Chiang Mai : 1998.

Chitraporn Tanratanakul. Co-ordinator of UC-CMU Project-Interview 3 April 1999.

Natee Kaewkam-ai. "Payap University Library : Usage & problems" 1999 (sheet)

Payap University. Payap University Chiang Mai Thailand. Chiang Mai : [1998?] (pamphlet)

------------------. Payap University Bulletin. Chiang Mai : 1998.

------------------. Library. Annual Report 1998. Chiang Mai : 1998.

------------------. Office of Registration and Educational Service. "International Students". Chiang Mai : 1998. (sheet)

Payay News. Sept. 1998.


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