My Library, Luang Prabang


Studying Japanese, learning to type, to program, to record your own CD, to grow teak or talk about your's all happening @ my library.


Update 2020: Activities @ My Library


embassy film poster email class

Culture: We support taking pride in one’s culture while becoming citizens of the world. This year we were excited for the US embassy to bring Emmy award winning filmmakers Kip and Kern Kornwiser to our library, and as always, provided biodegradable materials for making your own krathong for the lightboat festival celebrating the end of Buddhist Lent.




first aid classCommunity engagement: We offer free first aid training to library users and members of our neighborhood to enable everyone to actively respond to emergencies. This is particularly important with so many coming from the countryside and an underdeveloped emergency and health care structure.


an ongoing class

Classes: Ongoing, regular classes can provide an opportunity to develop the trust needed to discuss often unaddressed subjects such as difficult situations, and our emotions. We offer a variety of regular classes in English, general knowledge, and classes to address local gaps.

writing class


One focus @ My Library is on students hoping for scholarships to study abroad, so classes offered always include Essay Writing and IELTS, both single day workshops and regular, weekly classes.




exponential poster email class

Activity Stations: Our latest bilingual hands-on activity center focused on COVID (what's a virus, how it spreads, how to protect yourself) and exponential growth... can you fold a newspaper page in half 9 times? Try it to see the power of exponential growth and why COVID spread becomes so serious.





We are always happy to see the photos that our users post to Facebook to promote reading. We encourage reading by featuring a new and interesting books shelf, buying user book recommendations for the library and having teachers point out books relevant to class topics.





puzzle chess

Games and contests are a fun way to teach thinking skills such as spatial and deductive reasoning, problem solving tactics and strategy. Yearly game contests reinforce these skills and provide prizes of educational and life necessities.




typingThe library has 10 computers plus laptops available for advanced filmmakers and photographers, as well as laptops and ipads to borrow. Computers are loaded with teaching materials, and staff are always available to teach and assist users. Classes range from basic computer programs and phone apps to more advanced IT skills.


XengSpotlight on staff: At 16, Xeng Lee is our youngest library staff, working evenings 4 days a week and Saturdays. He was 1 of only 6 selected to represent Laos in a 5-week Youth Leadership training program in the United States, unfortunately cancelled because of COVID.

Xeng has excellent English, and is a talented teacher, having started his teaching through free English classes for kids in his neighborhood. He is also a talented script writer and film director, see The Value of Money - ຄຸນຄ່າຂອງເງີນ

With his many talents we are happy to have him on staff and feel certain he will get another opportunity to study abroad.



classFilm and Photography: A huge Thank You to Chuck and to Statements Arts for bringing RC Concepcion, award winning photographer, photoshop expert and best-selling author, to teach @ My Library, and for providing 10 new laptops specifically set up as photography and filmmaking computers. Some of our most talented photographers and filmmakers, who are studying or work in the field, were gifted their own laptop, others remain @ My Library for our media students to utilize.



Update 2019: Activities @ My Library


business class poster email class

@ My Library we offer free classes to fill gaps in knowledge and skills. Sometimes they are single session: a panel of young business owners on starting your own business, or making an email account, earning money from your Youtube channel, networking computers or becoming a pilot.



Sometimes they are ongoing classes in Languages or general knowledge.


our worldIELTS class



brain games

In the summer we offer a free 8-week program called "Brain Games." Every week you learn a new problem-solving strategy and use it to solve the problems of the week. You get points for understanding, for explaining how you got the correct answer.


playing chess

Chess is now a part of the National Games and we have many active players ranging from beginner to those who have  medaled at both the Student Games and Sport National Games.

Playing Set

Games are an everyday activity @ My Library. We use games such as Set, Qbitz, Rummikub, Qwirkle, 10 Days in Asia, Skiwampus, and Scrabble to teach strategy, as well as spatial and deductive reasoning and pattern recognition.


10 finger typing

Learning to 10 finger type in both Lao and English provides a useful skill for both school and future work.

Playing the keyboard

@ My library is a comfortable space where students feel at home to find new passions and hobbies and develop them.The keyboard and Hmong khene are both played every day and kids try out fun, new pastimes like the Rubiks cube, or juggling.

blood drive

Community engagement is encouraged through events like an in-library blood donation drive.



Update 2017: Watch @ My Library film>>


lumix class Australian photographer Ewen Bell brought a team of photographers and filmmakers from LUMIX Australia to donate equipment and work with some of our best. This film isn't just an overview of their visit, it is also a glimpse into our philosophy and the importance of access to educational experiences and learning tools.

Update 2014:  @ My Library has a new home!


renovating library We just moved into a beautiful space in a peaceful setting on the Nam Khan River that we own thanks to Karyn's generousity. We have put a lot of work into the building, adding on, renovating, building a new fence and flood wall, bringing the electricity up to international code and painting. The staff feels a lot of pride and ownership.

passive cooling We are designing to share possibilities. Our shade and passive cooling vines on the south wall were started from cuttings. The vines are creating a thick cover, now up to the roof and will soon be ready for others to take cuttings for their own free, passive cooling system.

library with concrete pavers In a neighborhood where everyone concretes their yard we instead brought in a mold and made a walkway/driveway of pavers, strong enough to handle the bikes and motorcycles but with space in between for grass and for the rain to soak in. We have had a lot of interest in the molds and they are available for checkout, like the books, videos and cameras.

reading room Because we own the space we have been able to build in shelving to fit, in a multipurpose space suitable for classes or everyday use.

computers We designed the computer room to feel spacious and efficient. To keep the users active with all of our digital study materials for languages, sciences, math, typing, Microsoft Office, Photoshop, video and music programs and thinking games, we have limited the internet to 5 of our 11 user computers but have free wifi in and around the library for the many users with their own smartphones, tablets or laptops.

reading room The users have found us, as evidenced by our parking lot in the back. Upstairs, the back balcony with tables, comfortable chairs and stunning views of the River is one of the favorite hangouts.


Our History:

The statistics tell some of the story, with an average of 100 students a day, a new book checkout level of 500 - 1,000+ books a month, and 25,000 computer hours logged last year. But the story is really about the users.

Group studying at computers together My Library isn't new, it's just a new name reflecting the sense of ownership the users feel. This library was started in 2003 as the Listening Library, when our emphasis was supporting English study. Since then it has become an ongoing experiment in what happens when you give motivated users the materials and encouragement they need to study anything.

Group playing word games There is a lot of permission and support to study, ask questions, explore possibilities, to have a dream and go after it. There is the sense that learning can be fun, or fun can be a break between the harder times of study.

Boy learning to type In a culture where "saving face" is of the greatest importance and to fail is unthinkable one of our most popular books is "Dare to Fail." It is rarely on the shelf for more than a day as they discover that the road to success is usually paved with failure, and that trying, then trying again is what brings results.

Students working in the hallway We continue to expand, filling every corner, including tables in the hall as the users and their interests grow.

Group learning video techniques We have a whole group of experts now, some are staff but most are just users learning in a way they never thought was possible.

thinking games library Developing thinking skills has become an important activity at the library. In their rote educational system they are not encouraged to think, have no hands-on science activities  and never learn problem solving skills. Many skills that we take for granted, like building a simple puzzle, are actually learned at a very young age and are dependent on access to toys as well as help from those who already understand the strategies. It is at this library that most users, even those of University age, have their first and only opportunities to do experiments,explore magnifying glasses and microscopes and learn with puzzles, mazes and thinking games.