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 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 2016: Read end of year newsletter>>


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.