- Improving the availability of e-books and e-audiobooks in the library to meet the needs of first jobbers looking to upskill and thrive in the digital world.
- Using technology to assist readers in finding books that are relevant to their interests.
- Collaborating with local and international partners to create unique learning experiences enabled by a life-long learning ecosystem.
- Empowering learners through upskilling to achieve their career and life goals.
Thailand Knowledge Park (TK Park) is moving forward with its mission of promoting good reading habits and lifelong learning, while turning the Covid-19 crisis into an opportunity.
TK Park, which is overseen by the Office of Knowledge Management and Development (Public Organization) under the Prime Minister’ s Office, has been streamlining its digital services to meet the demands of all readers of various ages and ensure that they receive the best possible services.
“TK Park is a knowledge center for everyone,” says the center’s Director General, Kittiratana Pitipanich.
“We’ve seen an increase in demand from everyone since the new normal emerged in the midst of all of the lockdowns.” To meet demand, we’ve gone into overdrive to increase the availability and accessibility of e-books and e-audiobooks.”
“According to a recent survey conducted jointly by the National Statistics Office and TK Park revealed that Thais spend on average around 80 minutes a day reading in some form or another,” Mr. Kittiratana adds. “The vast majority of reading is done electronically through the use of online media. There are e-books, e-magazines, articles from online platforms and websites are all included. So, we can put aside the long-held belief that Thais only read eight lines per year.”
For months during the lockdowns, the knowledge center was closed to in-person visitors. Nonetheless, those same customers returned to the center for assistance in continuing their personal growth and development journeys. As a result, there has been an increase in lending of e-books, including not only novels but also a wide range of self-development, work, and investment titles.
Since March 2020, the number of people borrowing e-books, e-magazines, and audiobooks has nearly tripled at TK Park.
“People have become more immersed in reading as a way to unwind during these difficult times. They’ve also taken advantage of the opportunity to improve themselves and learn new skills in order to advance their careers.”
According to the survey, female e-readers vastly outnumber male readers. The vast majority are first jobbers and young people who have recently graduated from academic institutions and are beginning on their chosen careers. Employees and high school students were also well represented.
As more people switch to digital reading, the center constantly receiving new books in a wide range of genres. There’s everything from an eye-opening account of human history like Sapiens to a plethora of workplace skills and expert investment advice, all of which reflect patrons’ preferred areas of interest.
“We serve readers of all ages,” continues Mr. Kittiratana. “In particular, we want to assist first-time jobbers and employees in succeeding in today’s world. We have so many books that provide the knowledge and teach the skills most in demand in the 21st century for those who want to upskill and sharpen their competitive edge in the workplace.”
Many of the titles are presented in well-designed formats that make it easy for readers to easily switch between chapters.
TK Park’s library bookmark app functions similarly to physical bookmarks but includes additional features. The app keeps track of what the patron has read and suggests other titles in the same field as well as other fields that their choices indicate they might be interested in.
“It will determine which genre best suits you. So you don’t just read for the sake of reading or because someone asks you to. You will read with a goal in mind and put the ideas you learn into action,” Mr. Kittiratana suggests. “In addition to books that are relevant and beneficial to your studies or career, we should read books that teach us life lessons.”
TK Park, which is located on the 8th floor of Central World on Ratchadamri Road, is well-equipped for self-service. Patrons can handle the lending and return processes on their own, eliminating the need for physical contact.
Creating an ecosystem of learning
TK Park is still dedicated to creating and sustaining a lifelong learning ecosystem. To achieve this, the center teams up with a variety of partners allowing it to offer an ever-expanding range of digital services. For example, the Libby by Overdrive app allows TK Park members to read English-language e-books and e-audiobooks from publishers worldwide for free. So far, the app has over 16,000 titles available.
Furthermore, TK Park collaborates with over 300 learning centers in local communities and other organizations to provide learning tools to those in need. The network currently consists of 29 knowledge centers spread across 22 provinces in the country.
“There’s a lot to do and we can’t complete the mission on our own,” Mr. Kittiratana admits. “Collaborating with our partners provides us with access to more knowledge, tools and resources to help us build the comprehensive learning ecosystem we envision.”
Upskilling is essential for today’s success
“Upskilling has always been important, but it is absolutely essential in today’s pandemic-changed world. So, everyone, please take advantage of what TK Park has to offer. We’ll assist you find everything you need to take your next steps.”
“Many people are unaware of the skills they lack,” he continues. “So just begin by asking yourself what you want to achieve in your career and your life. Once you have decided on your goal, use the tools we’ve provided to help you get there and stick to the plan.”
“TK Park is here to help you in achieving your professional and personal goals. As a dependable platform for promoting lifelong learning in society, we not only have the books you’ll need, but we also other necessary tools. In addition, we organize related activities on a regular basis. It’s all here for anyone who wants to reach their full potential and live a better life.” says Mr. Kittiratana.