The Neilson Hays Library has become a much-loved Bangkok institution since its foundation in 1869. The library now houses approximately 17,000 books and magazines across many genres; the majority of which are available for members to borrow.

Our diverse events: second hand book sales, concerts, children’s activities, art galleries and café are also popular features of the library.

The elegant neo-classical building is not only the centrepiece of our library, but also a coveted venue for private events – including weddings, product launches, and corporate functions.

The library is run by a small team of staff, supported by a volunteer Library Association Board and a hard working team of volunteers (Friends of the Neilson Hays Library). We are the oldest not-for-profit organisation in Thailand and warmly welcome financial assistance with our endeavours from both the corporate sector and the community.


We envision the Library as an inclusive cultural center for our community. A place that welcomes people of all backgrounds to come together and engage in conversations about literature and the arts.


Our core activity is the serve as a book repository that inspires a passion for the magic of books. But along with the love of reading and writing, we are dedicated to providing resources and programs for audiences who believe in the nurturing and healing power of the arts in general.

Library Association Board

The Neilson Hays Library Association Board is responsible for the management of the Neilson Hays Library, including: maintenance, the selection of books for the collection, and the employment and supervision of all personnel. The Board meets on a monthly basis, with an Annual General Meeting held in the first quarter of every year.

Following Dr Hays’ wishes, the Board is constitutionally comprised of twelve ladies. However we very much welcome and value our male volunteers, members and Friends of the Library. There are many opportunities for all of our members to get involved.

Officers of the Association Board include:

  • President
  • Vice President
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Galleries Curator
  • Library Systems Coordinator
  • Book Buying Coordinator
  • Children’s Programs Coordinator
  • Adult Programs Coordinator
  • Volunteer Coordinator
  • Communications Coordinator
  • Membership Coordinator
  • Marketing Coordinator

Friends of the Neilson Hays Library

“I love books and reading and for many years I have been volunteering and working in various libraries. I love the old style of the Neilson Hays Library, the friendly staff and the feeling you get when you enter this quiet place in a busy city like Bangkok.” Maike, volunteer

The Neilson Hays Library is fortunate to have a dedicated team of volunteers who generously give their time to assist in the operations of the library. Volunteers are needed throughout the year in roles such as:

  • Assisting with second-hand book sale events (sorting, pricing, cashiering)
  • Cataloguing of books
  • Assisting at children’s events
  • Reading at Children’s Story Time
  • Planning and assisting at adult’s events and fundraisers
  • Leading and assisting with school visits
  • Preparing press releases and newsletter coordination
  • Assisting with social media and website updates

Members of the library and the wider community are warmly encouraged to volunteer with the library. Please submit a Volunteer Expression of Interest Form and we will be in touch with you shortly.