The Mae Tao Clinic library grew out of the idea that providing books to staff and patients would relieve stress and tension, while at the same time providing information and education. The aim of the library is to provide relief from boredom, as well as serving as an educational tool.
The library has changed dramatically since its original incarnation as a box of books at the clinic that staff shared and swapped with each other before 1994. The library officially opened in 2001 when it was decided to turn the expanding collection of books into a proper library.
The MTC library services serve the community with both professional and recreational reading materials. There are 12 kinds of books including health related, general knowledge, political and religious etc. There are around 6,000 books in the MTC library, with new books being purchased monthly.
There are 8 people that staff the MTC library. About 70 people on average including MTC staff, CDC students and patients use library service per day. The MTC library is open 6 days a week, 8:00 am to 9:00 pm, however it is often has to close as it is commonly used as a meeting room, as MTC has no dedicated meeting space.
Obtaining more books and retrieving them from borrowers are the two biggest problems facing the library: MTC library has limited resources to purchase new books since not many books are available in the Mae Sot area. Most of the medical texts are only available in English, which makes it difficult for many staff to read them. Due to the lack of space in the Clinic, the library is often used as a venue for meetings, meaning that it is not always available for its intended audience.