Skip to main content

Library Services

Library services

Subscriptions & Collection Development

One of the library's core services is to provide ESCAP staff with the resources they need to conduct relevant research on the region. These resources ensure that the policy guidance, analysis and capacity-building that ESCAP provides to member States is based on sound, authoritative information. Current subscriptions include a wide range of online journals, subscription databases and eBooks, across subjects relevant to the ESCAP work programme and in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Each year, the Library holds an annual subscriptions survey to analyze current needs, priorities, usage statistics and user experiences.

Research support

Library staff provide support for literature searches and can provide guidance on which resources are most appropriate for a specific research topic. To keep staff up to date with our eResources, we also provide a hands-on personal briefings to demonstrate the most relevant resources, such as ScienceDirect, Proquest Central, EIU, eBook Platforms, etc.

Reference assistance for intergovernmental processes (IGM)

Library staff provides reference assistance to the Advisory Committee of Permanent Representatives (ACPR) during their Informal Working Group on Draft Resolutions (IWGDR) meetings, the annual Commission session, and Working Group deliberations, as requested.

Information and knowledge management support

In addition to supporting staff with regular updates on new tools, subscriptions, and information management practices and policies, ESCAP Library serves as the regional focal point for the UN Secretariat intranet system, iSeek. Additionally, the Library developed and manages the ESCAP publications repository to provide stronger archiving and online dissemination of ESCAP knowledge.


The Library offers individual coaching or group training sessions for delegates, UN staff and other library clients. Sessions may be organized on various subjects such as UN and ESCAP documentation, using ODS and the UN Digital Library, and accessing the library's online subscriptions and electronic resources. The Library also holds briefings and longer study tours for interested groups from the Asia-Pacific region. The Library also holds briefings and longer study tours for interested groups from the Asia-Pacific region. Please see details of training sessions we provide regularly below. 

  • Accessing your electronic resources: This 2-hour training session introduces participants to the electronic resources available for their use and how to access them. Different types of resources (databases, full-text articles, eBooks, etc.) are discussed. The training also provides a brief induction on how to perform searches on selected databases and platforms. The training is typically scheduled twice a year. It is open for ESCAP staff, consultants and interns (both in Bangkok and offices other than Bangkok). 
  • UN and ESCAP documentation - searching for official documents: This 2.5-hour training aims to acquaint participants with the different types of UN and ESCAP Documentation and how to search for them online. Also discussed is the UN document symbol and masthead formatting. Participants will receive hands-on experience searching in the UN Official Document System (ODS), the UN Digital Library (UNDL) and other UN research tools. Staff find this training useful when they need to search for recent or previous mandates/terms of reference/rules of procedure of UN organs and subsidiary bodies, report of different Committees, resolutions/declaration, etc... The training is typically scheduled twice a year. It is open for ESCAP staff, consultants, and interns (both in Bangkok and offices other than Bangkok). Research Guides on UN-related subjects and UN Documentation are also available from the Dag Hammarskjöld Library at UN Headquarters in New York and from the Library at the UN Office in Geneva

Stewardship: preservation and dissemination of ESCAP knowledge

ESCAP Publications Repository

ESCAP Library manages an open-access institutional repository to preserve and disseminate ESCAP knowledge. The repository is built in accordance with FAIR principles that seek to increase the accessibility and impact of scientific and scholarly data by ensuring that repository contents are Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable. Please feel free to visit the ESCAP Repository. We welcome feedback and suggestions as we finalize the user interface and functionalities and integrated the repository with the ESCAP website. Publications on the current ESCAP website have all been migrated to the repository and historical publications are being digitized, uploaded, and indexed systematically, as funds permit. 

Official documents

ESCAP is mandated to upload and index its official documents to the UN Official Document System (ODS). ESCAP Library carries out this process in partnership with CDSS and is also working with Dag Hammarskjold Library to ensure that ESCAP documents are also accessible via the UN Digital Library, a growing global repository of UN data and resources.


As part of the institutional repository project, ESCAP Library purchased a professional book scanner to speed the ongoing digitization of historical ESCAP materials. Our first priority is to digitize over 1,000,000 pages of ESCAP publications for our new institutional repository. Ad-hoc requests are also received and prioritized based on need and resource availability. 

Virtual publications displays

As a vehicle to help ESCAP disseminate its knowledge, the Library has hosted publications distribution booths at all inter-governmental meetings since 2017. Historically, these featured conference style booths, with a mix of QR Code walls for downloading e-publications, print publications and marketing, and monitors with streaming videos featuring relevant titles. In 2020, the Library transformed this service into a "virtual booth" for hybrid and virtual meetings. Streaming videos with publications excerpts, covers and QR Codes can be shown during meeting coffee breaks on in-room monitors (for hybrid events) and/or via online platforms for virtual participants.

Access & Borrowing

*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Nations ESCAP Library is currently closed to the public and the services below have been shifted to an online modality. Please contact the Library via email for assistance using our electronic resources or for reference and research support.


The United Nations ESCAP Library welcomes both internal and external clients. For internal clients, access to the Library and services is granted automatically with a UN ground pass. Internal clients include: 

  • Staff members of ESCAP and UN agencies 
  • Retired staff members of ESCAP and UN agencies 
  • Interns and outsourced staff of ESCAP and UN agencies 
  • Member States' Permanent Representatives to ESCAP 
  • Representatives to UN-sponsored meetings 
  • NGOs and media representatives with UN accreditation who are based in Bangkok 

External clients may access the Library but cannot borrow library items. External clients include: 

  • Professors and academics 
  • University-level and graduate students 
  • Independent researchers 

NoteAccess for external clients is granted on a day by day basis. The Library is unable to issue a longer-term Library access pass. Please give at least one week's notice of your intention to visit the Library via email. External clients must also provide an explanation of their research topic and a list of resources required. Requests will be reviewed by the Chief Librarian. 

Circulation Policies

In order to borrow physical items, staff and clients must register with the Library. Once registered, you may borrow books and other publications, as well as reserve and request items via ESCAP iSearch, the Library's catalogue and discovery system. A maximum of 20 items may be borrowed at one time, for up to 45 days. An item may be renewed twice unless another client has requested the item, and all items are subject to recall at any time. Current newspapers may only be borrowed after 3:00pm, and must be returned before 8:00 am the following day. Library clients will be charged for any lost or damaged items. 

Interns and outsourced staff can loan books under their supervisor's name, and the supervisor shall take full responsibility of the loaned item. Spouses and dependents may borrow under their family member's name. 

Requests & interlibrary loans 

If an item that you require is already on loan to another library client, you may contact us to place a reservation on the item. When the item is returned, the Library will contact you, and you may pick up the item from the Reference Desk in the Library. Material not held within the Library collection may be borrowed or obtained from external library services, subject to availability.