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Congratulatory Messages

The following are congratulatory messages the ILCL has received from related organizations in Japan and abroad on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of its opening.

Patricia Aldana
President of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY)

Patricia Aldana  President of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) Japanese children are so very lucky to have such a beautiful library where they can find wonderful Japanese books and also see what children around the world are reading. It is only by getting to know each other through the very best books that we can know how fully human each of us is, no matter where we come from. Children need books that are windows so they can see the world beyond themselves and children need books that are mirrors so that they can know themselves better. Japan's society grows more and more complex every day as more and more children from other places come to live amongst you and share their lives with you. You can all learn about each other and learn to love and respect each other by reading and looking at the windows and mirrors you can find in this library.

Patsy Aldana


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Sybille A. Jagusch
Chief, Children's Literature Center, Library of Congress

Sybille A. Jagusch  Chief, Children's Literature Center, Library of Congress Happy Tenth Anniversary!
My admiration for Japanese picture books goes back to 1979 when I served on the Hans Christian Andersen Award Jury. Suekichi Akaba was the jury's final nominee and I always believed that he won the Andersen medal – in part – due to my enthusiastic comments during the jury meetings.

Japan is known for exquisite art and design and Japanese picture books are a part of that creative tradition.
They have come to the United States – in translation – for over half a century and have greatly enriched American children's literature.

Congratulations on your exhibiting these fine Japanese ambassadors.

Dr. Sybille A. Jagusch
Chief, Children's Literature Center, Library of Congress


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Sook-Hyeun Lee
Director of the South Korean National Library for Children and Young Adults

Sook-Hyeun Lee  Director of the South Korean National Library for Children and Young Adults Nice to meet you all.
I'm Sook-Hyeun Lee, Director of the South Korean National Library for Children and Young Adults. I extend my sincere congratulations on the 10th anniversary of the opening of the ILCL in Japan.
Children represent the hope and future of a country. It is our responsibility as adults to create an environment in which children can grow up healthily and then play a leading role in various fields of society. Libraries are an important social institution in helping children to foster their dreams and imagine a brighter future through reading books.
Since its opening in 2000, the ILCL has actively promoted diverse projects to develop and expand the library's services for children, showing us how to create a better reading environment for children and what roles libraries should play. I believe that the ILCL has been making excellent progress as a model library for others to follow.
We, at the South Korean National Library for Children and Young Adults, wish to promote a sustainable and closer relationship with the ILCL. We also hope to work together toward the further development of libraries in both countries and the further improvement of the quality of services provided to children worldwide, by sharing valuable experience and information with each other.
We also hope that as in the ILCL principle, “Children's books link the world and open up the future,” this exhibition for Japanese books translated and published in foreign countries will serve as an opportunity to promote the mutual understanding and friendship of children in Japan and abroad.
Again, congratulations and best wishes for the further sustainable development of the ILCL. Thank you.

Sook-Hyeun Lee
Director of the South Korean National Library for Children and Young Adults


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Geneviève Patte
President, French association for promoting reading “Laissez-les Lire” (“Let them Read”)

Geneviève Patte  President, French association for promoting reading At La Petite Bibliotheque Ronde (“Little Round Library”), a children's library located in Clamart, a working-class city near Paris, “Guri to gura” has long been a good friend of local children. Children have enjoyed many other books from Japan. They show their surprise at Mitsumasa Anno's amazing, novel ideas; marvel at the very unique picture books written by Katsumi Komagata, Kota Taniuchi, and Keizaburo Tejima; and feel moved by the tales of old Japan by Suekichi Akaba. We have all been absolutely charmed by the delicate and sensitive art and the spirit of the children described in the Japanese picture books. Today, we at La Petite Bibliotheque Ronde would also like to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the opening of the ILCL in Japan. We wish for the ILCL to continue to increase its luster through delivering and spreading its great treasures to children throughout the world.

Geneviève Patte
President, French association for promoting reading “Laissez-les Lire” (“Let them Read”)


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Christiane Raabe
Director, Internationale Jugendbibliothek

Christiane Raabe  Director, Internationale Jugendbibliothek An idea travels around the world
An idea travels around the world
60 years ago, Jella Lepman, the founder of the Internationale Jugendbibliothek (International Youth Library) in Munich / Germany – the first library for international children's literature – was convinced that children's books can build bridges between different people and cultures. It is obvious that, in order to do so, these books need special places. The ILCL in Japan is one such place of communication and reading promotion and it is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. I am delighted that this “bridge of children's books” connects Germany and Japan and would like to wish the ILCL all the best for their future and many successful and fruitful encounters within the boundless world of international children's and young adult literature. I hope that a lot of readers, both young and old, will discover and enjoy the Japanese children's books in this exhibition!

Dr. Christiane Raabe


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Takeo Kawamura
House of Representatives member and the President of the Parliamentary League to Consider the Future of Children

Takeo Kawamura  House of Representatives member and the President of the Parliamentary League to Consider the Future of Children I support the International Library of Children's Literature, which is a veritable “magic box” for children!
In 1993, the League of Diet Members for the Founding of the International Library of Children's Literature was established by supra-party Diet members, aiming at the creation of an international library of children's literature. As one of its members, I actively worked in the Diet. As a result, the opening ceremony for the International Library of Children's Literature was held in the presence of Empress Michiko in May 2000. I cannot believe how quickly time has flown past. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the founding of the ILCL.
The League achieved the goal of setting up the ILCL and encouraged both the upper and lower houses of the Diet to adopt resolutions to designate the year 2000 as the National Year of Reading for Children. In the following year, the League was reorganized into the “League of Diet Members for Considering the Future of Children,” and the Law on the Promotion of Reading Activities for Children was enacted. The Parliamentary League to Consider the Future of Children has also played a part in the promotion of international exchanges. Through the “Children's Dream Fund” established through the initiative of the League, a project was launched to promote international exchange through children's books among children in Japan, China and South Korea, all of which share a common culture based on Chinese characters. In the project, seven exchange activities have been held so far. In each event, a total of 100 children (25 each from China and South Korea and 50 from Japan) participated in a one-week camp held in Japan. They discussed children's stories from their own countries, and created picture-story shows and picture books. Through such activities, the participants unexpectedly discovered the fact that each country has many similar stories. One example is the legend of hagoromo, which was published in three languages. This makes us realize that although differences in historical perception among the three countries sometimes become political issues, we are all citizens of Asia, transcending national boundaries.
Books possess a magical power that exposes us to diverse cultures and provides us with firsthand knowledge of differences in culture between Japan and other countries. The ILCL is a small box filled with such magical power. The library is expected to continue to provide an opportunity for children to open the door to the infinite world of books in various ways. I will continue to support the ILCL as a self-appointed cheerleader.


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Yoshiro Kasahara
President, the Liaison Committee to Consider the International Library of Children's Literature

Yoshiro Kasahara  President, the Liaison Committee to Consider the International Library of Children's Literature Hoping that the ILCL's 10th anniversary will serve as a springboard for its further development
In May 5, 2000, Children's Day in Japan, in the last year of the 20th century, the ILCL was opened to the public, under the catchphrase “the greatest gift to children in the 21st century.” On that day, a dream long shared by many child book lovers was finally realized.
Ten years have since passed, and the ILCL has grown dramatically because of the tireless efforts of its successive director generals and staff members, as well as support from various quarters wishing for its further development. The library now boasts a collection of nearly 300,000 titles of children's books and related materials, and supports various activities and events concerning children's books and children's reading, ranging from the holding of exhibitions and lectures to a wide variety of media/information services. By October 2008, more than 1 million people had visited the library. In 2009, a new project was launched to expand and improve the facilities. I hope that the 10th anniversary of the opening of the ILCL will provide momentum for making the next leap forward as a national center of children's literature that Japan can be proud of. We, at the Liaison Committee to Consider the International Library of Chirldren's Literature, will further reinforce our support for the ILCL in close coordination with the Parliamentary League to Consider the Future of Children, for the sake of “linking the world and open up the future” through children's books.

Yoshiro Kasahara
President, the Liaison Committee to Consider the International Library of Children's Literature


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Noboru Shiomi
President, Japan Library Association

Noboru Shiomi   President, Japan Library Association Congratulations on the ILCL's 10th anniversary, and our expectation for its role
In 2000, the ILCL was founded as a branch specializing in children's literature of the National Diet Library, whose primary duty is to collect and preserve Japanese publications as the nation's cultural and intellectual assets and to function as a library for libraries. Since then, 10 years have passed, and the ILCL's services and activities have increasingly received high acclaim and appreciation from Japan and abroad.
The ILCL has been devoted to the introduction and release of children's literature and related materials to the public, by building a valuable digital archive for children's books and holding exhibitions and various other events under very appealing themes, taking full advantage of its large comprehensive collection of titles. The library has also acted as a powerful stimulant to create a new culture for children. It is an important task for a national library to support public libraries' services for children and school library activities.
I hope that, seizing on the 10th anniversary of its opening, the ILCL will step up its efforts to enrich its services and improve its infrastructure, as well as to continuously serve as a base for child culture to enrich children's sensitivities and give children the hope and strength to live.

Noboru Shiomi
President, Japan Library Association


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