Information about Children and Books in Japan

Board of Inquiry on Expansion of Library Services of the ILCL

【2005-KN003】

The ILCL, partly opened in May 2000 and fully in 2002, functions as a national center that supports a wide range of studies on children's literature and the children's book publishing in cooperation with other domestic and international libraries.

Though it has been three years since its full opening, some services that had been proposed in the 1995 report have not yet been implemented in full because of lack of space and the structural limitations of the building. In addition, the environment surrounding children's reading has changed so much since 1995 that it seems that new directions should be sought from a new Board.

The new Board, consisting of experts from outside, was established in September 2004 to discuss the future direction of improvement of the ILCL services as the national center of children's literature. Taking into consideration the changes in the environment over the last decade, the Board discussion included a possible extension of new storage space before around 2012 when the present stacks are expected to become full.

The Board met in September and December 2004 and March 2005, and submitted a report on the ILCL's future direction as the national center of children's literature. The proposed directions are based on three principles below:

Function as a special library of children's literature (for adults)

  • [1]To sophisticate its function of providing information
    To add a new reference room equipped with sophisticated facilities
    To add new stacks with a capacity of a million volumes
  • [2]To promote its function of research and study
    To plan and implement research and study whose results can be utilized and realized in the actual library services
    To receive researchers and students from inside and outside Japan for research and training
  • [3]To explore new roles for children's reading
    To cooperate with and support those who try to link children and books

Function as an intersection of children and books (for children)

  • [4]To establish a function to support children's research and study using books with a focus on the field of international study and science as an indispensable part of the services in addition to support for children's reading
    To provide a space for children to read and research

Function as a museum

  • [5]To further develop a museum function as the third pillar of library services in addition to the services for adults and children
    To expand electronic exhibitions

The report also proposes the development of digital information infrastructure, coordination and cooperation with other related institutions at home and abroad, and extension of the facilities including stacks, reading rooms, and offices.

The ILCL examined the report and in response to it, began to work on each goal it proposed. As the first step, the ILCL is planning to formulate the Basic Plan for the ILCL in the Third Stage (tentative name) to be made public within 2005.

(2005.9 update)