Information about Children and Books in Japan

The 92nd All-Japan Library Conference

【2007-KN001】

The 92nd All-Japan Library Conference was held in October 26 and 27, 2006 in Okayama Prefecture. The All-Japan Library Conference, sponsored by the Japan Library Association (JLA) and held every autumn, provides a good opportunity for people from many libraries in Japan to discuss and exchange opinions on library matters. The contents of the meetings of the Library Services for Children and Young Adults Section and the School Libraries Section are as follows;

Section on Library Services for Children and Young Adults

Under the theme of "Promoting children's habit of reading; for voluntary reading" there were a panel discussion, a symposium based on case studies and a lecture.

In the panel discussion, the panelists were librarians from a public library and a school library and a university professor, all of whom are trying to connect books and children through their daily jobs. They discussed actively how they can contribute to promote children's "voluntary reading" as mediators.

At the 1st sub-session "Support for infants' reading" held after the discussion, two case studies were reported. One was a report by a librarian from a public library. She mentioned that librarians should visit nursery schools and read books to infants and toddlers because they cannot come to libraries by themselves. Another was a report by a nursery school teacher. She mentioned that to provide parents with opportunities to find the joy of reading picture books and storytelling to their children is important to make parents themselves mediators between books and their children. At the 2nd sub-session "Support for children and young adults' reading", there were also case study reports on the activities of elementary school libraries and on the cooperation between senior high schools and prefectural libraries.

At the end of the section, Rie Muranaka, a children's book writer, gave a lecture titled "What voluntary reading is". In the lecture, she put several related questions to the audience so that the audience listened to her more carefully. She referred to the importance of "Deepening the relationship with others by reading books". She is an advocator of "Reading together". It means "Reading together, sharing a story with others" by choosing a book for others, reading it together, sharing it together and deepening their relationship.

Section on School Libraries

At the 3rd sub-committee, there were four sub-sessions. Under the theme "Possibilities of school libraries", the activity of book-talk at school libraries in Okayama Prefecture was reported. At the end of the section, Koichi Takuma, a teacher-librarian of Kwansei Gakuin High School, gave a keynote speech titled "Another way of learning in school libraries; how to improve information literacy".

The next conference will be held in Tokyo on October 29 and 30, 2007.

(2007.2 update)