Information about Children and Books in Japan

The Study Meeting on Children and Young Adults Section of All Japan Public Libraries in 2006

【2007-KN002】

The Study Meeting on the Children and Young Adults Section of All Japan Public Libraries was held in Sapporo, Hokkaido, on October 19 and 20, 2006. The meeting is held every two years, sponsored by the public library section of the Japan Library Association (JLA) and the public libraries. The host is the public libraries and related organizations of the meeting venue.

The theme of the meeting was "Open up, Link up, Children, books and the future" and librarians, teachers, staff of social facilities, kindergarten teachers, staff of nursery schools, members of Parent-Teacher Associations (PTA) and people involved in promoting children's reading activities came from all over the country.

As the "Plan for Promoting Children's Reading Activities" has developed and the "Promoting Letters and Printing Culture Act" was enacted last year (see 2006-KN003), the importance of children's reading is well recognized. Not only librarians and teachers but also a wide range of people are interested in children's reading and support it actively in their own ways. They provide places, opportunities and information for children to read books. The purpose of the meeting is to enable those people from all over the country to consider more about it in Hokkaido, which was a newly-opened land in Japan in the 19th century and is famous for its pioneer spirit in developing new things.

On the first day, Masao Kosuge, the director of the Asahiyama Zoo, a very popular zoo in Hokkaido, delivered a keynote speech "Children love animals and books; both tell the importance of life to children", and Takeshi Sakabe, chairman of the children and young adults committee of the JLA, delivered a keynote report on "The present situation and the problems of library service for children". After that, they held 3 sub-sessions, titled "Cultural situation surrounding children today; books, comics and computer games", "Aiming at connecting children and books" and "Improving of school library activities". On the second day, a general panel discussion was held. Not only librarians, but people involved with children through their various jobs, became lecturers and participants from all over the country actively exchanged their opinions. It was a very fruitful meeting.

The next meeting will be held in Tochigi Prefecture in 2008.

(2007.2 update)