Information about Children and Books in Japan

The 93rd All-Japan Library Conference

【2008-KN002】

The 93rd All-Japan Library Conference was held on October 29 and 30, 2007 in Tokyo. 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

There was a case studies announcement and a panel discussion under the theme "Think about the training of librarians for children's services." There were also some reports about the training conducted at each level: municipal, prefectural, national, and private libraries.

The children and young adults committee of the Japan Library Association (JLA) devises the training suited for the role of each kind of library: local libraries to take charge of training for the services for visitors; prefectural libraries to offer training for the leaders from local libraries; JLA to conduct the advanced training. However, in point of fact, the training for librarians for services for children conducted by the JLA is no higher than intermediate level. For instance, there are some local libraries where the services are handled by only one librarian. It is so difficult to perform OJT (On the Job Training) in such a situation, that prefectural libraries are expected to hold elementary training.

The International Library of Children's Literature (ILCL) introduced the ILCL Lecture Series on Children's Literature which has been held from 2004. (*) This is a seminar for reinforcing knowledge about children's literature, and it is different from practical training.

The Tokyo Children's Library explained about their trainee acceptance system.

In the panel discussion, there were some requests for systematic improvement to formulate a training system at national level and to increase the number of lectures on children's literature and librarianship in the librarians' training courses. At the end of the section meeting, they arrived at the conclusion that local and national libraries should cooperate with each other and conduct systematized training.

Section on School Libraries

In section meeting 4, problems on reading at school libraries were picked up under the theme "'How to read a book' now" / Think about the freedom of libraries and copyright."

  • Keynote speech "`How to read a book' now" Keiichiro Hirano (writer)
  • Case study report "School libraries and the freedom of libraries - focusing on the educational use of the circulation records" Shinya Yamaguchi (Okinawa International University)
  • Report "Copyright in school libraries Q&A" Shukei Maesono (Yamanashi Eiwa College)

*The ILCL Lecture Series on Children's Literature

The past themes are as follows:

  • 2004 Fantasy: its birth to development
  • 2005 History of Japanese Children's Literature
  • 2006 Pleasure of picture books: learning from the tradition of British picture books
  • 2007 Pleasure of picture books: development of American picture books
(2008.3 update)