Information about Children and Books in Japan

The 101st All-Japan Library Conference (2015)

The 101st All-Japan Library Conference was held by the Japan Library Association (JLA) in the National Olympics Memorial Youth Center (Shibuya-ku, Tokyo) on October 15th and 16th, 2015. The conference theme this year was "Libraries Are the Hub of Local Communities, Libraries Power Our Lives."

On October 15th, 700 people participated in the general assembly. In the symposium "Libraries and Communities," following the opening ceremony, the Library Architecture Award ceremony and the keynote speech, the mayor of Umi Town (Fukuoka), the chief librarian of the Tahara City Central Library (Aichi) and the staff member of the Kanagawa Prefectural Library discussed the libraries' role to connect people through reading and contribute to the community. The video of the symposium will be available via You Tube.

On October 16th, more than 1,300 people participated in 21 section meetings and discussed enthusiastically. The "Gathering of Japan Library Association Members" and various exhibitions of libraries and books were also held during the conference.

The next conference will be held on October 16th in the Aoyama Campus of Aoyama Gakuin University.

●Section Meeting 4 (school libraries_1): "Training for the School Library Professionals"

Under the theme of training for teacher librarians and school librarians, this meeting consisted of 5 parts: the keynote report by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the case studies of two universities offering teacher training courses (Tokyo Gakugei University and Miyagi University of Education), the various training programs for teacher librarians / school librarians by the Ichikawa City School Library Support Center and the Kanagawa branch of the Gakko Toshokan Mondai Kenkyukai. The conditions of school libraries are different in each municipality, and the placement of teacher librarians / school librarians and the thoroughness of their training depend on its policy.

●Section Meeting 5 (school libraries_2): Intellectual Freedom in School Libraries

This section meeting was organized by the School Library Division and the Intellectual Freedom Committee. The keynote speaker explained the authority of school libraries to collect and provide various materials including the challenged graphic novel "Barefoot Gen (Hadashi no Gen)." The Chair of the School Library Division reported the censorship in school libraries in the U.S.A. and valued privacy of school library visitors. A case study of a high school library was about a problem that occurred on how a teacher dealt with books which had been purchased on students' request.

●Section Meeting 8 (library services for children): Reading Is Important for Children's Development ― Power of Children's Libraries 2

This section meeting comprised 3 case studies of training for librarians in the libraries recognized in the field of children's services.

In the Fukui Municipal Library, the librarians who have been positioned in the children's service division for more than 20 years provide the baby / toddler programs and other events.

The Urayasu Public Library offers storytelling and other training for its librarians. After working for 5 years, the librarians visit 900 public schools, nursery schools and kindergartens per year for storytelling, reading aloud, singing nursery rhymes and book talks.

The Chiba Prefectural Library organizes training courses for newly appointed librarians 4 times a year, and a year-long training for experienced librarians to improve their skills.

In the following discussion, the participants recognized the importance of highly skilled and experienced librarians for library services for children.

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