Information about Children and Books in Japan

2016 IASL Tokyo Conference

The 45th annual conference of the International Association of School Librarianship (IASL) was held from August 22 to 26 in 2016, at the Surugadai Campus of Meiji University in Tokyo. About 300 school librarians, researchers, and others from 30 countries attended the conference to explore the topic of A School Library Built for the Digital Age.

In the opening ceremony on August 22, Mr. Masami Zeniya, President of the Japan School Library Association and Chair of the Organizing Committee for 2016 IASL Tokyo, delivered an opening address, which emphasized the significance of human networking and information exchange made through the conference.

Keynote speeches were given daily except August 24. On August 22, after the opening ceremony, Mr. Takashi Atoda, a writer and Librarian of the Yamanashi Prefectural Library, gave a keynote speech entitled Book, Word and Library, in which he stressed the importance of librarians and asserted that, of a library's three main elements―facilities, books, and librarians―the librarian was the most important. He also talked about the prominence of puns and word play in Japanese culture and said that his love of such things since childhood was the basis of his love for reading.

In the concurrent sessions, a total of roughly 40 professional and research presentations reported the situation at school libraries in countries all over the world. These included a field survey report on Brazilian school libraries by American researchers, a report concerning a Human Library event to create dialog with people from all walks of life at an Australian school library, and a research report about Japanese metadata education in the training of teacher librarians.

On August 23, rakugo artist Shinoharu Tatekawa demonstrated this traditional Japanese art of comic storytelling in English with stories such as Tenshiki and Zoo.

On August 24, there were school and library visits in six groups including a visit to the ILCL by visitors from Japan and abroad.

During the closing ceremony on August 26, it was introduced that the next IASL annual conference will be held in Long Beach, California, United States.

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(2016.10.14 update)