Second Basic Plan for the International Library of Children's Literature

March 29, 2011 NDL(CL)1103242


  1. About the plan
  2. History
  3. Mission and roles of the International Library of children's Literature
    • (1) Mission of the International Library of children's Literature
    • (2) Three basic roles
  4. Functions and services
  5. Preparation of foundations for expansion of services
    • (1) Expansion and reorganization of the facilities
    • (2) Reorganization of Organization
  6. Schedule

1. About the plan

This plan aims to redefine the mission and basic roles of the International Library of Children's Literature (ILCL), National Diet Library (NDL), and to clarify the basic policy on services that the ILCL aims to achieve in FY2015, when new building construction and the remodeling of the existing building are scheduled to be completed, and on preparation of facilities and the organization that would lay the foundations for such services.

This plan is the successor to the Basic Plan for the International Library of Children's Literature (NDL(U)15, 1996).

2. History

Founded on January 1, 2000, as a branch of the NDL, the ILCL is the first national library dedicated to children's books, which “provides, through international collaboration, library services concerning books and other library materials whose main readers are assumed to be approximately eighteen years of age or less”(Article 22, National Diet Library Law).

The primary role of the ILCL was defined as a resource and information center for adults who relate to children's books in the Basic Plan for the International Library of children's Literature, formulated in May 1996, following the Report of the Board of Inquiry on Facilities for children's Books in the National Diet Library (November 1995). In terms of the services for children, it put emphasis on supporting the front-line services for children and providing remote access services. It positioned the services for children visiting the ILCL as “a place where children encounter books” that gives them an opportunity to have an interest in reading and in the world of local libraries.

Although after the partial and the full opening of the ILCL in May 2000 and May 2002 respectively, the services initially set up were mostly satisfactory , the limitations of the facilities, such as the stacks being close to full, become apparent. The Report of the Board of Inquiry on Expansion of the Library Services of the International Library of children's Literature was submitted in March 2005 making recommendations on the services of the ILCL in the future.

In this period, the social foundation for the promotion of children's reading activities has progressed greatly, such as the enactment of the Act on Promotion of Children's Reading (Act No. 154 of 2001) and the enactment of plans for the promotion of children's reading activities by local governments, after the cabinet decision on the Basic Plan for the Promotion of Children's Reading Activities (August 2002). Meanwhile, the environment surrounding children's reading has substantially changed, in particular through the rapid spread of digital information including the Internet and digital resources.

In light of these changes, the ILCL has expanded the provision of information on the Internet. It also formulated, in September 2010, the Support Plan for the Promotion of Children's Reading Activities 2010, examined the ideal form of its services in the future, and prepared for the expansion of the facilities that would be needed.

3. Mission and roles of the International Library of Children's Literature

(1) Mission of the International Library of children's Literature

For all children, reading activities are “indispensable to learn languages, to cultivate sensitivity, to heighten power of expression, to enrich creativity and to acquire power for living life more deeply”(Act on Promotion of Children's Reading, Article 2). It is an obligation of the whole society to maintain an environment in which all children can enjoy the pleasure of reading in achieving a truly rich community.

As the sole national library dedicated to children's books based on the National Diet Library Law, the ILCL aims to realize the philosophy “Children's books link the world and open up the future!” through supporting activities and research related to children's books by using its abundant domestic and foreign materials and information resources.

(2) Three basic roles

To realize the above mission, the ILCL plays a part of the NDL, and fulfills the following three basic roles.

1) Role as a library dedicated to children's books
The ILCL collects, preserves, and makes available a wide range of Japanese and foreign children's books and related materials. By conducting surveys and research and providing professional training and information, it also supports a variety of programs related to children's books and reading.
2) Role as a place where children encounter books
By making available Japanese and foreign children's books, holding events and tours, and providing information, the ILCL gives every child the opportunity to become familiar with libraries and reading.
3) Role as a museum of children's books
The ILCL introduces the general public to the appeal of children's books through exhibitions, related lectures and events.

The above three roles are supplementarily and synergistically related.

To play these roles, the ILCL will closely cooperate with various organizations in and out of Japan related to children's reading, make efforts to provide efficient and effective services, and seek to provide services for a wide range of users who are not limited to particular regions or forms of use.

4. Functions and services

(1) A library dedicated to children's books

Taking the opportunity of the facility expansion, the ILCL aims to further enhance its function as a resources and information center for children's books and to strengthen the support of various activities related to children's reading, by adding stacks storing one million volumes, integrating and expanding the Researchers' Reading Rooms which are at present divided into two rooms due to the limitations of the existing facilities, providing new meeting rooms, using the information system infrastructure of the entire NDL, and so on.

A) Enhancement of resources and information center function

1) Collection development

The ILCL will :

  • Preserve and provide children's books, textbooks and other materials published in Japan and acquired under the Legal Deposit System based on the National Diet Library Law. Make efforts to collect actively well-known children's books published before the Legal Deposit System had been in force.
  • Acquire widely important works of the history of children's literature in various foreign countries as well as translations of Japanese children's books. Attempt efficient selection and acquisition in cooperation with specialists and related organizations.
  • Acquire materials on children's culture, oral literature, children's reading, children's libraries and so on, and basic reference books necessary for surveys and research in addition to the above children's books.
  • Promote digitization of materials for compatibility of preservation and use.
  • If necessary, transfer children's books (including children's books in Braille and in large type) which are managed by the Tokyo Main Library of the NDL (hereafter Tokyo Main Library) to the ILCL, considering the situation of digitalization and users' needs, etc.
2) Information services

The ILCL will :

  • Improve the usefulness of the Union Catalog of children's Literature which carries the holding information of domestic related organizations and includes summaries.
  • Expand provision of reference information such as reference cases on children's books, etc. and search guides, and in particular, strengthen the navigation to external information.
3) Improvement of user services

The ILCL will :

  • Increase materials on open shelves, particularly domestic and foreign reference books useful for surveys and research, in the Research Library of children's Books (tentative) where both domestic and foreign children's books are available.
  • Improve the reading environment by increasing reading seats and supplying terminals to provide various digital information including digitized materials and databases, and the Internet.
  • Introduce a common system and services to the Tokyo Main Library and the Kansai-kan of the NDL for user registration, entrance/exit control and online request for reading and photoduplication.
  • Make it more convenient to request the copying services, such as printout services of digital information.
  • Provide group research rooms with high sound insulation in the Research Library of children's Books to support group users and handicapped people.
4) Services for the National Diet and services for the executive and judicial agencies

The ILCL will :

  • Provide the collections and references services accurately and promptly in cooperation with the sections of the Tokyo Main Library in charge.

B) Support for surveys and research

The ILCL will :

  • Make it possible for a group of up to about 20 people to select books and do research cooperatively with the ILCL collections in the group research rooms.
  • Actively accept domestic and foreign researchers and trainees for a certain period of time.
  • In coordination and cooperation with various related organizations and outside specialists, plan and implement surveys and research programs which can be used in the fields of promotion of children's reading activities.
  • Positively collect and provide domestic and foreign information on children's books and services for children, and promote information sharing.

C) Support for the promotion of children's reading activities

1) Providing more information on children's reading, and building a network with people connected with children's reading

The ILCL will :

  • Provide useful information, such as service cases for children and results of surveys and research, for activities of people who are involved in services for children in public libraries, school libraries, bunkos, etc. across Japan (hereafter "people involved in services for children" ).
  • Expand on-site exchange programs for people involved in services for children, and provide opportunities for interchange and information exchange through the Internet, etc.
  • In the Research Library of children's Books, place a corner where domestic and foreign materials and information on promotion of children's reading activities are available.
2) Supporting human resource development

The ILCL will :

  • Plan and hold on-site training and events using abundant materials and information in meeting rooms with a networked environment, aiming to improve the qualifications of people involved in services for children and to widen their knowledge.
  • Enhance information provision, dispatch staff to give lectures and remote training, so that more people involved in services for children can obtain the knowledge they need.
3) Supporting school libraries

The ILCL will :

  • Continue the Book Sets Lending Service to School Libraries as a model of coordination between public libraries and school libraries, giving priority to offering information on examples of how the service is used.
  • In order to foster cooperation between public libraries and school libraries, plan and implement model projects for learning support and open to the public the contents and the results.
  • Provide bibliographic information of newly-arrived books and children's books selected by the ILCL, in order to foster selection and cataloguing of books in school libraries.

The NDL as a whole, based on the collections of each department, will :

  • Deal with photoduplication applications and reference requests from school libraries.

(2) A place where children encounter books

The ILCL aims to extend the facility space for children and enhance services available on the Internet, putting emphasis on fostering interest and motivation for reading, and promoting the use of local libraries. The ILCL also aims to develop services appropriate to the age and purposes of children, with attention to providing services for children with print disabilities caused by various factors such as handicaps or being nonnative speakers of Japanese.

1) Services in the ILCL according to growth stages of children

The ILCL will :

  • Develop a collection of the children's Library which consists of selected picture books, storybooks and knowledge books for infants to elementary school students, and maintain an environment for infants to relax in and to get used to books.
  • Arrange a useful collection of books and an environment of digital information service for investigative learning in the Research Room for Young Adults (tentative), make a space for group investigative learning and provide works published in textbooks etc., from the standpoint of presenting a model of collection development for junior high school libraries.
  • Hold events on art such as music concerts which prompt interest in the world of books, in addition to regular story hours for children and “Fun with science” that is for stimulating interest in science books, and on implementation, make positive use of specialists' knowledge in coordination with external organizations.
  • Set up a Baby Care Corner (tentative) (including a first-aid station and rest station) for eating, drinking, breast-feeding and testing, and improve the environment for children and people with children.
2) Presentation of a model of learning space utilizing the collections

The ILCL will :

  • Plan and put into practice programs through which children can experience studies on themes familiar to them and on international understanding, etc., as an opportunity to use libraries for their own study and do the same in their local library.
  • Positively accept on-site use of groups such as school trips and field trips etc., making best use of its location surrounded by various cultural institutions in the Ueno Park, and give them a chance to know charms and usage of libraries.
3) Providing information on books, reading and libraries

The ILCL will :

  • Create and provide contents that lead children to be interested in libraries and to use school and regional libraries, and contents that rouse interest in reading in wide fields including natural science and social science, through the NDL kids' website and website for young adults.
  • Release an OPAC for children with appropriate vocabulary and child-friendly operation, and provide information in children's books selected by the ILCL.

(3) A museum of children's books

The ILCL aims to hold diversified and attractive exhibitions, use the appeal of its building as historical architecture in ILCL publicity, and link them to interest in children's books and libraries.

1) Exhibitions in the ILCL

The ILCL will :

  • Hold comprehensive exhibitions, for example, an exhibition tracing the history of children's literature, as well as introduction of the collections and timely thematic exhibitions in the Museum and the Hall.
  • Plan exhibitions with attention to coordination with neighborhood organizations and related organizations and to collaboration with digital exhibitions. As much as possible, hold exhibitions where people can directly read the books with due considerations to preservation of materials and an exhibition environment that does not risk damage to the materials.
  • Convene diverse and attractive events such as lectures related to exhibitions in the Hall and the meeting rooms.
  • Promote understanding of exhibition contents by exhibition catalogues, gallery talks and exhibition explanations using a variety of equipment.
2) Support for exhibitions by other institutions

The ILCL will :

  • Support projects of exhibitions etc. by other institutions by providing exhibition information of the ILCL such as lists of exhibited items and expository panels and by exhibit loan service.
3) Digital exhibitions

The ILCL will :

  • Promote the use of the Picture Book Gallery and create additional new digital exhibitions by reuse of past special exhibitions.
  • Plan to create digital exhibitions that children can enjoy and that introduce Japanese children's books abroad.
  • Introduce voice guide, etc. for user accessibility.
4) Introduction of the building and activities of the ILCL

The ILCL will :

  • Make the current Researchers' Reading Room 2, in which the original interior decoration of the Special Reading Room of former Imperial Library is preserved, into the Room to Know the ILCL (tentative), to display panels, stuffs, and videos on the ILCL activities.
  • Display panels, objects and videos to introduce the building of the ILCL in the Hall, to link the appeal of the architecture to interest in library activities.
  • Make efforts to make the ILCL activities known at every opportunity of library tours and publicity, and by effective use of various equipment.

5. Preparation of foundations for expansion of services

(1)Expansion and reorganization of the facilities

To achieve the above functions, the ILCL will construct a new building with a total floor area of approximately 6,200 square meters, with three floors above ground and two floors underground, as well as renovating the existing building as necessary.

1) Basic concepts of the design

The ILCL will :

  • Maintain the function as a library for preserving materials for a long term, and ensure highly versatile specifications that will to accommodate flexibly extension and optimization of library services.
  • With attention to maintaining security of various kinds, improve the safety of on-site users and usability and introduce the technique of universal design.
  • Design a "green" building with due consideration to the environment of ecology and energy conservation, etc.
  • Attempt to reduce the construction cost and the maintenance management cost, using the existing facilities as much as possible.
2) Functions of each floor and outlines of each room

The new building will mainly bear the function of a library dedicated to children's books. The existing building is for a place where both adults and children can enjoy together. (See the Appendix for details. The name of each building and each room is tentative. Names that express each function will be decided at another time.)

(2) Reorganization of Organization

The ILCL aims to reorganize its organizational structure to achieve efficient and effective organizational operation, based on the optimization of business and services and the financial conditions of the NDL as a whole. Main tasks of each section are envisaged as follows:

1) Section for general affairs and planning

This section will :

  • Make general adjustments of the business of the ILCL.
  • Promote cooperation with domestic and foreign related organizations and deal with public relations and acceptance of researchers and trainees.
  • Implement public relations of the ILCL.
  • Coordinate various exhibitions (permanent, special and digital) and act as a secretariat of all exhibitions.
  • Manage the ILCL facilities.
2) Section for resources and information

This section will :

  • Plan collection development, collect information on domestic and foreign children's books and maintain various search tools and digital information in association with the Tokyo Main Library, etc.
  • Provide reading, photoduplication and reference services (on-site and remote) on children's books and related resources, as well as providing useful information for surveys and research, based on the accumulated abundant materials and information on children's books.
3) Section for support for the promotion of children's reading activities

This section will :

  • Support activities of people involved in services for children by collecting and providing information on domestic and foreign children's reading activities, carrying out surveys and research, providing various training courses and opportunities for exchange intended for people involved in services for children, supporting school libraries, etc.
  • Return the fruits of the direct services for children to support the promotion of children's reading activities by providing information etc., trying to make them create high ripple effects.

6. Schedule

Designing of the new building- March 2011
Survey of the buried cultural assetsFY2011
Integration of information systemsFY2011
ConstructionFY2011 - FY2015 (tentative)
OpenFY2015 (tentative)

Concerning the details of the library services after the opening, the ILCL will, separately, formulate implementation plans based on this Plan and proceed with the necessary preparations.

Expansion of information providing services including that related to the optimization of business and services in the NDL as a whole, will be carried out as the conditions for implementation are cleared.