Mission & Basic Roles


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 has a mission 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.

Basic Roles

To realize the above mission, the ILCL fulfills the following three basic roles, in a form that responds to the changes in the environment surrounding children and libraries in an increasingly digital society.

  • Role as a library dedicated to children's books
    The ILCL acquires, preserves, and makes available a wide range of Japanese and foreign children's books and related materials. By providing professional information on children's books, it also supports a variety of programs related to children's books and reading.
  • Role as a place where children encounter books
    Not only at the ILCL itself, but also through the internet and other libraries nearby, the ILCL gives every child the opportunity to become familiar with libraries and reading.
  • Role as a museum of children's books
    The ILCL will realize the library as a place where people can enjoy culture in a comprehensive manner, taking advantage of electronic exhibitions provided via the internet and the unique characteristics of its historical building located in Ueno, in addition to the Museum.