The 105th All-Japan Library Conference (2019)


The 105th All-Japan Library Conference was held by the Japan Library Association (JLA) in Mie Prefecture on November 21 and 22, 2019. 1,653 people participated in section meetings there. The conference theme this year was “Libraries Create a New Age.”

On the afternoon of the 21st, following the opening ceremony, the 35th Library Architecture Award ceremony, the keynote report and the commemorative lecture were held.

On the 22nd, people were absorbed in the presentation and discussion of 15 section meetings, and visited the exhibitions which were held during the conference. Each meeting covers different themes and library types.

The next conference will be held online in November 2020.

The topics regarding school libraries and library services for children are as follows:

Section Meeting 3 (School Libraries): The School Library’s Role-based Collaboration with Classwork/Cooperation with Public Libraries and Municipalities

In the first part of the meeting, high school librarians introduced their attempts to make their library effective for teaching and visible to teachers and students.

In the second part, librarians of Mie prefectural high schools reported on their cooperation with public libraries and communities. According to one of them, collaboration with other libraries such as building a distribution network with the prefectural library and city/town/university libraries is needed in order to be a reliable school library for students and teachers. In another school library, students played a key role in events for children, cooperating with the town hall. The school librarian in charge said that these kinds of events grow a sense of partnership between the school library and the community and make students take the initiative and have a sense of achievement.

Section Meeting 4 (Library Services for Children): Reading for Human Bonds/Can Children Find Their Place to Belong in Libraries: The Role of Librarians

In the first part of the meeting with the theme of “Reading for Human Bonds,” Prof. MURANAKA Rie of the Notre Dame Seishin University, gave the keynote speech titled “Keep Connecting with Books: The Attempts of People Who Make and Provide Books.” As a children’s book author, she reads aloud and gives book talks in a unique way. Through her work and experience of interaction with children, she spoke about how we could express our feelings and build relationships of empathy through the mediation of books when we read books aloud with others, and that books and stories help us to accept isolation and understand others. Then the director of a public library in Yamaguchi Prefecture introduced approaches to have people - from unborn babies to high school students - connect with books. Lastly, a librarian of a public library in Mie Prefecture described various activities closely connected with schools or the community to support children’s development. In the question-and-answer period, they had a lively discussion on how librarians could deal with children’s parents or caregivers, the influence of the declining birthrate and aging population on children’s services, and reading promotion approaches for junior high and high school students.

In the second part of the meeting, with the theme of “Can Children Find Their Place to Belong in Libraries,” librarians’ roles were discussed. A children’s bookshop owner who has been providing books to children for over 40 years gave the keynote speech. His experiences showed that libraries empower people for development, stories foster imagination needed in life, and children should be able to find their place in libraries or bookshops. A deep discussion followed after that on the role of libraries, which provide children with a place to belong, their ideal image and the importance for children to face books by themselves.

Section Meeting 15 (Multicultural Services): The Advanced Approaches of Multicultural Library Services in the Tōkai Region

Prof. WAKE Naomi of the Mie University, gave a report titled “Future Public Libraries in the Multicultural Community,” introducing multicultural library services in the Tōkai Region. As multicultural library services to children with foreign roots, she introduced a “Digital Picture Book Making Workshop” in a housing complex’s meeting place where people with roots in different countries are living, and bilingual story hour programs with “International Picture Book Supporter” volunteers.


(2020.7.8 update)