Tag Archives: children

Children Services at Miyoshi Public Library

By Guest Blogger

Hitomi Takeuchi

I visited the Miyoshi Public Library in Miyoshi Town, located in northwest of Tokyo, 30 kilometer from Tokyo Central, about one hour by train. The population is about 38,000. The Library is run by the Miyoshi Local Town Government. The circulation per capita of Miyoshi Public Library is 11.20 books per a user a year, compared to the average number of Japanese public library of 5.5.  And the library has maintained its top rank in the past sixteen years.

The reason for my  visit to the library is because it provides very good childrens services. The first is the Book Start Service.  The second one is Book Club Service for the elementary level children. And the third one is that library provides good support and have good relationship to the school libraries.  There are eight schools, five elementary schools and tree junior high schools run by the Miyoshi local Town Government.  

The head Librarian, Tomoko Shirota, a childrens service professional, and she especially emphasizes the childrens services. She said that during the child period is very valuable time to child gets used to read.


Book Start Service & Book Start Plus Service

In Miyoshi Public Library, the Book Start Service is targeted at babies four months and beyond.  The professional childrens librarian reads the picture book with parent and baby. And after the reading hour, the baby will be presented a picture book from the library. You can see it in the picture above that when Ms Tomoko Shirota reads the picture book to the four months old baby, the baby seems very eager to look at the book and listen to the librarians reading voice.. The Librarian said that it is very important to read the picture book attractively for the baby because maybe it is the first time for the baby to look at the book and listen to the reading voice.  It is definitely important how baby feel about the book reading hour. The librarian tries to make the reading hour attractive and interesting because this is the first experience for not only the four months baby but also for the parent to listen to the storytelling. Through reading the picture book, almost all baby have good reactions like smiling and speaking aloud.  Parent understands that the baby who is not speaking language yet, can understand the picture book through the babys reaction and feeling, The librarian said that the Book Start Service makes the problem of child abuse in Miyoshi Town decrease because through the reading the picture book the parent can better communicate to their baby.

When the baby is two years old, the baby have the tooth examination by the doctor.  At that time it is also the time of Book Start Plus Service.  Again the baby and parent have the picture book reading time together and are presented with a picture book which they will enjoy.

Book Club Services

The Miyoshi Public Library organizes two Book Clubs for boys and girls.  They are two groups by their age, one club for the first and second grades in elementary school.  The name of the club is Kamii Club. Kamii comes from a hero’s name in the most popular Japanese children’s book;  the second club is for children from the third to sixth grades, and is named Elmer Club.  Its name comes from the book titled My father’s Dragon written by Ruth Stiles Gannett.  The activities of the clubs are storytelling, book talk and reading from a selected book list.  The activities run every fourth Saturday of the month.

School Libraries

There are eight schools in Miyoshi Town.  Every school has the a school library and school librarians.  School librarians try to make children familiar with reading books.  They provide the booklist which is the books reading during elementary years.  So after six years, students finished reading all the books on the book list.  The Miyoshi Public Library and eight school libraries have not only the computer network but also the human relationship network.

The Miyoshi Book Reading Declaration

The Miyoshi Public Library declared that Miyoshi Town is the town that “Love Reading and Promote lifelong reading all over the Town” in April 2016.  Ms Hideko Nagano who is a famous writer of picture books is the illustrator of the promotional poster for this Reading Declaration, and Ms Hiromi Watanabe who live in the Miyoshi Town, designed it.  In the poster, it says that that the Library has decided that every 23rd  day of the month is “the Day to Love the Reading and a Reading Day”.

In Miyoshi Town, people from baby to senior love the reading and share the reading joy by reading together.  Through reading together people can have closer relationships. The reading makes people filled with love, dream and intelligence, and makes people to a happy and satisfied life.

In 2002 and 2014 the Library was awarded as the Library with superior children’s reading activities by the Ministry of Education of Japanese Government twice.

After deciding the Miyoshi Book Reading Declaration.

Four members of the Koshigaya City school library study group visited the Miyoshi Public Library. The second from the left is the Head Librarian of the Miyoshi Public Library, the first from the right is the author of this blog article.

New competencies for children’s librarians released.



The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has released a revised edition of its Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries.

ALSC recommends these core competencies to all children’s librarians and other library staff whose primary duties include delivering library service to and advocating library service for children ages birth to 14.

Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries was created (1989) and revised (1999, 2009 and 2015) by the ALSC Education Committee, and approved by the ALSC Board of Directors at the on 2015 American Library Association Annual Conference.

For more information about ALSC, please visit www.ala.org/alsc

Malmö City Library’s new children’s activity






With more than 300,000 inhabitants, Malmö is Sweden’s third largest city. The city, which is linked to Denmark by the Öresund Bridge, connects Sweden with the rest of the world, both mentally and physically. People from all corners the globe live here – some 160 nationalities are represented, and as a natural consequence of this, many languages are spoken in the city. In addition to being an international hub in northern Europe, Malmö is also a young city. The average age of the Malmö resident is 38.6 (compared to the Swedish average age of 41.2) and just over a fifth of the city’s residents are under 18.


Children aged 0–8 are a group that is growing faster than other age groups in an expanding Malmö. According to calculations, 13% of Malmö’s population will be aged 8 or younger, come 2017. Children are a priority group for the City of Malmö and for the City Library, and now the time has come to focus on activities aimed at younger children and their parents and guardians. The work takes as its starting point the need and right of the children of Malmö for reading, learning and play. The ambition is for the children’s library to be a physical, digital and social space for the young children of Malmö and their parents and guardians. The new children’s library known as Lilla Slottet, or “The Little Castle” in English, is scheduled to open in 2016.


In order to inject new elements, ideas and expertise into the process, we have sought a high degree of user involvement, external monitoring, connection to research and collaboration with partners relevant to the project. All of these contributions in the form of knowledge, inspiration and ideas underpin the concept and the programme description of the Lilla Slottet project that was developed. Diversity and multilingualism are a source of richness for Lilla Slottet, and the environment should highlight, reinforce and affirm Malmö’s diverse population. The promotion of literacy and the intercultural perspective permeate the work and the environment of Lilla Slottet in which children are actively supported in their literacy development. With a common platform, the staff of Lilla Slottet have created clarity and coherence on which to build the day-to-day operation.

okänt 1

Active hosting: An inclusive, intercultural and norm-critical hosting, where all children and adults are welcomed when they step inside Lilla Slottet. We know our target audience and our surroundings – and this knowledge permeates everything we do as well as our collections.

Experimentation and participation: We employ an intuitive and experimental approach to our movement. We seek a high level of participation and therefore include both children and adults in activities as much as possible.

Presence and tolerance: By taking a preventive approach to our work in the environment, we avoid limiting pointers and overclarification. Increased visibility and active presence create a sense security and calm. We see the individual and his or her needs.

okänt 2

Mobility in the rooms: A high level of activity leaves creative and positive traces that coexist alongside and in harmony with the more traditional order of the library.

Lilla Slottet is scheduled to open in May 2016, and you are all very welcome to visit us then.

Gift a Book and Change a Life

imagesCAABFM1VAre you coming to the IFLA Congress in Cape Town this August? If so make a little more room in your suitcase and bring a book to change a life.

Delegates are being asked to share the joy of reading and discovery through books with Cape Town’s children and youth! The Cape Town Book Project that will culminate at the IFLA  congress.

The American Library Association-International Relations Committee Africa Subcommittee, in partnership with the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) and the IFLA Section Libraries for Children and Young Adults, call for books to be gifted to Cape Town’s children and youth.  They  are asking each delegate to either :
• bring along a book
• purchase a book upon arrival at a local book store
• or make an advance online purchase

Before the end of the IFLA Congress, the collection will be handed over to LIASA for distribution to public libraries, schools and community centres in the Cape Town area.

What a FABULOUS idea. Please share it with your colleagues.