Tag Archives: Japan

Meet the candidates: Hitomi Takeuchi

Hitomi Takeuchi

I worked in the National Diet Library, Japan. I worked several sections.  One of the section which were Japanese congress service section where I was in charge of making Diet Minutes database which is very useful for not only the diet member but also for all nation who want to know what kind discussion is going on, and who discuss what kind content and what is the hot issues in the diet and in the Japanese society.

Besides working in the National Diet Library, I teach several Universities about the reference services, the information retrieval and other library services.  To teach the library things is interesting for me to train and make  capable and empowering librarians.

I joined the standing committee of IFLA Public Library Section in 2002 in Puerto Rico Conference as my first term.  It was the wonderful experience to meet and discuss about the public library with the other countries librarians.  Completed my first term, I had been the correspondent member in the next term. This time is my second term of the standing committee.  Through my first term experience I could contribute not only to Japanese public library making useful but also I could do the other countries members especially Asian countries.

The end of February I will have a presentation about UNESCO Public Library Manifesto 1994 at the Japanese Public Library research conference which held every year. I’ll explain the Manifesto and its history. I know it is the fundamental document and how important it is.  If I could have the second term member of Public Library Section, I could flourish the spirit of Manifesto.

For more information about voting for members of the Public Libraries Standing Committee take the time to read our post.

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.







On the 1 June we welcome our Guest Blogger Hitomi Takeuchi from Japan.

In August 2016 the Japan Library Association conducted  a survey about  Public Library Policy in  local government around  1,361 public libraries in Japan. One of the question was ‘does the public library have the policy to improve and activate the local city planning’? 47% of respondents (497 people) answered yes.

Some examples of what this encompasses are:

  • cooperation with local government
  • problem solving , legal issues
  • health & medical issues
  • business support
  • town planning
  • building and space making
  • digital library
  • multicultural-communities services.

Those ranked most important included:

  • problem solving: legal issues  31%
  • health & medical issues 44%,
  • business support 42%.

The other question is what is needed to be able to implement the policy. The top three answers were human resource development, city planning and Creating new business.

(This news come from The Japanese Library Journal May 2017)

Introducing Hitomi Takeuchi

Voting for members of the IFLA Public Library Standing Committee is now open. If you’re an IFLA member and registered for the Public Libraries Sectionyou should have received your ballot paper.

We invited those who have nominated to share some information about themselves and we’ll be posting it on the Blog over the next week. This post we introduce Hitomi Takeuchi.


Name: Hitomi Takeuchi
Institution: formerly National Diet Library,
presently Jissen Women’s University



What experience will you bring to the role of Standing Committee Member?
Two years ago I presented Hukushima tragedy in Japan 2011 at the Satellite Meeting in Cape Town IFLA Conference. It could remind many world librarians to think and prepare disasters of the library. We Japanese public librarians had very sad experiences in that time, however we could contribute the world public libraries through talking and writing our important experiences to the other countries librarians.
The last year I translated into Japanese and published the book titled “IFLA Public Library Service Guidelines, 2nd ed.” The book has great power to improve Japanese Public Library services through knowing the world best practices in it.
I tried to discuss to make the Japanese young Public librarians open mind and join the various meeting including the PLS’s mid-term meeting and the Conference. Through these meetings I could introduce the new trends and high quality and unique services in Japanese Public Libraries to the world librarians.