Library and Information Science Society Home → English page

三田図書館・情報学会誌論文(論文ID LIS001039)

Problems of School Librarians in Japan
No.1, p.39-56

After World War II the development of school libraries in Japan has been rather prominent. However, when one tries to make an objective analysis of the development during this period it becomes apparent that a functional integration of school library services into the total school education process has never been wholly realized, nor has it reached as yet a satisfactory stage; further, it may be seen that many Japanese school libraries have available very impressive modern facilities.

This self-contradictory phenomenon has been caused by such problems as: the changing pattern of school education; the slight effect of such a change on the traditional ways and means of teacher training; governmental administration of school libraries; the quality of teacher-librarians and their preparation; etc.

While refering to these problems in general, this paper deals specifically with three principal topics.

(1) Definitions and interpretations of the term Shisho-kyoyu (librarian-teacher). A comparison is made between the definition of the term which appears in the Japan School Library Law and those definitions of school-librarian, teacher-librarian, part-time teacher-librarian, etc. as given by other sources. Vagueness of the definitions given in the Law and the Japanese School Library Standards leads to misunderstandings as to what status the Shisho-kyoyu should occupy in any school system and what qualifications are required in order for the Shisho-kyoyu to be considered a member of the professional staff in school education.

(2) Professional duties of the Shisho-kyoyu. Emphasis is given to the importance of his educational function and an attempt is made to differentiate between those duties which are considered as professional and those which are thought to be clerical.

(3) Preparation for school librarians. The writer criticizes the present short training courses originally designed to supply a quantity of teacher-librarians in a short period of time in order to meet an urgent initial need. Should this system of short courses be continued it would seem necessary to revise and enlarge the content of these training courses. Comments are made about the curricula for school librarians in general colleges and universities, and in the professional library school in Keio University, Tokyo. Suggestions are also given for the possible future development of education for School-Librarianship in Japan. (Japan Library School)