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Library and Information Science Paper (ID LIS062081)

The Developing Period of Public Libraries in Japan and Services to Children: 1963 1970
No.62, p.81-110
Issue date

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine how library services to children in Japan were perceived by people and functioned in the local community from the mid-1960s to 1970s, and to illustrate how this was related to the enhancement of public library services during the same period in Japan.

Methods: The study examined in detail three fundamental reports that greatly contributed to the enhancement of Japanese public library services in the 1960s and 1970s: (1) (1963), (2) (1970), and (3) (1970), and analyzed several descriptions of library services to children in the reports. Similarly, various documents on the initial activities conducted by Hino City Library (1965 ) were collected and investigated. In addition, interviews were conducted with people who had played an important role in library services to children at that time.

Results: Many library activities during the 1960s and 1970s focused on increasing the circulation of library materials. As the number of loans of children’s books increased, services to children gradually became recognized as an important library function and were considered to be a key means of extending library services. This paper shows that prompt activities by libraries to positively provide children’s services successfully matched the needs of local communities and general social trends of that period, and led to the growth and deployment of public library services in Japan.

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