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Library and Information Science Paper (ID LIS070055)

Formation of the Foundation of Tokyo Municipal Libraries Network: Establishment of Libraries Affiliated with Schools
No.70, p.55-88
Issue date

Purpose: Tokyo Municipal Hibiya Public Library opened in 1908. At that time, Tokyo City had drawn up a plan to establish one or more public libraries in each ward, identical to Hibiya Library. Later this policy was changed, and instead of independent libraries, it was decided to set up simplified libraries affiliated with schools. This study examined the planning, transitions in policy and operation, as well as the actual services provided when the school affiliated libraries were set up. The study also examined the underlying problems faced by Tokyo City and their relationship with the City’policies from the perspectives of economy, financial administration, and education policy.

Methods: Magazines, newspapers, government documents, and library bulletins from the period 1908 to 1914 were investigated.

Results: Tokyo City was facing many urban problems at the time. The top priority for education in Tokyo City was to increase the number of primary schools. Libraries affiliated with schools were constructed on part of the premises of primary schools, where establishment plans and advance preparations took into account the location requirements of libraries, investigation of area served, cost burden, etc. Although book collections were small in libraries affiliated with schools, they were established under the principle of free access for citizens and they offered services that considered the convenience of citizens and characteristic features of the region. For the construction of libraries affiliated with schools, a well-prepared plan was developed considering the problems of public administration, economy, and education policies of Tokyo City.

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