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Library and Information Science Paper (ID LIS073001)

Unified operation of Tokyo Municipal Libraries: 1915‒1919
No.73, p.1-32
Issue date

Purpose: In 1915, an organizational reform was implemented in Tokyo City Libraries to unify library operations. This study examines the policies of the Tokyo city government regarding the unification, what kinds of services were available, and how the library business changed. The paper identifies and reevaluates the background of the reform, and how it contributed to improving the services and library business.

Methods: Magazines, newspapers, government documents, and library bulletins from 1915 to 1919 were examined.

Results: The organizational reform of the libraries coincided with a critical time for the political and administrative transformation of Tokyo City. Initiated by an internal political change in the Tokyo City Council in 1914, the Council conducted an audit called “Inspection on the educational administration”. After the audit, the libraries were required to reduce costs and improve the efficiency of their operations. Accordingly, the libraries undertook organizational reforms to unify operations to comply with the tight fiscal policy of the city, while also improving library services. The reforms not only reduced the cost of library operations in Tokyo City, but also led to new services under a new library system, and provided a convenient, accessible library service for residents.

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