Library and Information Science Society Home → Japanese page

Library and Information Science Paper (ID LIS079059)

A survey of Book Collections and Circulations of Japanese Public Libraries Managed under Designated Administrator System and by Local Governments
No.79, p.85-107
Issue date

Purpose: In Japan, some argue that introducing “designated administrator system” to public libraries leads to poor collection and infringement of users' rights to learn. However, few studies have been conducted on the large sample of libraries managed by this outsourcing system (“OS libraries”) and those managed directly by local governments (“LG libraries”). The purpose of this study is to clarify the differences of book collections and their circulations between OS and LG libraries, paying special attention to rights to learn.

Methods: We investigated books held by 413 OS and 2,619 LG libraries. The sample books were (1) 10,000 books published in 2013 and (2) 435 bestsellers. We investigated each library's holdings and circulations of these books using Calil API. As for (1), properties of books such as NDC categories, C codes, out-of-prints or not and prices were considered. As for (2), publication years and the number of duplicates were also considered.

Results: The results show that OS libraries tend to hold practical/academic books and reference books more than LG libraries. In contrast, LG libraries tend to hold novels more than OS libraries. Moreover, some types of OS libraries were more prudent in holding comics than their corresponding LG libraries. It was also found that OS libraries tend to hold fewer bestsellers and their duplicates than LG libraries. In some LG libraries, many of the duplicates were not being borrowed. With these results, we can say that OS libraries are not infringing users' rights to learn in an ordinary sense.

Full Text
Full Text PDF (789K)