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Top > What's New > News > New Year Greetings for 2013

2013-1-4 New Year Greetings for 2013

the photo of Noritada Otaki, librarian

I wish you a Happy New Year.

Since the last year ended amid the turmoil of the General Election, we feel high expectations for the Diet from every quarter of the society. I will lead the NDL to fulfill its dual role, dating from its foundation, to serve the Diet and the nation.
Now, I would like to declare our priority policies for the new year.

First, we will tackle various issues in accordance with the Mission and Objectives 2012-2016 (M&O). This is a package of our mid-term targets to be dealt with within the next five years and replaces the Vision which the NDL set as mid-term objectives in 2004 and 2007.
The M&O reaffirms the fundamental responsibility as the mission: "The National Diet Library extensively collects and preserves publications and other materials/information from inside and outside the country as a knowledge base and cultural infrastructure; assists the Diet and provides library services to the executive and judicial branches and the public; supports the creativity of the nation and contributes to the development of democracy". Additionally, the M&O sets six pillars of objectives; Support to the Diet, Acquisition and Preservation, Information Access, Collaboration and Cooperation, Archives of the Great East Japan Earthquake, and Administration. This year, every sector of the NDL is charged to set priority issues that correspond to each pillar and fulfill them.

Second, we will strive to strengthen on professional research and analysis and provide a quick and accurate information service on national policy issues. Inquiries from the Diet members on these matters will be answered with the maximum application of the staff and information resources at our disposal. The NDL will also actively improve Diet support operations such as planned-out publications corresponding to policy issues. Research on institutions, policies and legislations of foreign countries will be further bolstered. The NDL will also reinforce the link between the public and Diet by schematizing acquisition, digital storage and provision of Diet-generated information.

Third, in a rapidly developing digital environment, we will endeavor to deploy library services most appropriate to this new era. One pressing need, among others, is to gather various digital information as well as conventional printed materials, and to build a system which makes them available for future use. As a step forward, privately published free online materials are starting to be collected institutionally from July 2013 onward, enabled by the last year’s amendment of the National Diet Library Law. We will make all possible preparations ahead of time. We also plan to set up a long-awaited scheme to acquire privately-published, commercially-available (i.e., priced) online publications. Last year’s amendment of the Copyright Law, on the other hand, allowed transmitting digitized, out-of-print materials to public and university libraries. We will develop a system later this year and strive to realize the launch next year. The most essential thing in covering digital information within the library service is gaining an understanding of the people concerned. We will put every ounce of our energy into meeting the expectations of various sectors.

Fourth, we will establish a system for the Great East Japan Earthquake Archive to ensure conveying to future generations the records of and the lessons learned from the unprecedented disaster. The NDL is expected to play a pivotal role in nationally important duties: harvesting and preserving such records, utilizing them for reconstruction, and handing them down to future generations, all in cooperation with other institutions. The system―now under development in collaboration with a variety of organizations including the private sector along with both national and local governments―is scheduled to be released in March 2013. It will serve as an integrated portal to those records, which now consist of various media and formats. Assuming the leading role, the NDL will actively get involved with this national project to archive disaster records that would not survive the passing of time in their current state.

Thus far, I have picked up some points from this year’s objectives in top priority. I believe that the collaborative relationship with all concerned is especially significant in running the NDL. We are reaching out to future partners in broader sections of society, beyond the conventional library and information-providing institution. Keeping in mind the indispensability of such partnership, we would like to move forward so that the NDL’s activities will thrive ever more as a basis of knowledge and culture and benefit people.

In April 2012, when I took up the post of the Librarian of the NDL, I observed that the NDL is now in its 2nd Fledgling Stage. The NDL staff will work together to respond adequately to the evolving digital information era as well as enhancing the traditional library services with the pioneer spirit of a fledgling institution.

I ask for your continued guidance and support for this New Year.

Noritada Otaki, Librarian, National Diet Library

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