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2017-4-17 Message from the Librarian of the NDL at the Start of a New Fiscal Year

The portrait of Dr. Hanyu

I would like to express my sincere gratitude for all the support of and cooperation with the activities of the National Diet Library.

With the start of FY 2017 in April, the National Diet Library will implement a new mid-term vision, called "Universal Access 2020."

As stipulated in the National Diet Library Law, the three major roles of the National Diet Library are: to provide support to Diet members and their staff, to acquire and to preserve library materials and information, and to provide the public with access to information resources.

As the 70th anniversary of the National Diet Library approaches, we have defined the next four years from 2017 to 2020 as the foundation for our future long-term development leading to our forthcoming 100th anniversary. While placing emphasis on achieving future improvement in our overall performance, we will strive to strengthen our foundation, focusing on the following four goals:

  1. To improve utility in terms of how patrons are able to access library information and materials.
  2. To strengthen our organization in a manner that enables all our employees to utilize the full range of their abilities.
  3. To promote collaboration with other institutions and organizations in expanding and enhancing our information infrastructure.
  4. To distribute comprehensive information about the services at each of our facilities, thereby gaining enhanced understanding of the major roles of the National Diet Library.

First of all, the National Diet Library was established pursuant to Article 130 of the National Diet Law, which states: The National Diet Library shall be established in the Diet by a separate law, in order to assist Diet Members in their study and research. And Article 2 of the National Diet Library Law specifies its purpose as follows:

The National Diet Library shall collect books and other library materials for the purpose of assisting the members of the National Diet in the performance of their duties and also for the purpose of providing certain library services as hereinafter specified for the executive and judicial agencies of the national government and for the people of Japan.

The preamble of the National Diet Library Law also proudly describes our principal mission as:

The National Diet Library is hereby established as a result of the firm conviction that truth makes us free and with the object of contributing to international peace and the democratization of Japan as promised in our Constitution.

Library materials are fundamentals of the library, which are undergoing a dramatic transformation, both in quality and quantity, today. Inevitably, we must face the task of adapting proactively to such considerable changes. Given this background, there are two basic intentions behind our adoption of "universal access" as the concept incorporated in our new mid-term vision. The first of these is to compile a plan for ensuring multi-faceted and continuous access to library materials over the long term. The second is to anticipate increased demand for access to our library materials from patrons in countries all around the world.

We are committed to fulfilling our goals under our new concept based on a clear understanding of the National Diet Library's role and purpose.

We look forward to your continued understanding and encouragement throughout the fiscal year.

April 2017

Sawako Hanyu, Ph.D.
Librarian of the National Diet Library

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