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National Diet Library Newsletter

No. 205, April 2016

Training for Japanese Studies Librarians Outside of Japan:
Library services practicum at the Kansai-kan of the NDL 2016

From January 13 to 22, 2016, the National Diet Library (NDL) hosted a training program for Japanese Studies librarians living outside Japan. It was held at the Kansai-kan of the NDL in Kyoto, and 12 participants joined from five countries: France, Germany, Italy, the Republic of Korea, and the United States.

The program included lectures by NDL staff on topics including how to use the NDL’s databases and how to search for information on Japan, and a special lecture about Japanese culture and digital archives by Dr. Aki ISHIGAMI, who was invited as a specialist. Participants also engaged in tasks such as document research at the General Collection Room of the Kansai-kan. Exchange meetings were held for participants and NDL staff to share views and information.

Visiting related institutions was also part of the training program. Participants learned about facilities and collections, as well as engaging in individual research. Participants also exchanged views and information with staff members of the institutions.

A briefing session was held on the last day. Each participant commented on NDL services, taking into account the achievements made during the program.

The contents of the program were as follows.

Date Venue Subject
January 13 Kansai-kan of the NDL
  • Orientation
  • Guidance of the Kansai-kan
  • NDL databases
  • NDL ILL services
January 14 Kansai-kan of the NDL
  • NDL Digital Collections
  • How to search for information on China and Korea in Japanese and English
  • How to search for information on Japan: the humanities
  • Exchange meeting
January 15 Kansai-kan of the NDL
  • Practicum in the General Collections Room
  • Special lecture "Studies of Japanese culture and digital archives – focusing on the British Museum" (Speaker: Dr. Aki ISHIGAMI, Specially Appointed Assistant Professor, International Research Center for Japanese Studies)
  • Exchange meeting
January 18 Kyoto International Manga Museum
  • Practicum in the Kyoto International Manga Museum
January 19 Tenri Central Library
  • Practicum in the Tenri Central Library
January 20 Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai
  • Practicum at the Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai
January 21 International Research Center for Japanese Studies
  • Practicum at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies
January 22 Kansai-kan of the NDL
  • Practicum in the General Collections Room
  • Briefing (Commentator: Ms. Rie HAYASHI, International House of Japan Library)
  • Closing ceremony / distribution of certificate

At the exchange meetings held on January 14 and 15, participants made their requests such as: making available the Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Libraries in Japan to overseas institutions, enhancing the convenience of ILL services and document supply services, etc.

Presentations made at the briefing session on January 22 included opinions from participants that the overseas Japanese studies are in decline, and there is a necessity for the NDL to actively deliver more information related to Japan. There were also requests on enhancing accessibility to the NDL’s digitized materials from abroad.

91% of the participants were satisfied with the training program. Many participants commented that they hope for the program to be continued and improved, including remote training programs via the Internet and training programs by dispatched NDL staff to meetings of Japanese studies librarians.

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