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Greetings from the Director General


Mr. Yoshinaga

We would like to express our sincere gratitude for your continued support and cooperation.

This year, as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the National Diet Library in 1948, it is only right that we also express our earnest appreciation to all our patrons for your constant encouragement, without which we would not have been able to come as far as we have. The National Diet Library plays two unique roles—one as Japan's sole national library and the other as the parliamentary library for the National Diet. As such, we strive constantly to carry out a number of key responsibilities, including supporting the legislative activities of Diet members, acquiring and preserving library materials as well as other forms of information from both domestic and foreign sources, and providing the general public with ready access to the materials we collect.

We are now entering the third year of our vision statement—National Diet Library, Vision 2021–2025: The Digital Shift at the National Diet Library— in which we announced a number of initiatives in response to ongoing advances in digitalization, through which we assist our patrons in accessing the information resources they need to carry out their personal intellectual activities.

One of those initiatives is our ongoing project to digitize library materials. Since the end of FY2020 we are in the process of digitizing more than one million domestically published books. This has brought the total number of digitized library materials at the NDL to more than 3.4 million items. Many of these items are out-of-print or otherwise difficult-to-obtain materials that we have made available via our Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Individuals. This service allows patrons who live in Japan not just to view these materials at home but also to print them out, and we are most grateful for the positive response we have received to this service.

We also have engaged in a project to enhance the usability of our digitized materials by producing full-text data, which will make finding information resources all the easier thanks to the availability of full-text searches. Also, as part of our initiatives to promote services for patrons with print disabilities, starting March 28, 2023, patrons with visual impairments are able to download and utilize this full-text data.

For more than three years, restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in people coming up with all kinds of ingenious ways to enhance their intellectual activities by using online services and social media. Still, it is encouraging to see face-to-face interactions resuming little by little, and I am confident that we will soon see more and more arguments in favor of a socially active post-COVID world. Once again, we thank you for your continued encouragement and cooperation and pledge to continue developing initiatives based on our vision to support your intellectual activities.

April 2023
Director General of the National Diet Library

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