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Frequently asked questions : Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Libraries

Here we answer frequently asked questions from librarians to the National Diet Library.

Frequently asked questions

About the Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Libraries

Application procedure

Terminals and network environment

Using the Service

Others

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About the Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Libraries

Q
What kind of service is it?
A
The Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Libraries (the Service) provides access to many digitized materials that are not otherwise available on the Internet to public libraries, university libraries, and other similar institutions. Libraries that wish to use the Service must apply for and receive approval from the National Diet Library (NDL).

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Q
What kinds of materials are available?
A
The Service provides access to digitized materials that are not otherwise available on the Internet and are hardly available through normal trade channels due to being out of print or other similar reasons.

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Q
What are the benefits of becoming a partner library (a library approved by the NDL) for the Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Libraries?
A
The Service provides following benefits:
  • Patrons at partner libraries are able to search and browse more than two million digitized materials in the NDL Digital Collections, including those that are not otherwise available via the Internet.
  • Includes many periodicals and old books that are not available via the Interlibrary Loan service.
  • Materials are available without having to wait for them to be mailed and without a fixed loan period.

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Q
Who is able to use the Service at a partner library?
A
Partner libraries can make the Service available only to registered users. Each partner library is entitled to determine for itself the conditions for becoming a registered user, including the scope of personal information that applicants must provide, such as home address, work address, or affiliation. For example, if a university library allows members of the general public to become registered users, it may provide access to the Service to all its registered users, not just students, faculty, or other university employees.

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Q
Do partner libraries have to pay the NDL for using the Service?
A
The Service itself is free of charge. Each partner library, however, must bear the cost for receiving and utilizing the Service including the terminal equipment, communication equipment etc.

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Application procedure

Q
How long does it take to receive approval from the NDL?
A
It generally takes about one or two months for approval.
The approval procedure is mainly two steps:
  • Confirmation of the application form and attached documents (by the NDL)
  • Communication test (confirmation of the equipment and network environment used for the Service) (by applying libraries)
After finishing these steps, approval documents will be issued.

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Q
What kind of libraries are subject to this service?
A
Libraries need to satisfy all of the following requirements:
  1. Established and maintained by a government, a local government, or a nonprofit organization (including unincorporated associations or foundations having representatives or administrators);
  2. Engage in making available to the public (including a large number of specific persons) books, records, and other materials;
  3. Located in member countries of the International Union established by the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works;
  4. Have one or more employees equivalent to certified librarians;
  5. Able to lawfully use the Service in their own country.

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Q
Of the requirements, what does "employees equivalent to certified librarians" mean?
A
It means that they have a qualification equivalent to librarians. In this case, the corresponding qualifications are as follows:
  • National qualification
  • Qualifications related to Library and Information Science or other libraries, which are certified by public institutions or professional associations
  • Library and Information Science degree

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Terminals and network environment

Q
Must viewing and operating terminals be dedicated to the Service?
A
As long as the terminals meet the technical specifications, they do not have to be dedicated to the Service. Partner libraries are required to have at least one computer terminal available, at which registered users can browse and library employees can operate the Service. A single terminal may also be used as both a viewing terminal and an operating terminal.

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Q
Is the Service compatible with tablet computers?
A
Partner libraries that allow registered users to access the Service on a tablet are required to monitor usage to prevent misuse.
*The NDL is not currently planning to create applications or browsers suitable for tablet computers.

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Q
Is the Service compatible with older versions of browser applications?
A
There are some older versions of browser applications that are unable to display the digitized images properly or which cannot be used to access the Service due to a lack of up-to-date security features. Both viewing and operating terminals must have a browser application that meets all technical specifications.

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Q
Is the Service compatible with Windows 8?
A
Microsoft stopped providing support for Windows 8 on January 13, 2016, and therefore it lacks up-to-date security features. The use of Windows 8 is not acceptable due to security risks, but Windows 8.1 is fully compatible.

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Q
What is a fixed global IP address?
A
A fixed IP address is one that has been assigned permanently to a specific device on the Internet. The Service uses fixed IP addresses to identify terminals at partner libraries and verify authorization every time the device connects to the Service. Thus, the IP addresses must be static or within a specific range. The Service cannot be provided to partner libraries if there is a possibility that there are other computers using the same IP address at an unrelated organization.

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Q
Can partner libraries that use multiple global IP addresses or a specific range of IP addresses apply for the Service?
A
Yes. The partner library should fill in the checklist with multiple IP addresses or a specific range of IP addresses.

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Q
Can a university or a municipal library that has several annexes with a common global IP address apply for the Service?
A
Yes, they can, but each library or annex must be approved individually and receive its own ID and password. Regardless of whether the global IP address is common or not, each facility is required to apply individually.

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Using the Service

Q
The NDL stipulates that digitized materials are available only to registered users of partner libraries. What are the qualifications for registered users?
A
The term "registered user" refers to library patrons who have applied for and received approval to use a specific set of services at partner libraries. For example, if a library is a partner in the NDL interlibrary loan system, that library's patrons must become registered users of the partner library in order to request and use materials borrowed from the NDL. Patrons must apply for and receive approval from a partner library—it is not enough merely to be a registered user of the NDL.

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Q
Can a single digital material be accessed from several partner libraries at the same time?
A
There is no limit on the number of partner libraries that can view a digital material simultaneously, so multiple users can access the same material at the same time.

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Q
How does a partner library change its password?
A
Partner library passwords can be changed via the NDL Online top page. Enter your user ID and password, click on the button named "My Account" and then follow the instruction.

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Q
What should a partner library do if it loses its ID or password?
A
The partner library should immediately suspend provision of the Service to patrons and contact the NDL. The NDL will reissue the ID and password in writing. For security reasons, the NDL cannot respond to inquiries about IDs or passwords by phone, email or fax.

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Others

Q
We have a patron who would like to view some library materials that are only available on the premises at the NDL. Is it possible to make a request to view such materials via the Service?
A
The materials that are available via the Service are limited to those that are difficult for libraries to obtain themselves, because they are not readily available commercially either in printed or electronic versions. Once a year, the NDL researches the availability of materials and selects which ones to make available via the Service. Thus, it does not make specific materials available to partner libraries by individual requests. Also, if a reprint of a digitized material becomes available commercially, that material could be excluded from the transmitted materials and no longer be available at partner libraries via the Service.

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Q
Who should a partner library contact if it finds that bibliographic information or images are incorrect?
A
Please refer to Frequently asked questions regarding the use of the National Diet Library Digital Collections and contact the NDL via the Inquiry Form. Be sure to provide the relevant information such as the title, URL, and frame number of the material. Select the “About the system of NDL Digital Collections or defective images/metadata of digital materials in NDL Digital Collections” radio button.

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Q
Who should a partner library contact if no images are displayed?
A
If images are not displayed or other problems are found, please check the method described in the operation manual for partner library employees and contact the NDL using the Contact Information.

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