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  • PUBLIC AND SPECIAL LIBRARIES IN JAPANAuthor(s): Mari Itoh, Shigeyuki Kohzuma, Yasuko Nagai and Yasuko NagaSource: Fontes Artis Musicae, Vol. 57, No. 3, Special Topic: Public Libraries (July-September2010), pp. 309-315Published by: International Association of Music Libraries, Archives, and Documentation Centres(IAML)Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23512153 .Accessed: 15/06/2014 06:09

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  • PUBLIC AND SPECIAL LIBRARIES IN JAPAN

    Mari Itoh, Shigeyuki Kohzuma, Yasuko Nagai1

    English Abstract Music collections in general public libraries in Japan consist primarily of audiovisual materials, most of which are gifts from local collectors. In most cases, music librarians are absent in both general public libraries and national libraries. The Special and Public Libraries Committee (SPLC) of the Music Library Association of Japan plays a central role for significant music information services for the public. Distinctive services provided by the member libraries of the SPLC are briefly described in this article.

    Public music libraries in Japan have some difficulties in their management due to the introduc tion of a designed manager system into public institutions in 2003. The system seems to pose a se vere obstacle for public libraries in order to plan long-range programs and services. At the same

    time, library staff cannot develop their skills as an expertise. These are urgent matters to be solved

    as well as examining outsourced human resources, maintenance of short-lived AV equipments, and

    complicated copyright issues.

    French Abstract

    Au Japon, les collections musicales au sein des bibliothques publiques consistent essentiellement en matriel audiovisuel donn par des collectionneurs locaux. Dans la plupart des cas, il n'y a pas

    de bibliothcaires de musique qui travaillent pour des mdiathques publiques, ni pour des

    bibliothques nationales. La Special and Public Libraries Committee (SPLC) de la Music Library Association au Japon joue un rle central dans les services d'information musicale significatifs. Cet article dcrit les services proposs par les bibliothques membres de SPLC.

    Les bibliothques publiques proposant des documents musicaux au Japon rencontrent des

    difficults de gestion dues l'introduction d'un systme de gestion ddi aux institutions publiques

    en 2003. Ce systme semble reprsenter un obstacle important pour les bibliothques publiques qui

    souhaitent projeter des programmes et des services sur le long terme. En mme temps, l'quipe se

    trouve freine dans le dveloppement de ses comptences. Ce sont des faits rsoudre urgemment,

    ainsi que d'envisager l'emploi de personnel en sous-traitance, la maintenance du matriel audio

    visuel de courte dure et des dbats sur le droit d'auteur.

    German Abstract

    Musikbestnde in Japans ffentlichen Bibliotheken bestehen meistens aus von rtlichen Sammlern

    gestifteten AV-Materialien. berwiegend gibt es auch kein musikbibliothekarisches Fachpersonal. Das Komitee fr ffentliche Bibliotheken und Sonderbestnde der Japanischen Vereinigung der Musikbibliotheken nimmt eine zentrale Rolle bei der Versorgung der ffentlichkeit mit Musik information ein. Der Artikel beschreibt die besonderen Dienstleistungen, die die Mitgliedsbibli otheken erbringen.

    Die Einfhrung eines speziellen Managementsystems fr ffentliche Institutionen im Jahr 2003 fhrte insbesondere in ffentlichen Musikbibliotheken zu erheblichen Problemen. Das System

    1. Mari Itoh is Associate Professor in the Department of Human Informatics, Aichi Shukutoku University,

    Nagoya, Japan; Shigeyuki Kohzuma is Acting Director, Min-on Music Museum, Tokyo, Japan; Yasuko Nagai is

    Chief Librarian, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, library, Tokyo, Japan.

    309

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  • 310 FONTES ARTIS MUSICAE 57/3

    verhindert dort die Planung langfristiger Programme und Dienstleistungen. Gleichzeitig knnen die Bibliotheksangestellten ihr Fachwissen nicht erweitern. Diese drngenden Probleme mssen ebenso gelst werden wie die der Ausgliederung von Personal, der Erhaltung von kurzlebiger

    AV-Ausstattung und des Urheberrechts.

    Japanese Abstract

    AV. .

    . .2003

    . AV .

    Music collections in general public libraries

    It is true that a public library is a suitable place to find music sources for amateur mu sicians and general public who are interested in music. There are 3,126 public libraries in

    Japan (fiscal year 2008). The percentage of distribution of town public libraries is 52.4%.

    However, there are few public music libraries in Japan, as explained in the next section.

    Therefore, in this article the authors discuss both public and special libraries of music that

    provide useful music information services in Japan. Audiovisual materials are one of the valuable collections in general public libraries in

    Japan that draw people's attention to the libraries. About 90% of these libraries hold AV ma terials. Most collection policies for music AV materials emphasize the selections of works written by major composers or played by popular performers, major music-award

    winning works, and Japanese folk music. However, practices in the libraries do not always follow their collection policies. The libraries have to make their own efforts to raise the circulation of AV materials, as that directly influences to their budgets for the next fiscal

    year. To that end, the libraries may have to select popular items for their users regardless of their policies, so that they tend to have Japanese popular music and/ or foreign popu lar music in almost half of their collections. Western art music accounts for about 26% of the total collections. Some governmental policies such as "Implementation of the New Courses of Study" by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) may also influence the selection of materials.

    Most of the special music collections held in general public libraries are often gifts from local collectors. The collections are of traditional performing arts, and/ or music by a per son in connection with the place where the libraries located. In many cases these gifts are AV materials. Kanagawa Prefectural Library is one of the examples of an excellent jazz CD collection that is exclusively consisted of donations from a critic living in the area.

    Some libraries put the texts of Japanese classic literature and the images of nishiki'e, a colored woodblock print, on their websites. These resources often include music. Yet it is

    problematic to access to these websites unless one understands Japanese.

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  • PUBLIC AND SPECIAL LIBRARIES IN JAPAN 311

    Contrary to AV materials, we do not have accurate Statistical data on music scores in

    public libraries, because they are counted as books. Printed music materials are inter shelved with books according to a gnral classification scheme. This often makes it dif ficult for users to find right materials in a quick and painless way.

    Librarians working in gnral public libraries are not subject-specific staff, even though they need to answer technical reference questions in a certain discipline including music. In fact, public librarians are frequently asked questions such as holding information of music scores and sound recordings, publication information containing a certain piece of

    music, work title of music corresponding to some lyrics, and so on. In addition, they need to know updated music copyright information to provide music information appropriately.

    Special and Public Iibraries Committee of Music Library Association of Japan

    The Special and Public Libraries Committee (SPLC) of the Music Library Association

    of Japan (MLAJ) plays a central rle in music information services for the public and aca

    dmie music communities. The committee was founded in 1994 with the objective to pro vide a network of these types of Iibraries separate from acadmie music Iibraries. It was

    expected to examine the way to expand the network to gnral public Iibraries that own

    music materials. For these purposes, the committee toured various special Iibraries both

    publicly- and privately-owned, and held three meetings a year to discuss the pro