Libraries and Librarianship in Japan

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In the many books and articles written on the subject of librarianship in Japan, some perennial themes appear, such as, What is librarianship? and What should libraries be today? These questions reveal the incessant quest of Japanese librarians to define their profession. This reference book provides a comprehensive overview of libraries and librarianship in Japan. The volume traces the developments of traditional and modern libraries and describes what they have become in modern times. In the many books and articles written on the subject of librarianship in Japan, some perennial themes appear, such as, What is librarianship? and What should libraries be today? More than ever before, Japan is aware of its potential for shaping the global library and information scene. The Japanese are responding to the current flood of information with new media technologies and improved database services with a synergistic approach that involves library professionals, information specialists, governmental leaders, corporate and industry planners, and information consumers. This reference work traces the development of traditional and modern libraries and librarianship in Japan and describes what they have become in modern times. The book begins with a retrospective glance at the cultural and literary circumstances surrounding the development of language, writing, paper, books, and other activities which fostered early library activity. The chapters that follow provide detailed information on the evolution of particular types of libraries. Attention is also given to special topics, such as computers in libraries, the education of librarians, and professional organizations. An extensive bibliography of English and Japanese sources concludes the work.