January 17, 2022

Public Libraries in Japan Lengthen Hours and Expand Services to Attract Users

From The Japan News:

Sixty-five percent of respondents to a Yomiuri Shimbun survey said they had not used a library at all in the past year. Asked why—and with multiple answers allowed—the most popular answers included not having time (36 percent of respondents) and no libraries nearby (25 percent).

This situation has prompted libraries to introduce a variety of new services to attract users.


The Tokorozawa City Library in Saitama Prefecture is working on services that allow people to use the library without actually going to it. In fiscal 2012, its service allowing people to pick up and drop off materials 24 hours a day at eight affiliated convenience stores in the city was used a total of 55,000 times.

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More News From Japan

Use of smartphones reduces time spent reading books (via The Japan News)

The longer people use smartphones, the less time they tend to spend reading books, according to a recent Yomiuri Shimbun survey.

This finding was obtained through a question posed to respondents who said they use smartphones not only for telephone calls but also for such purposes as e-mailing, browsing through Internet websites and gaming. According to the survey, 28 percent of respondents use their smartphones for purposes unrelated to telephone communications.

Of them, 70 percent of respondents said they spend the same amount of time reading books as before they started using smartphones. Seventeen percent of them said their time spent reading decreased, 4 percent said their reading time increased, and 8 percent said they do not read books.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.