May 28, 2022

New Article: Ebook Availability and Usage in Japan’s Public Libraries

From The Japan News:

Despite the increasingly widespread readership of electronic books, e-book loan services at libraries show no signs of catching on.


Nevertheless, there are only 30 digital libraries in the nation, according to research by the Japan Library Association, although there are varying definitions of what constitutes a digital library.

This means that of the 3,244 public libraries nationwide in fiscal 2014, only about 1 percent offer e-book services. Likewise, less than 2 percent of local governments — 1,718 in April 2014 — provide such services.

A key reason these figures are so small is the relatively few e-books available for loan. Also, most of the books that are available were published many years ago.

According to an estimate by, Inc., the operator of an e-book search engine, there are more than 750,000 e-book titles currently on the market. However, the number available to borrow at libraries ranges from only a few thousand to slightly more than 10,000.

Read the Complete Article (approx. 900 words)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.