January 19, 2022

Japan: Librarians Angry After Borrowing Records of Author Haruki Murakami are Leaked

Note from Gary Price, infoDOCKET Founder/Editor: As I’ve said before on infoDOCKET and during public presentations, the privacy that libraries/librarians around the world have been vigilant about maintaining with print materials (as you’ll read in the story below) has not kept-up in the digital age. Why not? What happened? We can and should do more and at the same time remain vigilant with records involving print materials. 

From The Guardian:

Librarians in Japan have ditched their traditional regard for silence to accuse a newspaper of violating the privacy of Haruki Murakami, Japan’s best-known contemporary writer, after it revealed his teenage reading habits.

As a schoolboy in the western port city of Kobe, Murakami delved into the three-volume complete works of the French writer Joseph Kessel, according to library cards leaked to the Kobe Shimbun newspaper.


The newspaper defended its actions, but the Japan Librarian Association accused it of violating the privacy of Murakami and other students whose names appear on the cards.

“Disclosing the records of what books were read by a user, without the individual’s consent, violates the person’s privacy,” said an association report.

While some might liken the breach as akin today of revealing a person’s browsing history on the internet, the newspaper said it had no regrets about divulging details of Murakami’s literary adolescence.

Read the Complete Article

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.