January 25, 2022

Japan: National Diet Library Announces New Midterm Vision: “Universal Access 2020”

From NDL “What’s New” Post by Sawako Hanyu, Ph.D, Librarian of the National Diet Library

If we take into account of the fact that library materials as fundamentals of the library are undergoing a dramatic transformation, both in quality and quantity, libraries today are faced with the task of adapting proactively to such considerable changes in how they must operate. Given this background, there are two basic intentions behind our adoption of “universal access” as the concept incorporated in the National Diet Library’s new vision for the next midterm plan.

The first of these is to compile a plan for ensuring multi-faceted and continuous access to library materials over the long term. The second is to anticipate increased demand for access to our library materials from patrons in countries all around the world.

There are three major roles of the National Diet Library that have not changed since the library’s inception. These include providing support to Diet members and their staff, acquiring and preserving library materials and information, and providing the public with access to information resources. In our next midterm plan, we place strong emphasis on achieving future improvement in our overall performance in these areas while focusing on the following four goals.

1. To improve utility in terms of how patrons are able to access library information and materials.

2. To strengthen our organization in a manner that enables all our employees to utilize the full range of their abilities.

3. To promote collaboration with other institutions and organizations in expanding and enhancing our information infrastructure.

4. To distribute comprehensive information about the services at each of our facilities, thereby gaining enhanced understanding of the major roles of the National Diet Library.

Since becoming Librarian, I have made every effort to communicate directly with as many of our staff members as possible. Thus far, I have participated in more than 50 discussions with over 500 staff members. And after thinking about the things that were discussed during these meetings, I decided that “universal access” was the most suitable concept for our new vision.

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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.