Multilingual services in Japanese public libraries

MIURA, Taro and SUGIMOTO, Yuka (2017) Multilingual services in Japanese public libraries. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2017 – Wrocław, Poland – Libraries. Solidarity. Society. in Session 112 - Poster Sessions.

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Language: English (Original)
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Multilingual services in Japanese public libraries

Foreign residents in Japan are 2.3 million, which is 0.8 million increase for 20 years. Multilingual public services began especially for Korean residents in some local governments such as Osaka and Kanagawa in 1970s. In 1980-90s, “newcomers” increased as national policy for foreign workers and international students changed. Since 2000s, national policy has stressed on “multicultural coexistence”, recognizing foreign residents not as “visitors” but as “community people”. In public libraries, multilingual collection - newspaper, magazines, children’s books, practical books, dictionaries, etc. - are widely spread. 70% of public libraries have multilingual collection, though 10% have space for multicultural service corner. Basic idea for multilingual services is: (1) Fair chance to receive public services, (2) Right to use languages which anyone wants to use, and (3) Supporting to understand each other. Multilingual Services are: (1) Library collections and use, (2) Reference service, (3) Providing pathfinder of daily information, (4) Signs, (5) Introducing visitor information, (6) Judicial interpretation, (7) Opportunity of taking Japanese education, and (8) Keeping mother tongue for foreign children. We pick up Kanagawa Earth Plaza (Kanagawa) where following services are offered: Story telling by foreign residents, Materials for learning Japanese language, Free consultation (Japanese + 7 languages), Supporting foreign students, Cultural event, Material lists by targets, and Collecting local government materials. We also refer to Shinokubo City Library (Tokyo), Nagoya Tsuruma Central City Library (Aichi), Osaka City Central Library (Osaka), Ikuno City Library (Osaka), Hamamatsu City Central Library (Shizuoka), and Oizumi City Library (Gunma).

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