Library Education and Librarianship in Japan and the Philippines

Library Education and Librarianship in Japan and the Philippines

Alicia Chavarria Esguerra (Bulacan State University, Philippines)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2273-8.ch006
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This chapter presents the development of library education and librarianship in Japan and the Philippines, two countries whose modern library development was influenced by and patterned after American librarianship and library education system. Extant archival documents and current literature about Japanese librarianship in the English language were the primary sources of information presented in this chapter, as well as interviews with library educators from Tenri University, Doshisha University, Tsurumi University, Keio University, and University of Tsukuba and some key officials of the Japan Library Association. Research instruments include semi-structured interview questions for the respondents. Qualitative data from the available literature and supplementary interviews were analyzed and presented in detail.
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Development Of Library Education In Japan

The influence of American librarianship in Japan can be traced earlier than the founding of the Japan Library School in 1951, to the latter part of the 19th century when notable educators, scholars and statesmen took interest in the concept of librarianship in Europe and the United States, travelled there to observe and learn, and adopted the system and philosophy upon their return. This was during the Meiji era (1868-1912) when Japan opened her doors to western thoughts and ideas after shunning international cultural exchanges for centuries (Sawamoto, 1963). Notable among these scholars were Yukichi Fukusawa, founder of Keio University who visited America in 1860; Siichi Tejima, the “foster father of modern Japanese librarianship” who travelled to the United States in 1870; Fujimaro Tanaka, Minister of Education who visited the US together with Ambassador Iwakura in 1873; Inaki Tanaka who studied librarianship in the US and Europe, and succeeded Tejima as chief of the Tokyo Library, among others (Gitler, 1963; Suzuki & Suzuki, 1981; Welch, 1997). Indeed, the influence of United States to Japanese librarianship was duly acknowledged that Kiichi Matsumoto, then director of the Imperial Library in Tokyo, in his speech in October, 1926 on the occasion of the 50th founding anniversary of the American Library Association held in Atlantic City, New Jersey, ended his oration with the following remarks:

I candidly say that the new libraries were founded after the pattern of the American libraries in their constitution and contents, and in their equipment and methods that is to say in most things. The late I. Tanaka, one of the veterans of the new Japanese library movement, was as I have mentioned, a student of your C. A. Cutter and others. In short, I might say that the present libraries of Japan are daughters of their American mothers. (Suzuki & Suzuki, 1981, p. 202)

Key Terms in this Chapter

Librarians’ Licensure Examination: An examination given to all graduates of Bachelor of Library and Information Science (BLIS) from Philippine schools, as mandated by Republic Act 9246. Passing the licensure examination grants the examinee a certificate of registration and a license to practice librarianship in the country.

Shisho-Kyuoyu: A certification given to those who have attended and completed a training program for librarians as a requirement to practice school librarianship, as mandated by the School Library Law of 1953.

Professional Regulatory Board for Librarians: A three- member group of librarians selected and granted executive, administrative, rule- making and quasi-judicial powers to perform its function as stipulated in Section 8 of Republic Act 9246.

Shisho Certification: A certification given to those who have attended and completed a training program for librarians as a requirement to practice public librarianship, as mandated by the Library Law of 1950.

Philippine Librarians Association, Inc.: The accredited national professional organization for librarians in the Philippines.

LIPER Project: Library and Information Profession and Education Renewal (LIPER), a three-phase project initiated by Japanese library educators and practitioners in order to initiate reform in the LIS education and practice in Japan.

Koshukai: An intensive and non-degree, short training program for those who want to become library workers in Japan; it is the minimum training requirement for one to be awarded a Shisho or Shisho-Kyouyu certification.

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