- On the Library Committee of the Nationai University
- No.9, p.161-167
As to the standards of university libraries in Japan, the three groups of the national, local governmental and private universities have their own “Standards for Improvement” respectively. These standards were developed during the period from 1953 through 1963. In these standards the nature and functions of the library committee are provided for and they are slightly varied from group to group.
The first difference is that the standards of the national university libraries provides that the library committee is placed under the president of the university with the librarian serving as chairman, while the standards of the local governmental and private university libraries regard the library committee as an advisory organization of the librarian and place it under him. In all the national, local governmental and private universities, actual circumstances of the library committee are not exactly as provided for in the standards. There are 3 types of library committees in the national universities: 1. an advisory organization of the president of the university, 2. that of the librarian, and 3. that of both the president and the librarian. Theoretically, there can be considered the 4th type that is a special committee of the supreme decision-making organization of the university (equal to the council of the national university), but actually there is no example of this type.
Exclusive of the 4th type, the library committee of the national university in Japan started as an advisory organization of the president. The first library committee in the national university was established in 1899. At that time the president had the authority of making rules for library use which is now in the hand of the librarian. This powerlessness of the librarian at that time seems to be due to the fact that the library has been an “appendage” to the university. The history of the national university library can be regarded as a history of transfer of authorities for library administration from the hand of the president to that of the librarian.
The nature of the library committee as an advisory organization of the president has also changed to an advisory organization of the librarian.
The second difference is that while the library committee of the local governmental and private universities is provided in the standards as an advisory organization of the librarian, the library committee of the national university is not well-defined in the standards whether it is an advisory organization or a decision-making one. Some persons claim from the political point of view that the library committee should be a decision-making organization, but the writer thinks that it should serve as an advisory organization of the librarian and should be an organization which can make decisions as far as its authority goes.
The reason why the writer treated in this paper mostly the problems of the library committee of the national university is because the data he could collected were limited to those of the national university libraries.
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