- Some ways to Prevail Public Library Service in Every Town and Village Focused on the Possibility of the Association Library
- No.20, p.129-144
In Japan very high is the proportion of towns and villages not having any public libraries. The association library (kumiai-ritsu toshokan), which is usually founded by several cities, towns and villages, has been considered as an effective measure to serve these small towns and villages. The reasoning upon which the association library is based, however, seems to lack two points of view; the one is how broad area the association library must serve, and the other is how many books it must add to its collection every year. In terms of these physical aspects and, in addition to them, of legal aspects the author examines the possibility of the association library. The findings are as follows:
1) It is likely that the association library has some effects merely on reducing the number of unserved towns and villages.
2) Given the average level of library expenditure per capita in towns and villages, the association library needs to serve a population of at least 160,000-170,000 if it is to provide substantial service.
3) Serving such a population means that it must have a broad service area not less than 750km2. This is too broad to serve with a fixed library facility and a few bookmobiles.
4) Then, library expenditure per capita needs to be raised so that the association library may serve either for less population or with more facilities. An alternative to this is to serve that area with bookmobiles alone.
5) If we choose to raise library expenditure per capita, it will need to be about 900 yen (in 1979). This is high enough for a town or village to provide public libray service by itself.
6) Library service with bookmobiles alone should be a temporary measure. But we must note that what this measure is oriented to is inconsistent with what the legal affairs association (jimu kumiai) per se is oriented to.
It is concluded that even the smallest town or village should make efforts to have its own library system.
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