Library and Information Science

Library and Information Science ISSN: 2435-8495
三田図書館・情報学会 Mita Society for Library and Information Science
〒108‒8345 東京都港区三田2‒15‒45 慶應義塾大学文学部図書館・情報学専攻内 c/o Keio University, 2-15-45 Mita, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8345, Japan
Library and Information Science 17: 153-181 (1979)

原著論文Original Article

最近における公共図書館発展の特性分析四時点における都道府県別比較The development of public libraries in post-war Japan

慶應義塾大学文学部図書館・情報学科助手Teaching Assistant, School of Library and Information Science, Keio University ◇ 〒108-8345 東京都港区三田二丁目15番45号 ◇ Mita 2-15-45, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8345, Japan

発行日:1980年3月25日Published: March 25, 1980

After a long period of depression, public libraries in Japan have been developing rapidly since mid-60s. The aim of this paper is to analyze the tendencies of the development, and the factors prompting them.

Data are taken from Nippon no toshokan (Annual statistics on libraries in Japan). Four measures are selected to represent library activities: number of libraries, number of holdings, number of acquisitions, and number of circulations. Data are summed up and analyzed on prefectural base to get an outline of the development, in the years of 1955, 1965, 1970, and 1975, each representing pre-, beginning of, mid-, and present stage of the development. Two indicators are used to analyze the development: permillage—indicator of geographic distribution—, and growth rate.

Results are as follows: i) There is a change of tendencies in the development of public libraries in mid-60s. ii) Two new tendencies are recognized—a tendency toward acceleration of the development and a tendency toward concentration of the development in particular prefectures. iii) The tendency toward acceleration is more obvious in number of acquisitions and number of circulations than number of libraries and number of holdings, showing that the development is caused by a large investment (i.e. acquisitions) in relatively small number of libraries, rather than by the construction of many libraries. iv) Acceleration in number of acquisitions precedes the development. v) Tendency toward concentration is caused by the rapid growth of libraries in metropolitan prefectures. vi) The growth of libraries in eight metropolitan prefectures explains more than half of the growth in number of libraries and holdings, and almost all of the growth in number of acquisitions and circulations. vii) As a result, an alteration of generations is now going from traditional high level prefectures to metropolitans.

‘An alteration of generations’ means that public libraries in Japan now started modernization, that this modernization is accomplished by a large investment of acquisitions in small number of metropolitan prefectures, and so results in the ever widening geographical gaps as regards public libraries.

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