The library profession under pressure in Japan: Change in the construction state

Andreas Vårheim, Eisaku Ide, Moriano Iju

    Abstract

    In the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008, with increasing unemployment, the small effects of economic stimulus packages and debt-ridden economies with deflationary tendencies, many economists see the downward economic trajectory of Japan as a possible route for the rest of the advanced OECD economies. In this context, the way Japanese public library services are affected by the 'hard times' is of interest regarding prospective developments in public libraries in the OECD countries outside Japan, and regarding the design of policies for maintaining high quality library services in a prolonged economic downturn. From 1997 the number of permanently employed librarians declined, and funds for materials shrank. Interviews with librarians, library directors, and leading officials at prefectural and ministerial levels, show that these changes were even more dramatic than the statistics reveal. Tentative explanations for the changes relating to the Japanese political economy are discussed. Hypotheses regarding both Japan specific policies and institutions, and imported neo-liberal policies and institutions are put forward. © The Author(s) 2012.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)248-253
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Librarianship and Information Science
    Volume45
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 2013 Sep 1

    Fingerprint

    library
    economics
    librarian
    Japanese
    economy
    institution
    service
    OECD member country
    OECD
    financial crisis
    economist
    indebtedness
    director
    political economy
    stimulus
    profession
    statistics
    explanation
    hypothesis
    interest

    Keywords

    • Japanese library development
    • Japanese public libraries
    • library political economy
    • library profession
    • public libraries

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Library and Information Sciences

    Cite this

    The library profession under pressure in Japan : Change in the construction state. / Vårheim, Andreas; Ide, Eisaku; Iju, Moriano.

    In: Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, Vol. 45, No. 3, 01.09.2013, p. 248-253.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Vårheim, Andreas; Ide, Eisaku; Iju, Moriano / The library profession under pressure in Japan : Change in the construction state.

    In: Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, Vol. 45, No. 3, 01.09.2013, p. 248-253.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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