Is the Galapagos Phenomenon Over? Second Consideration of Japanese LIS Education in the International Setting

  • Akira Nemoto


In Japan, we have no formal, professional LIS training programs for university education. The number of new recruits as full-time employees at university or public libraries in Japan is estimated to be very small, 30–50 each year. This is a little more than the number at first consideration, because postwar baby boomers have left their jobs and some of the empty posts have now been occupied. We have never managed libraries with fewer and lower-educated librarians based on the international standard. This paper provides a set of hypotheses to explain this situation. The set consists of the highly literate society and the generalist bureaucracy hypotheses. Although I believe that it strongly depends on the Japanese culture, it is difficult for people to pass over information technology environments without them also serving as information literacy and LIS services. We argue that Japanese LIS/LISE situations will slowly experience some changes to meet international standards. We also discuss how the Japanese experience will be helpful for considering the situations of other Asian and Pacific countries in the twenty-first century. This is because the current society is a knowledge-based one, in which everyone might be information literate and might not need librarians’ assistance.


Literacy Rate Information Literacy Liberal Democratic Party School Library Reading Literacy 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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