Home > Publications > NDL Newsletter > No. 211, April 2017

National Diet Library Newsletter

No. 211, April 2017

The National Diet Library Midterm Vision: Universal Access 2020
And The National Diet Library Milestone Goals 2017–2020

In December 2016, the National Diet Library formulated "The National Diet Library Midterm Vision: Universal Access 2020" which replaces the earlier "Mission and Objectives 2012-2016." At the same time, "The National Diet Library Milestone Goals 2017–2020" were established as specific goals to be reached in order to fulfill the Midterm Vision. Below is the full text in English.

The National Diet Library Midterm Vision: Universal Access 2020

With the 70th anniversary of the National Diet Library (NDL) now approaching, we are keenly aware of the significance of development during the time leading up to our 100th anniversary. In particular, the four years from 2017 to 2020 will serve as the foundation for our future long-term development.

The NDL has a clear mission to fulfill, to which end it carefully monitors long-term trends in our patrons’ needs and in advancing technology, as it plans the acquisition of materials and information as well as systematically organizes these resources into an infrastructure for information resources. Through this infrastructure, the NDL supports Diet members in their deliberation of national affairs by providing objective and accurate legislative research. We also make every effort to provide the Japanese public as well as the executive and judicial branches of government with easy access to materials and information.

The NDL is currently placing strong emphasis on advancing its basic roles from a comprehensive perspective that encompasses the evolving needs of the times.

Our basic roles encompass the following three aspects:

Support to the Diet

Our primary role is to support the activities, investigations, and research of the Diet itself and its individual members by providing reliable materials and research while developing our human and material resources as well as enhancing our expertise in the systematization, extraction, and analysis of information.

Acquisition and preservation of materials and information

Our secondary role is the acquisition of materials and information, the systematic organization per standardized criteria of these resources, and the development of a system for their long-term preservation.

Providing the public with access to information resources

Our tertiary role is to provide easy access to information resources through services that utilize optimized facilities, equipment, and systems.

The following four key concepts will guide our efforts to fulfill these basic roles.

1. Environment for patrons: Improving accessibility

The NDL is committed to the continued enhancement of services that enable our patrons to find and access materials and information that are most suitable for their purposes. Not only will we design procedures, facilities, and systems to do so, each and every one of our staff who directly or indirectly provide patron support are encouraged to think about our services from the patrons’ perspective.

2. Organizational strength: Encouraging our staff to utilize their abilities

It is necessary for all our staff to behave and to perform their duties to the best of their abilities with awareness both of our mission and of how to satisfy our patrons. It is also essential that we create an organization that allows each one of our staff to make the most of his or her own abilities, thereby creating an organization whose whole is greater than the sum of its parts. In doing so, we support and encourage all our staff to pursue professional development in terms both of enhancing their own abilities as well as improving our services and operations.

3. Collaboration: Contributing to the expansion and enhancement of our information infrastructure

As the environment in which we utilize digital information evolves, the true value of the materials and information held by the NDL is highlighted through comprehensive usage in combination with the materials and information held at other institutions. Additionally, the further development of institutions that freely disseminate information is a cornerstone in the development of peace and democracy, as described in the preamble of the National Diet Library Law. This is why we seek to advance our cooperation and collaboration with other institutions.

4. Information dissemination: Gaining understanding of the basic roles of the NDL

We will create means for disseminating information that both piques our patrons’ interest in our collections as well as promotes an accurate understanding of the basic roles that define how and why we provide the services that enable access to materials and information.

The NDL is dedicated to achieving the goals of our new midterm vision, "Universal Access 2020," in securing access to the information suitable for the needs of our patrons, both current and future, as well as in contributing to the creation of a prosperous future.

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The National Diet Library Milestone Goals 2017–2020

To achieve the goals of the National Diet Library Midterm Vision: Universal Access 2020, the National Diet Library (NDL) has formulated the following midterm milestone goals to be achieved by FY2020 under each of the three basic roles listed in the Vision.

Basic role: Support to the Diet

Goal 1

We will fully assist the Diet, the highest organ of state power, by further enhancing the reliability of our research and analysis, as well as providing more prompt and accurate information services based on the high expertise on national policy issues of our staff and our rich information resources.

(1) Enhancement of research services
  1. We will provide accurate answers in response to requests from Diet Members, based on objective research and analysis so as to support deliberations on national affairs. In doing so, we will conduct research in anticipation of national policy issues, improve our research abilities, and publish the results of research to be utilized in answering research inquiries. When responding to research inquiries, we will lay emphasis on the enrichment of our research responses based on high expertise, such as producing research reports and providing explanations to Diet Members through interviews and meetings. We will endeavor to further develop the NDL’s specialties, such as research on systems, policies and legislation of foreign countries as well as interdisciplinary research. We will hold policy seminars to present the results of this research to Diet Members.
  2. To facilitate research on national policy issues, we will construct a broader information infrastructure comprising our collections, databases, and other digital information. Additionally, by utilizing these resources, we will provide Diet Members with prompt and accurate materials and information.
(2) Enhancement of research by strengthening external cooperation
  1. We will enhance our research through strengthened cooperation with universities and other institutions in Japan and abroad, and by actively absorbing a wide variety of academic knowledge. We will conduct a variety of research projects on basic national policy issues as well as science and technology policies, utilizing the knowledge of outside experts.
  2. We will further deepen our relationships with parliamentary libraries and other institutions the world over in apprehending global trends in parliamentary services through which we can improve our research abilities, and contribute internationally to the development of parliamentary libraries.
(3) Facilitation of public access to Diet-generated information
  • In order to provide the Japanese public with easy access to the wide range of materials and information generated by the daily activities of the Diet, i.e. the Minutes of the Diet, we will enrich our materials and information as well as improve accessibility in cooperation with affiliated institutions, thereby fulfilling our role in connecting the Diet with the public.

Basic role: Acquisition and Preservation of Materials and Information

Goal 2

As the sole national library in Japan, we will extensively collect and preserve publications and other materials and information from Japan and abroad in order to secure future access. In addition, we will cooperate with affiliated institutions in constructing a wide variety of information resources as well as an infrastructure for preserving those information.

(1) Promotion of digital archives
  1. We will continue to promote the digitization of our collections as well as to acquire digital data of materials which the NDL does not possess but are held by other organizations. And we will convert the digitized image data into text data to enable full-text search.
  2. We will establish a system for acquiring and preserving commercially available or DRM-protected e-books and e-journals, which are currently not being collected under the legal deposit system, in order to achieve comprehensive acquisition of online publications.
    We will also enhance the acquisition and preservation of websites, with the websites of government and other public institutions covered by the legal deposit system and those of other institutions based on the permission of their webmasters. In particular, we will acquire and preserve websites of high public interest, i.e. archives of natural disasters, and websites that record historic events such as the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
  3. We will standardize data and construct a comprehensive and integrated portal site in cooperation with institutions such as the National Institute of Informatics and the Japan Science and Technology Agency, in order to promote the utilization of a wide variety of information resources held by public and private organizations and to secure stable information access.
(2) Acquisition of materials and information and compilation and provision of bibliographic information
  1. We will make further efforts toward comprehensive acquisition of domestic publications through the legal deposit system. In terms of foreign publications we will selectively acquire materials considered useful for the Diet, materials on science and technology, and materials on Japan. We will also continue to collect materials and information on valuable cultural assets, records of the Great East Japan Earthquake, and documents that are considered to be historical records worth preserving for the future.
  2. In cooperation with affiliated institutions in Japan and abroad, we will steadily compile and provide the bibliography of our collections, improve the utility of our bibliographic information, and construct a system for handling bibliographies for print materials and digital information in an integrated way.
(3) Preservation of materials and information
  1. We will steadily expand the closed stacks of the Kansai-kan in order to cope with the increasing size of our collections.
  2. We will continue to take measures against deterioration for the long-term preservation of our collections. We will also take concrete preservation measures to ensure the long-term use of our various digital materials and information. In addition, we will conduct technical research on the establishment of a permanent preservation infrastructure.
  3. We will cooperate and collaborate in terms of material preservation with libraries and other institutions which store cultural assets in Japan and abroad, and promote information exchange and technical support. We will also support libraries and other institutions which have been affected by earthquakes and other disasters.

Basic role: Providing the Public with Access to Information Resources

Goal 3

We will improve our systems, facilities and services so that patrons of various purposes could have access to their necessary information accurately and efficiently.

(1) Improvement of user environment
  1. We will organize the functions and roles of the NDL's online services, including NDL Search, NDL-OPAC, NDL Digital Collections and Research Navi, and achieve a new, convenient and integrated online service which enables comprehensive search of information resources provided by the NDL and other institutions.
  2. We will improve the environment for remote user services, on-site user services and interlibrary services, enabling our patrons to promptly and efficiently use our information resources.
  3. We will formulate a future plan on facility management to fulfill our role as a foundation that supports the Diet and the intellectual activities of the Japanese public.
(2) Improvement of the utility of digital information resources
  • We will cooperate and collaborate with related parties to promote the Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Libraries, and to increase the number of partner libraries. We will also promote the utilization of digitized materials, websites acquired and preserved by the NDL, and steadily expand the scope of materials accessible on the Internet.
(3) Improvement of services for people with disabilities
  • Our goal is to enable people with disabilities to access information efficiently by improving our systems and user environment in collaboration with other libraries as well as cooperating with affiliated institutions in converting academic literature into text data.
(4) Procession of cooperative projects with other libraries
  • We will proceed with cooperative projects such as training programs with other libraries in Japan and abroad, so that the information resources and services provided by the NDL could be utilized to enhance their works and services. We will also disseminate useful information on library-related trends and reference services through the Internet and other media.
(5) Conveyance of the role of libraries and the pleasure of reading books
  1. We will reinforce public relations about information resources provided by the NDL and general activities, and will hold exhibitions and lectures to arise wide interest.
  2. We will, especially at the International Library of Children's Literature, provide children with opportunities to learn the pleasure of reading and become familiar with books, as well as encourage children to get accustomed to reading and use nearby libraries. We will also disseminate information on children's books and children's reading activities from Japan and abroad, and implement basic trainings on books and services for children to support the promotion of children's activities in cooperation with affiliated institutions.

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