A delegation of the representatives of the Embassy of Japan, Japanese Ambassador to Lithuania Shiro Yamasaki, First Secretary Eisuke Katsuyama, and member of administration Haruka Seto, paid a visit to Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania. The Ambassador and his colleagues brought together guests from Japan, Prof. Sachiko Seki, CEO of the regional development company Local First Institute and former long-time director of Mitaka City Public Library; Yoshiko Fujita, editor-in-chief of the tourism journal CREA; Takako Kajikawa, president of the SPA consultancy company Wellness Arena; and Miyuki Ohno, board member of the MRA House Foundation funding various projects.
During their visit, the guests wanted to learn more about the changes that took place during the reconstruction of the National Library, the new services launched by the library, the projects currently being implemented by the National Library, the Lithuanian library system, the National Library’s role and its relationship with other libraries of the country.
The members of the delegation also shared their own experiences and gave an overview of the trends currently observed in Japan. They pointed out that for a long period of time, the most important function of libraries in Japan was lending books in order to disseminate knowledge by promoting reading. In recent years, Japan has been experiencing the issue of ageing population, and senior citizens spend more time in libraries which further strengthens the role of libraries. The libraries of the land of the rising sun are also engaged in business promotion, support companies in their development and provide comprehensive assistance for new businesses. Moreover, Japanese libraries offer an increasing number of services to young people, hosting music rooms, workshops, dance halls, etc. Libraries often join forces with children education and lifelong learning institutions, thus in a way becoming integrated centres.
In light of all these changes in the Japanese library system, the guests wanted to learn about the experiences of the National Library and other Lithuanian libraries in developing and implementing innovations and modern services and in bringing together communities.