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E1466e – Status of Libraries in the Aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake (As of August 28, 2013)

The original article published in Japanese ( )

Current Awareness-E No.243

29 August, 2013

Status of Libraries in the Aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake

(As of August 28, 2013)

This report summarizes information on status of libraries in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake between June 2013 and the end of August following past Current Awareness-E reports (see E1440e and others).

●Activities of Libraries in Affected Regions

On June 1, “Ishinomaki 3.11 Museum for Tomorrow” was established in the new building of Miyagi Express, Inc., certified as “Building for Evacuating from Tsunami” in Ishinomaki City.

Fukushima Prefectural Library  has launched “Photo Exhibition with Neither Tsunami nor Debris” since June 7. The exhibition, organized by “Group of Photographers Not Forgetting 3.11,” presents photos of sceneries in towns before the Great East Japan Earthquake.

On July 13, a resource center on fishing history  “Yo-Soro” in Kitaibaraki City, Ibaraki Prefecture, renewal-opened  after closure due to damage triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake. The center newly established a section on disaster records, summarizing damage from the disaster as well as stories of citizens’ experiences.

On July 31, Fukushima Prefectural Library released its third “Book Guide.” The guide presents what librarians felt reading the materials from “The Great East Japan Earthquake Fukushima Prefecture Reconstruction Library.” The first and second guides have already been published.

Iwate Prefectural Library has begun to host an exhibition “Records and Literature on Tsunami” as well as a photo exhibition “Before 3.11: Eternally Preserving Beautiful Tohoku” since August 1. While the former presents recorded documents on tsunami damage and literature on tsunami, the latter exhibits works from “Before 3.11,” a photo book supporting reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake. 

On August 18, a pre-event before an opening of “School for Telling” was held at Sendai Mediatheque. “School for Telling” is for citizens in Sendai City to think about what and how to tell the experience of the disaster.

On August 20, The Recording Industry Association of Japan (General Incorporated Association)  donated 500 music CDs to Rikuzentakata Public Library  as part of its project to donate records. The association responded to the request “to always have a collection of music CDs available” from citizens using the temporary library  facility.

On August 26, a wall painting drawn on the library walls by six picture book authors was unveiled at Ishinomaki City Kitakami Elementary School in Miyagi Prefecture.

●Developments in Digital Archives

On July 10, International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS)  of Tohoku University released a website “3.11 Tsunami Inundation from the Perspective of Human Beings.” The website allows viewers to see the trails of tsunami of the Great East Japan Earthquake from the ground-level view  .

On July 17, OurPlanetTV launched “Voices of Fukushima,”  a project that archives video records on Fukushima. Archived and made public are videos of individuals and communities affected by the nuclear accident as well as records of interviews on the problem of children and nuclear contamination.

On August 12, SPARQL endpoint  was released as an API function of the Great East Japan Earthquake Archives Fukushima .  Meta data of the Great East Japan Earthquake Archives Fukushima converted to RDF can be searched using SPARQL.

NHK Media Technology , Inc. released “The Ravages of the Tsunami Two Years On 2011-2013”, a video record of the disaster in 3D.

●Publications and Presentations Abroad including IFLA Annual Conference

“The Present and the Future in Supporting Children’s Reading in the Disaster-Afflicted Areas” was published in the June 2013 volume(No.627) of “National Diet Library Monthly Bulletin (国立国会図書館月報).” Published in its July/August 2013 volume (No. 628/629) is an article introducing “NDL Great East Japan Earthquake Archive (Hinagiku) ” as well as an article titled “The records, the will to preserve them and the effort to hand them down to the future generations .”

Science Council of Japan  published a report titled “The Second Report on Activities of Academic and Research Organizations Cooperating for the Great East Japan Earthquake.”

An article titled “Potential of Using 3.11 Disaster Archive: Utilization for Disaster Prevention  , Mitigation, and Reconstruction”  was published in the July 2013 volume of “Hoso Kenkyu to Chosa (放送研究と調査).”

On July 2013, Ishinomaki Senshu University  in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture released on its website the second volume of “Ishinomaki Senshu University Report: The Great East Japan Earthquake.”  

“International Preservation News”  (August 2013, No.59-60) published two articles written by staff members of the National Diet Library (NDL): “Earthquake Preparedness for Libraries: Lessons of the Great East Japan Earthquake” by Naoko Kobayashi , and “Mass Treatment Recovery for Tsunami Damaged Document by Local People Assisted by Conservators” by Toru Kibe .

At the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Annual Conference that took place between August 17 and 23,Naoko Kobayashi  of the National Diet Library (NDL) made a presentation titled “Progress of Collaboration in Disaster Preparedness for Cultural Properties after the Great East Japan Earthquake.” Rie Nagasaki  also of NDL presented under the title “The Efforts of National Diet Library to build the Great East Japan Earthquake Archive and its Current Status.” Shiho Suzuki of Fukushima Prefectural Library also gave a poster presentation titled “The Librarians of Fukushima” and was awarded the Best IFLA Poster 2013.


On July 6, Network for Historical Materials  hosted a symposium “Only Two Years since the Great East Japan Earthquake.” Recorded video has been made public.

Publishing Headquarter for the Great Disaster  and other organizations have organized “The Great East Japan Earthquake: Records of All Publications after 3.11 – The Power of Books Exhibition” since August 1 (see E1467e). The exhibition presents books related to the Great East Japan Earthquake published within two years since the disaster.

On August 8, International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS)  of Tohoku University hosted a symposium “Exploring the Memories of Tsunami Disaster.”

“Books for Tomorrow” Project for Children, organized by Japanese Board on Books for Young People (JBBY)  and others, held its second charity auction.

Written by Research and Information Section
Library Support Division, Kansai-kan of the National Diet Library

Translated by Okada Aya