Frequently Asked Questions on Library Services

Updated: June 2015

How to Find and Borrow Library Materials

Q:
The materials I am looking for are not on the first floor in the library.
A:
Many of the library materials are held in closed stacks in the basement. If you would like to read any of our closed stack items, please fill in a request slip and give it to library staff. We will find the requested materials and bring them to you.
Q:
The materials I am looking for are in outside storage.
A:
It takes up to three working days to bring materials out of outside storage and deliver them to us. If you would like to read them, you can place a request either by phone or e-mail in advance to have them ready for your next visit.
Q:
Can I reserve books?
A:
Yes. You can reserve newly arrived books and books that are on loan. We will have them ready for your next visit. Reservations can be placed in person at the circulation desk, or by phone or e-mail. Alternatively, you can reserve books through “My Library” on our online library catalog upon registration at the library.
Q:
Do I need to visit the library to renew books?
A:
No. If it is difficult for you to come to the library, you can renew books either by phone or e-mail. To renew, please provide your ID number on your library card. You can also renew books through “My Library” mentioned above. Books can be renewed only once.
Q:
The books I am looking for may be in the Library of Japanese-Language Institute, Urawa, or that of Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai. How can I locate books in these libraries? Also, can I read them at Library?
A:
Books in the Libraries of Japanese-Language Institute, Urawa and Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai can be delivered to Library. Please place a request either by phone or e-mail in advance. Some of the books can be borrowed, so please ask library staff when you place a request. To search for books in each library, please check the respective websites.
Q:
Can I borrow magazines and audio-visual materials?
A:
No. These materials cannot be borrowed. They are available for in-library use only.
Q:
Do I need to return books during opening hours, or is there a book return box?
A:
Outside the opening hours, please return books to the book return box located at the entrance of the building. You can also return books by mail.
Q:
Is there an overdue fine?
A:
No. However, if you fail to return materials within four weeks from the due date, you will not be able to borrow any books for the next 4 weeks.
Q:
Can I borrow materials by mail?
A:
No. We do not offer such service to individuals. However, if you order books through public libraries, your university or company libraries, we will mail them to those facilities. Please be reminded that you are responsible for mailing costs. You can also order photocopies of our materials through them. It costs ¥30/sheet plus postage.

About Magazines

Q:
Can I search magazine articles?
A:
Yes. Visit “Databases” in our library website to see the list of magazine article databases. Some of the databases can be used only in the library. For further information, please ask library staff.
Q:
Can I read electronic journals?
A:
Yes. E-journals can be read on one of our computers in the library. You can also bring your laptop to read them.

About Newspapers

Q:
Can I read back issues of newspapers?
A:
Yes. We basically hold back issues of newspapers for a period of three months. Back issues are stored in closed stacks in the basement. To read a back issue, please provide us the name and the date of the newspaper you wish to read, and we will find the one and bring it to you. We have all bound volumes of the Japan Times from 1979.

About Old Books and Documents Published Before 1945

Q:
Can I take pictures of old books and documents published before 1945 and use them for exhibitions and publications?
A:
Yes. However, you need to send us a “Request paper for special use of Japan Foundation Library collection.” Please include the name of the book, the purpose of use, your name, and your copyright responsibilities in the form. It may take several days to respond to you as it is required to go through our office procedure. For further information, please ask library staff.
Q:
How can I search for Kokusai Bunka Shinkokai (KBS) documents?
A:
We have a list of these materials in printed form. You can also read the digitized materials on the computers in the library.

About Facilities

Q:
Can I use my laptop in the library?
A:
Yes. Wireless Internet service is available anywhere in the library. To connect to the Internet, please obtain necessary information from library staff. Please be reminded that our Internet service may not be available for certain computer models.
Q:
Do I need to bring my laptop to use the Internet?
A:
No. We have one Internet-accessible computer near the circulation desk. You can use it up to 30 minutes. However, any personal use (e-mail, blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) is prohibited.
Q:
Can I make color or double-sided copies in the library? Can I scan or take photos of the library materials?
A:
Yes, you can make photocopies A single page of color copy costs ¥50 and a double-sided copy will be charged as two single pages. Scanning and taking photos are principally prohibited.
Q:
Can I bring drink into the library?
A:
You can only bring bottled water with caps. However, you must be very careful not to spill it on the machines and library materials.

[Contact Us]

The Japan Foundation
Library
Tel: +81-(0)3-5369-6086 Fax: +81-(0)3-5369-6048 
E-mail: Lib@jpf.go.jp
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