Frequently Asked Questions on Library Services

How to Find and Borrow Library Materials

Q1The materials I am looking for are not in the Reading Room in the library.
A1Many of the library materials are held in closed stacks. 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.
Q2The materials I am looking for are in outside storage.
A2It 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.
Phone & E-mail (Contact Us)
Q3Can I reserve books?
A3Yes. 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.
Phone & E-mail (Contact Us)
My Library
How to Use “My Library” (PDF:550KB)
Q4Do I need to visit the library to renew books?
A4No. 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.
Phone & E-mail (Contact Us)
My Library
How to Use “My Library” (PDF:550KB)
Q5The 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 the Japan Foundation Library?
A5Books in the Libraries of Japanese-Language Institute, Urawa and Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai can be delivered to the Library. Please place a request either by phone or e-mail in advance. Some of the books are in-library use only and some loanable. So, please ask library staff when you place a request. You can borrow up to five books from these two libraries. The books of the JF three Libraries in Japan can be searched through the online catalog. To search for materials of each library, select the location from the Advanced Search or refine your search on the “Search Result List” page.
Library of the JF Japanese-Language Institute, Urawa
Library of the JF Japanese Language Institute, Kansai
Phone & E-mail (Contact Us)
Online Catalog (OPAC)
Advanced Search
Q6Can I borrow magazines and audio-visual materials?
A6No. These materials cannot be borrowed. They are available for in-library use only.
Q7Is there a book return box?
A7There is a book return box near the library gate (inside the building). It is accessible between 9:30 am and 5:45 pm on weekdays.
Q8Is there an overdue fine?
A8No. However, if you fail to return materials by the due date, the borrowing privilege may be suspended.
Q9Can I borrow materials by mail?
A9Yes. We offer a book delivery service to library cardholders. If you are not, request 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 in every case. You can also order photocopies of our materials through other libraries. It costs ¥30/sheet plus postage.

About Magazines

Q10Can I search for magazine articles?
A10Yes. Visit “Databases・Electronic Journals” on 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.
Databases・Electronic Journals
Q11Can I read electronic journals?
A11Yes. E-journals can be read on our computers in the library.

About Newspapers

Q12Can I read back issues of newspapers?
A12Yes. We hold back issues of newspapers for three months. Back issues are stored in closed stacks. To read a back issue, please provide us with 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 bound volumes of the Japan Times from 1979 to 1988. Also, the articles from 1989 are available online through the Japan Times Archives database.

About Old Books and Documents Published Before 1945

Q13Can I take pictures of old books and documents published before 1945 and use them for exhibitions and publications?
A13Yes. However, you need to send us a “Request paper for special use of the 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.
Q14How can I search for Kokusai Bunka Shinkokai (KBS) documents?
A14You can search for the digitized materials on the computers in the library.

About Facilities

Q15Can I use my laptop in the library?
A15Yes. Wireless Internet service is available anywhere in the library. To connect to the Internet, please obtain the necessary information from library staff. Please be reminded that our Internet service may not be available for certain computer models.
Q16Do I need to bring my laptop to use the Internet?
A16No. We have Internet-accessible computers in the library. You can use it for up to 30 minutes. However, any personal use (e-mail, blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) is prohibited.
Q17Can I make color or double-sided copies in the library? Can I scan or take photos of the library materials?
A17Yes, 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.
Q18Can I bring a drink into the library?
A18You can only bring a bottled drink with caps. However, please refrain from drinking while using some materials such as rare books.

Japan Foundation Library
Updated: September 2020

[Contact Us]

The Japan Foundation
Tel: +81-(0)3-5369-6086 Fax: +81-(0)3-5369-6044
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