How to use

Entering the Library

Tokyo Metropolitan Library is open to everyone. There are no age restrictions on who may use the Library. Please pick up a reader’s card at the counter located in the entrance hall. This reader’s card must be presented when requesting to view or make copies of materials from the closed stacks.

Please refrain from bringing such objects as large handbags or satchels into the Library. You may bring in only the necessities, such as writing implements. Please put your handbags or satchels in the lockers located near the entrance before entering the Library.

Loan of Materials

Library materials are not available for loan.
It is possible to make copies of Library materials. (However, there are some materials, such as those categorized as rare materials, that may not be copied.)

The Central Library carries out an interlibrary loan service with the public libraries of Metropolitan Tokyo.

How to Use the Materials

【Tokyo Metropolitan Central Library】

Open-shelf materials

With regard to books, of its total stock of approximately 1.98 million volumes, the Central Library has around 350,000 volumes that are freely accessible on open shelves.

Some of the magazines and journals in fields related to business, law, health and medical, as well as those related to cities and to Tokyo are also freely accessible on open shelves.

Newspapers for the last three months, including the current month, and some of the reduced-size editions of newspapers are freely accessible on open shelves.
These materials may be taken to any floor for reading.

Closed-stack materials

With regard to books, of its total stock of approximately 1.98 million volumes, the Central Library has around 1.6 million volumes in closed stacks. Users of the Library are not allowed inside the closed stacks.

To view books from the closed stack, please search the online catalog to find the ones you want, then put in a request to view them. The request can be placed from the personal computers in the Library that have been set up to access the online catalog.

Requests to view newspapers, and magazines and journals, can be made by searching the online catalog and printing the “Request form for materials” with necessary information or by writing the necessary information in the “Request form for materials” provided in Library. Submit the “Request form for materials” at the Book Counter. Once the requested material has been located and is ready for viewing, you will be notified by means of your reader’s card identification number being displayed on the electronic bulletin boards located on each floor of the Library. When you see that your number has been displayed, go to the Book Counter on the first floor of the Library. Once you have finished viewing the materials, please return them to the same Book Counter.

【Tokyo Metropolitan Tama Library】

Tokyo Magazine Bank

The "Tokyo Magazine Bank", this magazine collection includes over 6,000 different magazines published in the past one year. They are available in the magazine area and the open stacks. In addition, back issues around 17,000 different magazines are stored in the closed stacks. These archives can be used an entire magazine series together.

Service Providing Materials for Children and Adolescents

Only a part of the materials that is housed in the Library is accessible on open shelves. All other materials are kept in the closed stacks.

Status of Collections


Mar. 31, 2016

  Central Library Tama Library Total
Japanese book 1,492,695 457,316  1,950,011
Other book 1,267,469 257,495 1,524,964
Materials on Tokyo 225,226  4,842 213,878
Children's book 0 165,322 165,322
Youth's book 0 29,657 29,657
Foreign book  241,799 39,515  281,314
Western book 154,922 33,184 188,106
Chinese book 66,283 4,325 70,608
Korean book 20,594 2,006 22,600
Special Collection's,etc 243,404 13,559 256,963
Total 1,977,898 510,390 2,488,288

Newspapers & Magazines (titles)

  Central Library Tama Library Total
Newspaper 1,164 192 1,356
Japanese Newspaper 1,069 187 1,256
Foreign Newspaper 95 5 100
Magazine 6,793 18,341 25,134
Japanese Magazine 6,205 16,818 23,023
Foreign Magazine 588 1,523 2,111


Online databases( Britannica Online Japan , Biography In Context, Nature , Science , Oxford Art Online and others, )

Classification of Books

Books and yearbooks are classified in accordance with the Nippon Decimal Classification (NDC) system. The NDC system organizes classifications in the following way.

Materials written in a language that uses an alphabet, such as English, French, and German, are grouped together as Western books and not organized separately by language. Western books are lined up on the same shelf with Japanese books that have been assigned the same classification. If you need clarification or assistance, please ask any of the Library staff.

  1. 0.General works
  2. 1.Philosophy
  3. 2.History
  4. 3.Social Sciences
  5. 4.Natural Sciences
  6. 5.Technology
  7. 6.Industry
  8. 7.The arts
  9. 8.Language
  10. 9.Literature

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Tokyo Metropolitan Central Library 5-7-13 Minami-Azabu Minato-ku,Tokyo, 106-8575, JAPAN. TEL 03-3442-8451(Map)
Tokyo Metropolitan Tama Library  2-2-26 Izumi-cho, Kokubunji-shi,Tokyo, 185-8520, JAPAN. TEL 042-359-4020(Map)