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How to use

User Guide

Entering the Library

  • Tokyo Metropolitan Library is open to everyone. There are no age restrictions on who may use the Library.
  • Please receive a reader's card at the General Information. This card must be presented when requesting to see materials stored in the closed stacks or using online databases.
  • Please leave big baggage in the locker.
    *There is no baggage restrictions for those under primary school students and those with infants.

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, which may not be copied.)

Use of Library Materials

Tokyo Metropolitan Central Library

Open-shelf materials

With regard to books, of its total stock of approximately 2.02 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 2.02 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 use materials held in closed stacks, please make requests through the library's online catalogue.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 in the closed stacks can be made by printing out the Request Form with the necessary information completed, or by filling out the Request Form for Materials provided in the library. Submit the form to the Pick-up/Return 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 Pick-up/Return Counter on the first floor of the Library. Once you have finished viewing the materials, please return them to the same Pick-up/Return 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.

Services for Children and Young Adults

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.

Reference Service

Inquiries are accepted by telephone, letters, and email. (However, inquiries by email are accepted only from inhabitants of Tokyo. Reference questions about Tokyo and inquiries regarding materials from the collections in the Special Collections Room are accepted from everyone.)

Moreover, the Central Library periodically prepares bibliographical tools to help reduce the time users spend obtaining information.

For email inquiries, please apply through Email for Reference Service.

Support for the disabled

  • For the visually Impaired
    • The library provides face-to-face reading service (reservations required) and loans of recorded and braille materials by mail (registration required).
      Inquiries: Service room for the visually impaired (3rd floor)
    • Magnifying reading aids, large-print books, enlarged manuscripts, and others are also available.
  • For the Hearing or Language-Impaired
    • The library provides assistance through written communi cation, etc. at the General Information Counter (1st floor).
    • The library accepts inquiries by facsimile or email (registration required).
  • Wheelchair loan service
    • Please make a request at the Reception Counter (1st floor).

Cooperative Service with Public Libraries throughout Tokyo

There are approximately 384 public libraries in the wards, cities, towns, and villages in Tokyo.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Central Library and the Tokyo Metropolitan Tama Library lend books to these public libraries in Tokyo to meet the needs of their users.
(Certain magazines and journals, as well as some of the rare materials housed in the Tokyo Metropolitan Library, are not available for loan.)
In addition, the Tokyo Metropolitan Library provides support to the public libraries in Tokyo with reference services and training for library staff.

Status of Collections

Books

Mar. 31, 2017

Central LibraryTama LibraryTotal
Japanese book 1,527,130 463,470 1,990,600
Foreign book 249,048 40,329 289,377
Special Collection 243,423 13,559 256,982
Total 2,019,601 517,358 2,536,959

Japanese book

Central LibraryTama LibraryTotal
Other book 1,296,562 257,851 1,554,413
Materials on Tokyo 230,568 4,842 235,410
Children's book 0 169,197 169,197
Young Adults' book 0 31,580 31,580
Japanese book 1,527,130 463,470 1,990,600

Foreign book

Central LibraryTama LibraryTotal
Western book 159,052 33,668 192,720
Chinese book 68,250 4,538 72,788
Korean book 21,746 2,123 23,869
Foreign book 249,048 40,329 289,377

Newspapers & Magazines (titles)

Newspaper

Central LibraryTama LibraryTotal
Japanese Newspaper 1,074 188 1,262
Foreign Newspaper 96 5 101
Newspaper 1,170 193 1,363

Magazine

Central LibraryTama LibraryTotal
Japanese Magazine 6,255 17,079 23,334
Foreign Magazine 593 1,536 2,129
Magazine 6,848 18,615 25,463

CD,DVDs
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.

0. General works

1. Philosophy

2. History

3. Social Science

4. Natural Science

5. Technology. Engineering

6. Industry and Commerce

7. The arts. Fine Arts

8. Language

9. pterature

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