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How to ask for Reference Service

Reference Service offers users of the Library information and reference materials in response to their inquiries related to the Library. Consult us when, for example, you "cannot find the book you are looking for" or "don't know how to start the research." Application for the service is accepted in person at the Library or by telephone, post or email.

Important Notes

  • We accept up to five questions per application. To ask additional questions, please apply after receiving the response to your previous question(s).
  • Please note that we do not offer counseling on medical issues, legal affairs, personal matters, fine art appraisal, school assignments or quizzes.
  • Please acknowledge that we may register your question as an example in the Reference Service Samples, depending on the nature of the question and after editing and processing to remove the identity of the Inquirer.

Application in person

We accept inquiries at the General Information Counter on the first floor of the Library.
Please do not hesitate to ask at the floor guidance desk on each floor, if you cannot find the book or reference material you are looking for.

By telephone

Inquiries are accepted by telephone when the Library is open.
Please call if you live in a remote location or the inquiry is a matter of great urgency.

Central Library TEL:03(3442)8451
Tama Library TEL:042(359)4020
Services for Children and Young Adults, Tama Library TEL:042(359)4109

Service hours

Monday to Friday 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday, and holidays 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Check the Calendar page on this website for Library holidays.

By post

Inquiries are also accepted by mail. Send your inquiry, along with postage stamps for return post, to: Reference, Information Service Section, Tokyo Metropolitan Central Library.

By email

Email inquiries are accepted only from residents of Tokyo or persons who work or study in the Tokyo area.
Other persons are requested to make inquiries either by telephone or by mail or by inquiring a local library.
Please note, however, questions on the following matters are accepted without regard to geographical location.

  • Matters related to the Metropolis of Tokyo (its history, regional topography and culture, government, etc.)
  • Matters related to reference materials found in the Special Literature Archives, reference literature on children and young people, reference literature in Chinese and reference literature in the Korean language.

Before you apply

  • Response to your inquiry will take one week or less as a general rule.
  • Also, response may be delayed by the nature of the inquiry, Library holidays, etc. If you wish to receive the response earlier, please ask for Reference Service by telephone.
  • Please note that email response may become too long for reception by a feature phone.

Email Reference Application Form

If you are a registered user, please apply from here (to enter inquiry).

To apply without registration, please fill out the form below.

For security authentication, check the “I am not a robot” checkbox, and select images that apply to the question shown.

* Select all images that show things applicable to the question, no matter how small their parts appear in the images.
If your answer is wrong, another set of images will appear. Try it again.

After the security authentication procedure is completed, the “Confirm entry” button will be shown.
* If the checkbox is not shown, please confirm that JavaScript on your computer is validated.

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