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Don Brown and Japanese Librarianship During the Occupation Period

Abstract

Japanese library policy during the post-war occupation was primarily driven by the Civil Information and Education Section (CIE) of the GHQ/SCAP. Donald B. Brown was a head of the Information Division of CIE, in charge of occupational media policy. He had experience as a journalist of The Japan Advertiser in 1930s and as an analyst in the Office of War Information (OWI) in early 1940s. He led the dissemination of democratic ideas in the media sector, publicizing the purpose of occupation to the general public, and eliminating militarism/non-democratic ideas. Branch Library Bulletin was published 45 times from 1948–1949 and conveyed a variety of cultural activities such as documentary films, exhibitions, listening to music records, debates, English conversation classes, etc. Don Brown also emphasized the role of the library for disseminating democratic ideas. He played an important role in the foundation of CIE libraries in the early occupational period and in the establishment of the Japan Library School (JLS) at Keio University in 1951. 23 CIE libraries were founded in the occupational Japan and showed democratic model for post-war Japanese public library. Open shelf and free use were not popular in Japanese public librarianship in pre-war period. In order to operate CIE libraries more effectively, it was necessary for the Japanese themselves to operate those libraries, and a new educational institution should be established to train such Japanese staff. At that time, main training method for Japanese librarians was short course and no graduate school existed specializing library economy/library science. The JLS, led by Robert L. Gitler, was a major epoch in considering the development of education and training for Japanese professional librarian

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This paper was published in The University of Akron.

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