Minutes of the general assembly of the 28th EAJRS conference, Oslo

1. Approval of the minutes

Approval of the minutes of the general assembly of the 27th conference held at Bucharest. See program booklet and website. The minutes are approved (provided typos are corrected).

2. Mission statement of the association

Change from rigid charter provisions to a mission statement, (in order to be clear in purpose but be flexible and adaptable to the changing world): see revised draft of charter. The revised text of the charter is approved.
PS: the new charter can be found here

The next step now is to register EAJRS as a legal body in the country where the legal requirements are the least complex.

3. Next year’s venue

Next year’s venue is to be decided.
PS: Vytautas Magnus University at Kaunas, Lithuania, has graciously accepted to host the 2018 conference. The conference will take place 12-15 September 2018

4. Funding

EAJRS expresses its gratitude to the Japan Foundation, Toshiba International Foundation, Idemitsu Petroleum Norge and the Japan Norway Society for their generous funding, as well as to the Japanese Studies department at Oslo University who supported the conference. We are also very grateful to the vendors for their support.

5. Newsletter

As has become customary, the local organizer prepared a newsletter which also functioned as program booklet. The abstracts, the ppt presentations and/or the text of each presentation will later on be uploaded on the EAJRS website, if and when the speaker agrees to do so. Many speakers have already given their consent. The speakers who did not deliver their file to the secretary and wish it to be uploaded on the EAJRS website, are kindly requested to send it in to him. In the meantime one can relive on livestream, the presentations of all those who have given their permission.

6. Format of the next conference

Resource providers’ workshop and the special panel discussion were a great success. Hopefully we will be able to include the same features in the program of next year. Growing numbers of presentations and participants: limit to single session or rather parallel sessions? We prefer a unique session, which limits the number of slots available for presentations to between 30 and 35. The consequence is that this may entail and has entailed in the past rejection of good proposals. Still, we believe that the pros still outweigh the contras.

Appeal to non-librarians: there appears to be a prevailing perception that we are an association of librarians only, whereas we are an association of resource specialists in the most diverse fields, including artefacts, images, etc.

7. Deadline for applications for the 2018 conference

The Board proposes mid-May 2018 as the deadline for the submission of applications and the abstract for presentations. At the end of May, screening of proposals will be completed, and the results will be notified to the applicants in the beginning of June. Guidelines will be added to streamline the presentations. Power point presentations should normally not exceed 25 slides. Over the years we have noticed a tendency with some presenters to include far too much in their presentation.

8. Next year’s special topic

Next year’s special topic remains to be decided? As always, all topics related to Japanese resources are welcome.

9. Scholarships

Next year we will try to secure two or three scholarship (depending on funding).

10. Keynote speakers

We will invite two or three keynote speakers for next year; to be decided (depending on funding).

11. Report from the local organizer/secretary


There were 97 registrations, of which 3 cancelled last minute and 2 did not show up. Meaning 92 participants to the conference. The participants came from 19 different countries

  • 1 participant from Austria, Canada, China, Faroe Islands, Ireland Italy, Lithuania, Sweden, and Thailand.
  • 2 participants from Denmark, and Finland.
  • 3 participants from Belgium, Germany, and Switzerland.
  • 4 participants from Norway.
  • 8 participants from France.
  • 10 participants from the United Kingdom.
  • 12 participants from the United States.
  • 36 participants from Japan.

By continent: North America: 13 participants. Asia: 38 participants. Europe: 41 participants


34 presentations were selected, of which 4 were cancelled unfortunately. Of the total of 30 presentations, 17 were in English and 13 in Japanese. 2 presentations were duo presentations and 2 were by 3 presenters. Additionally, there were 5 members in the panel discussion. In total 41 persons participated in the presentations.

12. Library management and discovery systems and CJKV

Since a few years, increasingly voices are raised about the CJKV-friendliness of current library management and discovery systems. Thus far, no  centralized activities have materialized, but informal talks during this conference among members, showed that there is need for special attention for CJK issues that are not addressed by the providers of Library Management Systems (cataloguing software) and Discovery Systems (next-generation opacs) or ill-understood by local IT support. We propose to start a committee or workgroup, in order to have an overview of issues, create a central knowledgebase and have a stronger voice in dealing with issues and solutions.

13. Election

members who have registered for this conference and are present at the conference have voting rights.

The present board (nine members remaining) is confirmed for another term. Donatella Failla and Steluta Maxim have tendered their resignation and do not wish to continue. The board may consist of up to twelve members.

Who can be a member of the board?: "...a demonstrable relation to Japanese resources and Europe", meaning someone meeting one or several of the following criteria:

  • resident of a European state
  • holder of a passport of a European state, irrespective of whether that state is a Union member of not
  • employed by an institution in a European state, irrespective of whether that state is a Union member of not.

Since there are three positions vacant on the board, candidates may submit their candidacy to the board by 1 November 2017. The members registered and present at the next conference will have the opportunity to vote on the candidates. A candidate who garners half plus one of the votes will be elected.

14. EAJRS liaison to NCC

Hamish Todd would like to pass this duty on to someone else. He was nominated as the EAJRS liaison to NCC at the 2011 Conference and since then he has submitted annual reports on our activities to NCC and, when possible, attended its council meetings. He has also been involved with NCC activities which take place during the CEAL conferences each March. The growing numbers of participants from the US and Canada to our conferences bear witness to the fact that the North American colleagues are very interested in EAJRS activities. He has raised the issue with Setsuko Noguchi, the NCC Chair, and she says that NCC would like the contact to continue. The EAJRS Board thinks that it is still useful to have this liaison role, and will ask Alessandro Bianchi, who is based in the US and is an EAJRS Board member, if he is willing and in a position to take up that role.
Talking of NCC, Tara M. McGowan, attending our conference, has been designated as new executive director of NCC Japan, succeeding Vicky Bestor in that position. Tara is a researcher at Cotsen Children’s Library, Princeton University. We are looking forward to a continued collaboration with NCC under her guidance.  

15. New website

Transfer of the website has been completed. Our previous host (University of Leuven) restricted our access to the servers for security reasons. Integration of other projects (conservation/preservation workgroup) can now commence. If anyone holds content of conferences from before 1994, they are invited to transfer it for inclusion.

16. words of gratitude

Our special gratitude to our keynote speakers: Katsunori Iino of Bukkyō University Library, Kōichi Hanyu of the Department of Media Studies of Tōkai University and Ritsuko Nakajima of the Japan Science and Technology Agency. I take the opportunity to thank this year’s keynote speakers for their exciting presentations. That being said, I thank all presenters, for the general feeling is that the general level of the presentations was excellent.

Thanks to Arjan van der Werf, our most alert and efficient secretary of the EAJRS.

Thank the members of the board, who have accepted to chair each one or two sessions.

Thanks to the local organizer, Naomi Yabe Magnussen, has been working hard to make all practical arrangements with her university, colleagues and outside partners, and file the applications to various prospective supporting bodies. We owe her a great debt of gratitude. If this conference has turned out to be such success it is in the first place thanks to her, and her collaborators.

17. AOB

Progress in access to digitized materials at the National Diet Library (and other institutions): Last year several delegated of the EAJRS and NCC have had talks with the NDL about broader access to their digitized contents. The NDL is willing, but copyright laws prevent further access at this moment. A new proposal for copyright laws has been proposed, but this was not introduced to the Japanese parliament yet. It is hoped that it can be introduced to the parliament in the coming year.
This year’s panel discussion drew a lot of interest from the audience. However presentations were in English and the panel discussion itself was in Japanese. It was that suggested that a transcript/translation be made (based on the video recording).

18. Closing of the general assembly and the conference