5.3.4 Literature and libraries
The purpose of the「Library Act」 (former Library and Reading Promotion Act) is to contribute to the cultural development of the nation and society, to assure efficiency in furnishing and circulating materials, to narrow the gap in opportunities to access information, and to promote lifelong education. These objectives are to be achieved by revitalizing library facilities and replenishing their services. Administrative responsibility is on Library Information Policy Committee, which formulates the Comprehensive Library Development Plan. The Act enabled the establishment of District Representative Libraries to devolve social roles and responsibilities to the regional level. It guarantees the public’s right of access to wide-ranging information. In 2006, the「Library and Reading Promotion Act」 was amended and renamed the 「Library Act」. In 2009, the scope of library materials was expanded to cover online content, and for effective publication and distribution of materials for the disabled, the Library may request the submission/presentation of materials (online content not included) in the form of a digital file.