This isn’t the usual joke or humor for this week, but I came across this Japaneses anime series called Toshokan Senso, which is Library Wars in Japanese. You can read the details on the wikipedia article. Unfortunately there isn’t a English version out yet, but definitely something to keep an eye out. A little background about the story:
The premise of Toshokan Sensō involves the Japanese government passing the Media Betterment Act (MBA) as law in 1989 which allows the censorship of any media deemed to be potentially harmful to Japanese society by deploying agents in the Media Betterment Committee (MBC) with the mandate to go after individuals and organizations that are trying to exercise the act of conducting freedom of expression activities in the media.Ep 01 However, local governments opposed to the Media Betterment Act establishes armed anti-MBA defense force units to protect libraries from being raided by MBC agents under the Freedom of the Libraries Law. The conflict between MBC agents and library soldiers has continued to 2019, when the story begins.
The series does provide a little insight into the way Japanese view libraries and their philosophy. Here is a brief excerpt from Freedom of the Library Law which the Library Defense Force abides by:
It is the most important responsibility of libraries to offer collected materials and library facilities to the people who have the Right to Know as one of their fundamental human rights. In order to fulfill their mission, libraries shall recognize the following matters as their proper duties, and shall put them into practice.
- Libraries have freedom in collecting their materials.
- Libraries secure the freedom of offering their materials.
- Libraries guarantee the privacy of users.
- Libraries oppose any type of censorship categorically.
When the freedom of libraries is imperiled, we librarians will work together and devote ourselves to secure the freedom.
I really hope an English version comes out soon 🙂