From Japan:Local govts to cut funds for school library books

An Anonymous Patron writes One From Japan where the total budget allocated by local governments for fiscal 2004 to improve library collections at public primary and middle schools is 2.2 percent lower than the previous year’s, according to a survey conducted by The Yomiuri Shimbun.

The funds have been provided following the enactment in 2001 of a law to encourage children to read. The central government announced the provision of 65 billion yen to local governments over the five years from fiscal 2002 for the improvement of school library collections.

However, the survey conducted last month on all prefectural governments and 718 city and ward governments nationwide to evaluate the book-buying measure revealed a lack of progress in the purchasing of new books for school libraries.”