Message from the Director

Portraits of the Director

Hokkaido University Library started as “Shojaku-shitsu (bookroom)”, which was established at the same time as Sapporo Agricultural College opened its doors in 1876, and Inazo Nitobe who became the Chief Officer of “Shojaku-kan (hall of books)” 15 years later in 1891 is recognized as its first Director of the Library. Since its inception, the University Library has served as a vital space for education and research at the University, and has also evolved with the University for the past 140 years.
The word “library” came from the Latin words, “liber (book)” and “arium (place to store)”, and originally means “a place where books are stored”. The University Library's fundamental function, the use and maintenance of its collection, has not changed even at the present day. However, rapidly advancing digitalization is transforming the way the University Library functions. The words such as electronic journals, database, open access and open science suggest that the environment that involves our academic knowledge and information is fast changing. The University Library must adapt swiftly to these changes and remain as a frontrunner in maintaining a gateway to knowledge . For that purpose, our students, faculty and staff members with different skills and capabilities must work together with the Library staff to successfully manage and operate the Library.
Evolution of information and communication technology is expected to create enormous change not only to the functions of the University Library but also to its facilities and environment. All academic knowledge may become digitized, and you may obtain necessary information while you stay home or at your laboratory and communicate freely with others. The University Library itself may even become a virtual space.
At the same time, we firmly believe that the University Library shall remain to be a place that provides comfort particularly for our students. You may come to the Library for a specific purpose such as to finish your assignment or to prepare your thesis, or you may come just to read your favorite book. At other times, you may come to take a break and spend time alone, or to meet up with a friend. The view you see or the scent you smell sitting in a chair of the Library, the view of our Campus outside its window will be one of the precious memories of your college life.
The University Library commits itself to keep evolving and maintain a gateway to knowledge with you and for you, and also to provide a place of comfort to all. Please visit the Library and take advantage of everything it offers. We welcome you with a beautiful scenery of each season.
Executive/Vice President
Director of University Library
Hokkaido University


Fumihiko Yamamoto