Tokyo library reaching out to foreign community

Whether to read a Pulitzer Prize-winning author in English, flick through global editions of Vogue magazine or delve into foreign encyclopedias, the Tokyo Metropolitan Library wants more foreigners to visit and take advantage of its free multilingual resources.

The library, whose central branch is in Minato Ward, is running a campaign to make non-Japanese residents aware of its wide range of resources in foreign languages, both online and in print.

“We have a lot of foreign-language materials, but not many foreigners know that,” said Akiko Yoshida, who oversees the library’s foreign-language resources.

Even though the library doesn’t keep a record of who enters its building, staff at the central branch have observed that given the large foreign community in the surrounding area of Hiroo, not many foreigners drop by, she said.