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L to R: Yasuko Hirata, Becky Zirkle, Anthony Tilke
Anthony is talking to Jens Boyer (back to camera)

Coming in September 2003: A report by Jo Painter on the June 26th meeting with

APL March Meeting


By Tammy Hays


Anthony Tilke, Head Librarian at Yokohama International School, gave an informative talk to APL on Saturday, March 1, 2003 at the International School of the Sacred Heart. 


Anthony recently served on the European Council of International Schools (ECIS) Committee on Library and Information Services. His most recent book is Managing Your School Library and Information Service: A Practical Handbook. 


He began his talk with a discussion of various library science employment issues and the importance of knowledge management, which is the management of information that will assist the entire organization.  According to Anthony, it is up to the librarian to know what the users and the organization want and need.


The currency of skills or qualifications is another area of concern for librarianship, especially as the technology is so rapidly changing.  It is easy for us to know when we need more training and need to update our skills.  However, it is more difficult to create a standard for qualifications for librarianship.


More and more it seems that librarians are choosing to be librarians as their second career.  Changing careers takes time, effort and cash.  And being a librarian means making a commitment to life long learning and having flexible skills. Unfortunately, librarians salaries are not always taking into account the amount of education we must acquire to enter our profession.


What about the international aspects of librarianship? How do we make sure of the validity of qualifications? Do your qualifications match that of a new country? These are all questions we need to ask.  It is hoped that IFLA may help with this in the future by creating qualification standards. 


Professionalism and accountability are part of librarianship. According to Anthony,  We are professionals; sometimes accountability takes on more of an effort and sometimes the balance gets off kilter.


Anthony is currently working on his PhD from Charles Stewart University in Australia, doing comparative research on the training of school librarians. His thesis title is What features of professional education and post-professional education and training makes an effective school librarian in their first ten years of practice: a comparative study of practice in Australia and Scotland.


He noted that everybody has a different way of doing things and that maybe there is a best way and maybe not, but he would like to find out.  The UK image of school librarianship is of a dual qualified teacher/librarian.  This sounded great at the time, but providing education, etc. can be a challenge and the question still remains whether these highly qualified professionals will see their efforts reflected in higher salaries.


Within countries, there are many different avenues to qualify as a school librarian.  With this in mind, he then opened up the discussion to the room.  Attendees were given the opportunity to speak about their backgrounds in libraries, including the steps taken toward becoming a librarian.  We learned that there is a wide range of experiences in libraries among the APL membership.




By Pat Matthias


The APL Christmas luncheon was held on  Sunday, December 15, 2002   at the International House of Japan in Roppongi.  A delicious sushi buffet was enjoyed overlooking the Japanese garden. 


Our guest speaker was author and independent publisher Caroline Pover who shared with us her fascinating journey into the world of Japanese publishing.  Born and raised in England she came to Japan as a tourist in August 1996 through the encouragement of a friend.  She arrived on a Thursday, interviewed on  Friday and was hired on Monday.  She soon found that information for foreigners coming to live in Japan, especially western foreign women was male dominated and no groups existed to bring together women of differing  ages and cultures.   Faced with the frustrations of adjusting to life in Japan with no help to get through day- to-day life, she simply woke up one morning and decided to publish a magazine.  She had no prior experience but  found she just learned as she went along.


The magazine was free at first but later a fee was charged to enable more extensive distribution.  Since publishing a foreign magazine in Tokyo is very expensive her first efforts lasted some thirteen issues before the magazine ceased publication.  However the network development and continuing demand for information that had begun with the magazine continued.  This demand turned into a need to publish a book to provide continued support,  so Being A Broad in Japan expanded.  She interviewed foreign women and experts, included anecdotes, added a glossary and resources section  for each category.  She tried to be honest in her reporting, sometimes revealing personal information, but always felt loyal to her interviewees and people who would read  the book.  


Since the book was a self-published project and the publishing world is very closed in Japan finding a way to distribute the book was difficult.  However the manager of Tower Records in Japan was able to help her promote the book and in no time it became the number one best seller at Shibuya Tower Records. 


Caroline has gone on to expand her activities to include project management of the thirteenth edition of The American Chamber of Commerce in Japan publication called Living in Japan, and publishing Tokyo Pub Crawler: His & Her Bar Guide. Several other books are in production.  She also devotes  her time to providing  networking services, consulting in publishing and  has recently launched Go Girls: an on-line matching site for female students and language teachers.  Her publishing philosophy focuses on  books that have to do with helping people improve their life and their experience.  It is her desire to help others communicate better.  She tries to give her publications a sense of developing community for people and not just another book.


Caroline is the founder of Alexandra Press, through which all her books can be ordered.  More about the Being A Broad support network can be found at  And the Go Girls: student/teacher matching site and community for women in Japan can be found at  You may contact Caroline Pover at TEL/FAX 91-3-5410-3744 or email her at


Thanks to Pat Matthias, who is the librarian at DODDS-Ikego Elementary School,  for this report.

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