Lending Organized by Themes, Two Libraries in Echizen City
Until January 13th in the Echizen City Library, and the 12th in the Imadate Library (both located within Fukui Prefecture’s Echizen City), a “Book Fukubukuro” event is being held. A “fukubukuro” is a grab bag filled with unknown contents and sold at shops at a discount during the New Year’s period. Without knowing what books could be inside, other than a theme written on a label as a hint, visitors can choose a bag containing three books to borrow. This marks the fifth year for this popular project. Ont he first day, on January 4th, there was a large crowd of visitors intending to take part in the event.
Written on the front of the bags are various things such as, “What kind of world are you looking for?” and “Stories surrounding tonkatsu.” Borrowers take the bag home without opening it, filled with excitement to see what kind of books could be inside.
“Borrowers can encounter genres and authors they would normally not choose,” explained an associate.
In the Echizen City Library, bags are categorized by demographics, which include age, with a total of 10 categories set up. This year introduces a bag containing DVDs of movies and TV dramas taken from the AV corner. There are also bags made for independent reading groups, including the “Ancient and Historical Text Readers”, and the “YA Group”, which is comprised of youths who enjoy books. In addition, there is a “Stuffed Bag” available for those looking to borrow up to the 15-book limit. At the Imadate Library, there are three main categories: children, youths, and adults.
According tot he Echizen City Library, there were many visitors who came on January 4th because of the event. At approximately 3,000 books lent out on that first day of the year, it was 1.5 times the number of books compared to a regular weekend.
“All the library staff thought carefully about the selection of books prepared for the visitors. This project is as much for book lovers as for those who normally don’t read,” said an associate, inviting everyone to visit the library.