1-7 Sophia University Library

1-7-1 Library collection trends

The figure below exhibits changes in the number of books in the library collection at the Central Library, Law School Library and the Mejiro Seibo Campus Library. The library collection increased considerably in AY2011 due to the merger with Seibo College, but the number of books decreased the following academic year as a result of removal. A distinctive feature of Sophia University’s library collection is that it has a relatively large number of books written in foreign languages compared to other universities. However, newly published books written in foreign languages to be accepted are shifting to electronic books.

Regarding electronic journals, their price increase forced to review the library collection in 2015, and the number of them were greatly reduced. However, in AY2021, owing to the spread of COVID-19, the number of foreign and open access collections was increased to make them available without visiting the Library. In addition, the number of electronic books, mainly those written in foreign languages, has been increasing, but in AY2020, electric books written in Japanese were enhanced.

1-7-2 Library Use

Number of books in circulation

The number of books on loan varies year to year. We do not consider that the said number has decreased to such a degree that the popularly discussed trend of not reading books is growing. Use not reflected in figures has increased, such as the number of e-books and the like on loan. In AY2020, admissions were temporarily restricted, and online classes were mainly held to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Accordingly, the number of books on loan dropped sharply to one-third that of the previous year, but in AY2021, returned to 70% or more recorded before the spread of COVID-19 because face-to-face classes increased.

Number of library visitors

While the number of library visitors has fluctuated over the last 10 years, it has shown a slight decrease. One reason for this is the digitalization of reference materials and the fact that reference materials can be accessed from home. In AY2020, admissions were temporarily restricted, and online classes were mainly held to avoid the spread of COVID-19, and the number of visitors dropped sharply to less than 10% of the previous year but returned to about 50% in AY2021.

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