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North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources (NCC): About

About the NCC

NCC is a community hub for the field of Japanese Studies, providing freely available online services and Japanese information resources to all users. 

Founded in 1991, NCC works closely with librarians, faculty, and funding agencies to strengthen Japanese language collections and to promote access to information in all forms and formats. NCC works in partnership with Japanese institutions, leading organizations in North America, and globally throughout the fields of Japanese studies to create and disseminate services. 

NCC serves as a vocal advocate for broader access to Japanese information for all users and stands ready to work with librarians, faculty, students, and others to develop new initiatives to meet emerging library and information resource needs to advance Japanese studies scholarship and to benefit understanding internationally.

Major NCC Initiatives:

  • to create a freely circulating collection of over 42,000 items; 
  • to promote cooperative collection development among North American libraries;
  • to create more efficient and wide-ranging forms of information exchange within North America, between North American and Japanese libraries, and among those interested in Japan everywhere;
  • to improve access to library and information resources on Japan for students and faculty at both large and small institutions;
  • to support reference and other services to faculty and students in smaller institutions without major Japanese language collections and without the services of a trained Japanese studies librarian;
  • to develop professional training and continuing education programs for librarians who serve the information needs of Japanese studies faculty and their students;
  • to promote information literacy through online user-training on Japanese language electronic resources, and;
  • to facilitate access to electronic materials developed on Japan by sharing information and providing a forum for discussion of issues related to digital resources.

[NEW!] About NCC Membership

Sign up for NCC Membership Here!


The NCC Council has approved a change to NCC’s bylaws so we can now build our general membership. This change was made so that NCC can keep track of its members, grow our community and, and get interested people on board through crowd-sourcing, volunteering, and other kinds of help when we need it. In these challenging economic times, NCC needs to diversify its funding sources and show buy-in from the larger community. Even small donations will show community commitment to advancing the availability of information and resources for all of the Japan Studies fields. It also allows us to communicate more effectively about all the great work NCC is doing through our various outreach activities (see our Committees and Working Groups).Thanks to our membership, we have initiated a quarterly newsletter, which will go to everyone who signs up to keep them informed about activities and opportunities. More importantly, NCC can use this membership sign-up as a way to keep in touch with the many people who have been actively involved in NCC over the years. Formerly, without a membership, there was no way of keeping in touch with NCC alumni and emeriti.


We recognize, however, that along with change comes some uncertainty and risk. Since NCC has received several questions about this change, we would like to address these concerns and invite any other questions by creating this FAQ page.

NCC Membership FAQ:

Q:  If NCC has initiated a free membership subscription, how does the organization differentiate between the committee and working group members, who are working hard on behalf of NCC and subscribed members, who are not active in any NCC projects?

A: The members of NCC who are actively involved in certain committees and working groups already have titles, such as Chair, co-Chair, or, for example, “DRC member,” which will distinguish them from members who do not have such roles


Q: What if a free membership subscriber puts NCC membership on their CV, even if they are not an active member? 

A: As with membership or affiliation with any academic organization, the choice to put it on one’s CV shows 1) that the person values it highly enough to want employers to know about it, and 2) that this person aspires to become an active member of the Japan Studies community. If that person is inactive, that will quickly become apparent to the interviewer or hiring committee.


Q: How does the NCC general membership help NCC’s various committees and working groups?

A: NCC’s membership sign-up survey allows new members to express their areas of interest so NCC can call upon them, if there is a need, to participate in surveys or other activities relating to their interests. If an NCC committee or working group needs new members, the subscribed membership also offers a source for finding new people as needed.


Q: How can NCC Committees or Working Groups handle random volunteers for NCC activities?

A: NCC Committee and Working Group chairs are in total control of who is actually involved in their group or any NCC activity. If someone, who has signed up for free membership, offers to volunteer, chairs can decide whether they want to find out more about that person and what they could offer the Committee or Working Group, or they could politely say that they are not in need of volunteers at the moment but may contact the person at a later time. Ideally, the membership would provide a pool of potential people to call upon, as needed.


Q: What if somebody goes to the National Diet Library or another key organization in Japan pretending to represent NCC, when they are not actually an active member? 

A: Apparently, this has happened in the past, even when NCC did not have a free membership sign up, so having one will not change the behavior of bad actors. If this does happen again, we will have to deal with the situation as it arises. Again, if they are pretending something that is not the case, this usually becomes apparent fairly quickly.

Please continue to send in your questions and concerns to tmcgowan[at] so that we can keep this conversation going. Ideally NCC Membership will give us a stronger sense of community, and, in the long run, the benefits of membership will outweigh any of the risks.

NCC Handbook

The NCC Handbook is available HERE.

NCC Archive

North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources
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