This year we are periodically shining a spotlight on the librarians and information specialists of NCC who are often behind the scenes working to support students, faculty, and staff. Whether you’re in the classroom to learn or teach or are conducting research near or far, these hardworking individuals make Japanese Studies possible.
This month, we are pleased to introduce Tsuyoshi Harada, Japanese Studies Librarian and Liaison Librarian for Korean Studies at the University of Iowa. A graduate of the English Language and Literature program at Waseda University, Harada received his M.L.I.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2016. On his path to librarianship, Harada also worked in broadcasting, using his bilingual skills as a researcher and freelance writer with Japanese companies. After working in Japanese Acquisitions for nearly a decade at Columbia University, he became a part of the University of Iowa community in 2018. There, he has worked tirelessly in both local collections management and in forging international connections, helping Iowa to become one of only two US-based partners with Japan’s National Diet Library for their Digitized Contents Transmission Service.
In 2021, Harada founded the University of Iowa’s Tadoku (多読) Japanese Book Club, encouraging Japanese language learners and enthusiasts to read large numbers of books at their current reading level in order to enhance their Japanese skills while taking pleasure in the reading process.
In addition to his contributions to the Japan Studies community, Harada is also serving as a liaison for the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program (IWP), an international community-building program that brings together writers from around the world for residencies in Iowa City. These short-term visits allow creative writers of all kinds and backgrounds to engage in public-facing talks, workshops, multilingual reading activities, and more. In the past, renowned writers such as Gōzō Yoshimasu, Kenji Nakagami, and Minae Mizumura participated in the program from Japan.
Poet Takako Arai and translator Jeffrey Angles reading from their work, Factory Girls,
at Prairie Lights Bookstore in Iowa City in October 2019.
As liaison for IWP, Harada has facilitated visits by novelist Yusho Takiguchi (2018) and poet Takako Arai (2019). Although writers from Japan have not been able to attend IWP for the last three years due to the pandemic, they will be welcoming the poet Yuki Nagae to the program this year.
As a part of NCC, Harada regularly uses his skills to bring together information resources and the people who need them. Since 2019, he has been a part of our Resource Sharing Committee (formerly Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery Committee), for which he currently is serving as Chair. He is also a part of our Outreach Working Group (2019-2020, co-chair from 2021 to present), helping ensure that underserved institutions and researchers have access to the materials they require. We are proud that our NCC Specialists have such a broad ranging impact in and beyond their own institutions.