The energy and competitiveness of the public sector further improve administrative services. Ms. Hitomi Endo, who works at the Yotsuya Library in Shinjuku Ward in Tokyo, is a graduate of the Faculty of Policy Studies, Chuo University. Her planning abilities, which took a battering in the private sector after graduating, her English ability, which she brushed up in the Chuo's Faculty of Policy Studies, learning the necessity to carry on Japanese culture when studying in Thailand as a high school student, and her bright character and energy that have pulled them all together, are now the driving force at the library as its intelligence infrastructure.
In the position of the user
The Yotsuya Library information magazine Yotsuba is popular. A recent edition tells the history of "Naito Tougarashi" (Kind of cayenne pepper) being grown in the Edo period and the sight of the whole of Naito-Shinjuku being a sea of red. This story is far from the image of Shinjuku being surrounded by skyscrapers.
Naito-Shinjuku refers to the post town including the Shinjuku Imperial Garden presented to Kiyonari Naito by Ieyasu Tokugawa and the surrounding area of 220,000 tsubo (1 tsubo=3.3 m²).
By unfolding history and trying to link it to the present, centered around the Yotsuya local citizens' organization Yotsuya Local Council, a revival project for the Naito-Shinjuku's local specialty, "Naito Tougarashi" is being promoted, and with the library participating in activities, "Naito Tougarashi" is being cultivated.
Collecting and providing materials and information related to the area is also an important role of the public library. Using local materials owned by the Yotsuya Library, they have held a panel exhibition introducing Naito-Shinjuku, and a lecture by the 17th head of the Naito family, Yoriyoshi Naito.
Events such as "Naito Tougarashi" cooking by a cuisine professional, the workshops and guided walking tours of historic sites around the library were planned, and have received high praise from the participants. Ms. Endo is in the middle of this planning.
Until now, the library was mainly used for lending books, magazines and CDs, but is has transformed into a place for the transmission of new information.
After graduating from Chuo University, in April 2006 she was employed at the art gallery, Gallery Sakura no ki. What needed to be done to create sensation at the monthly individual exhibitions and to increase profits? She strengthened her planning skills while dealing with a job that covered various areas, planning, sales, and advertising. "I loved my job at the art gallery, which was exciting every day. But I also had an interest in local administration. I wanted to work involving the revitalization of the community and people, applying one thing I've learned in the Faculty of Policy Studies. I had a chance encounter at that time…"
She joined VIAX Co., Ltd. (Tokyo), a company known as a library designated administrator. She started working at the Yotsuya Library from April 2010 and completed her librarian qualifications after changing jobs.
In charge of new activities at the library, while enduring some difficult situations, she was buoyed by staffs at the library, which came to life as a result of her planning skills.
The meaning of the smiling face she learned
People gather around Ms. Endo. She shyly tries to get away from the subject by saying, "I have vitality with no basis," but that smile draws people, and her performance at work attracts even more.
She went to Thailand to study for a year when she was at high school. She has studied in the Country of Smiles.
"Smiling is a means to happiness, not a result."
A smiling face is born from a smile. Smiling makes communication with others easier and makes you feel at ease. These words are only possible for her, who has grabbed many opportunities through smiling.
Ms. Endo stayed in Chiangrai in northern Thailand near Myanmar and Laos. Chiangrai is located about 780 km from the capital Bangkok and it takes about 1 hour 20 minutes by plane. With many ancient ruins, it is a beautiful town full of history.
She joined the second year class at a public high school. With eight hours of lessons set a day, Ms. Endo studied from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Compulsory education in Thailand continues until the end of primary school. From junior high school it is to study and study every day.
She spent 70 percent of her days speaking Thai and 30 percent English. Other than classes, she joined the traditional Thai dance club and spent time with other exchange students who had come from Brazil, Australia and New Zealand. She still keeps contact with her host family and classmates today.
Ms. Endo likes Thailand so much that she says, "Even now I can still eat Thai food three meals a day." Her study experience in Thailand deepened her interest in Japanese culture. Now she is learning calligraphy and how to wear a kimono, and enjoys watching Noh once in a while.
During her time at Chuo University, she acquired qualifications as a curator. Her graduation thesis was entitled Civic Identity in Public Art Galleries. Ms. Endo was taught by her mentor to be critical for existing facts. Should one maintain the status quo or look for ways to improve? How can one produce new values?
Ms. Endo's innovative stance toward library services all began at Chuo University's Tama Campus.