Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Emergency Relief

Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Emergency Relief (21st Report)
UNICEF Children’s Mini Library Project: Apology and request

[TOKYO, Japan, 1 April 2011]

© Japan Committee for UNICEF

On 25 March, the Japan Committee for UNICEF (JCU) began the UNICEF Children’s Mini Library project as part of efforts for creating Child Friendly Spaces. Under this project, picture books and children’s books donated by people throughout Japan are being delivered to children in the disaster area.

We have received a significantly greater response than expected from people all across the country, and we would like to express our gratitude for everyone’s kind cooperation. Everyday a truck arrives at the UNICEF House to deliver donations of picture books and kami shibai (Japanese picture card stories).

Yesterday, on 31 March, Asaka Seto visited the UNICEF House and donated children’s books for children in disaster areas.

© Japan Committee for UNICEF    © Japan Committee for UNICEF
Asaka Seto during her visit to the UNICEF House.   Some of the books donated by Asaka Seto.

Ms. Seto offered a message of encouragement to the children in the disaster area, “I am sure that you are all very scared and things are really tough, but I want to you to know that by no means are you alone. The people of the world are coming together, so don’t give up. I firmly believe that a bright future is waiting for you, so let’s stick this out together.” Books collected through the UNICEF Children’s Mini Library project are scheduled to be delivered to children in the disaster areas as early as next week.

Apology and request

As we are receiving more books than expected, we have decided to separate the shipping destination for each type of donation. We apologize for the inconvenience, but kindly ask for your understanding and cooperation.

We are seeking the following books

Picture books, children? books and kami shibai (Japanese picture card stories) for children between the ages of 0 and 14.

*As your donated books will be shared among a large number of children, we ask that you only send new or near-new books. (We cannot accept books with writing in them or that are torn.)
*We prioritize books that follow a story or those that can be read to children. We do not accept magazines, manga or game strategy books.


5 April 2011 (Tue)    We have closed the list.

1 What is the UNICEF Little Library Project? Under this project mini-libraries (small box-shaped book shelves) packed with picture books and children? books will be placed at Child Friendly Spaces set up by UNICEF at shelters with children suffering from the disaster.
2 Campaign period (11 days) We want to deliver books to the children suffering from the disaster as quickly as possible. We will first work to deliver Little Libraries to approximately 100 locations (tentative). This campaign may then also be expanded in accordance with local demand and requests. We plan to make future announcements in the case such extensions are made.
3 When will the books arrive? We plan to complete preparations, such as actually filling the boxes with books, during the first week of April and deliver them to the disaster sites in mid-April.
4 My books are dirty. Can I still donate them? We ask that no books are donated that would give a foul impression to children due to their lack of cleanliness.
5 Is it okay to send books that have children? names written in them? We ask that you do not send books with writing in them.
6 How about books with stickers on them? We will accept them if the stickers have been cleanly removed. However, we will not accept books with stickers in them.
7 How about sheet music, song books, pictorial encyclopaedias, cook books, origami books, etc.? At the present moment we are prioritizing books that can be read aloud to children or those with stories that children can read themselves.
8 How about books that are clean but old? We ask that you not donate books that would give children a foul impression due to the age of the book.
9 Can I order books from AMAZON, Rakuten Books or another service and have them delivered to Japan Committee for UNICEF? Yes. However, please make sure that orders have already been paid for.
10 Is it okay to include a message in the book? Yes. However, please be aware we cannot guarantee that your book will be delivered to the disaster site. Also, we may use your message on the JCU homepage or somewhere else. Please indicate if you would not like your message made public. (Personal information such as your name will not be disclosed.)
11 Can I donate DVDs and manga? We are currently investigating ways in which DVDs and manga can be used as a form of assistance.
12 Do you accept non-Japanese books? We prioritize Japanese books.