TOKYO, March 26, 2014 – Rakuten, Inc. today announced that it would be expanding the scope of the Rakuten Mobile Library activity which has been operating in Fukushima Prefecture, to three additional prefectures from this April. Starting with Gifu Prefecture, the library activity will also be rolled out in Shimane and Gunma by the end of the year.
The Rakuten Mobile Library has been operating in Fukushima Prefecture to promote education as well as to contribute to reconstruction in affected communities following the Great East Japan Earthquake disaster. In the places it has visited, the mobile library plays a role in promoting interaction among users and contributes to the revitalization of the local community. Based on this success, Rakuten has decided to expand the areas covered by the Rakuten Mobile Library in the aim of promoting education as well as a new objective of community revitalization.
Rakuten is working to create an environment conducive to fostering sensitivity among children through reading. In these three prefectures in mountain areas, many children can be seen at libraries accompanied by their parents, so there is likely to be solid demand for a mobile library that can go closer to where people live. By actively pursuing these reading promotion activities in the three prefectures with the Rakuten Mobile Library, Rakuten hopes children will have more opportunities to read. The library will also contribute to revitalizing communities through interaction among users. In future, Rakuten intends to expand the program to suit the respective needs of communities, based on the access to libraries in each prefecture, their location, and other issues to their use.
Rakuten intends to continue working to empower children and the people of local communities through educational promotion and community revitalization initiatives.
※About the Rakuten Mobile Library
Rakuten launched the Rakuten Mobile Library initiative on December 21, 2012 in Fukushima Prefecture with a vehicle containing 1,200 books and Kobo Touch e-readers. It has been visited by 5,635 children and their parents or minders as of the end of December 2013. Rakuten Mobile Library is a platform for many trials in collaboration with various Rakuten Group services, providing a venue for study and fun with books and thrilling new experiences in general. (http://corp.rakuten.co.jp/csr/mobile-library/)