Tokyo, November 1, 2017 - Rakuten, Inc. today announced that it has signed a comprehensive agreement with Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, to cooperate in enhancing the reading environment and promoting globalization through multilingual education utilizing information technology.
Based on the agreement, residents of Hamamatsu City will be able to use Rakuten OverDrive, the Rakuten Group’s service providing eBooks and digital content to libraries and educational institutions, at the public libraries in the city (23 libraries and one branch library). With OverDrive, residents will be able to borrow eBooks and other content from the libraries*1 on their own tablets, smartphones or PCs, at any time and place. By offering OverDrive’s vast library of more than 1.6 million multi-language works, Rakuten and Hamamatsu City hope to support and strengthen the foreign language education of the city’s residents. In addition, Rakuten Communications Corp. will provide a wi-fi environment and tablets*2 to an number of libraries in the city to give residents the opportunity to try out the OverDrive service.
Hamamatsu City in Shizuoka Prefecture is an industrial city with a population of 800,000, and its more than 20,000 foreign residents give the city a very international feel. With a vision to become a city where people of different cultures can co-exist, Hamamatsu City is implementing measures to promote multicultural understanding and study ways to provide support to foreign residents.
The Rakuten Group, which offers more than 70 services in Japan and around the world, believes in the importance of diversity and proactively recruits people from a wide variety of nationalities and backgrounds. By providing services to the libraries in Hamamatsu City, the Rakuten Group aims to enhance the public services offered by the city and support the promotion of globalization in the city, and further improve its own eBook library services through feedback received from city residents.
Going forward, Rakuten and Hamamatsu City aim to promote the convenience of local libraries and contribute to the development of local culture.
*1 A Hamamatsu City Library User Card or e-library ID is required to use the service.
*2 12 tablets made by Lenovo Japan Ltd. are planned to be provided to a number of libraries in the city.
Areas of Collaboration between Rakuten and Hamamatsu City in the Agreement
1. The provision of e-library services to the public libraries in Hamamatsu City
2. The naming of the e-library service in Hamamatsu City
3. The provision of a wi-fi environment and the loan of tablet devices to libraries managed
by Hamamatsu City
4. Hamamatsu City is to promote the e-libraries and their use
5. Hamamatsu City is to provide feedback on the e-library service and collaborate
on the improvement of the service
About Rakuten OverDrive
Rakuten OverDrive, a Rakuten Group company headquartered in the U.S., provides e-library services to more than 38,000 public libraries and educational facilities in 70 countries around the world. OverDrive’s e-library system is used by more than 90% of public libraries in the U.S., with the number of libraries adopting the system increasing every year. Rakuten OverDrive offers over 3 million titles in over 100 languages, and offers approximately 1.6 million titles, including Japanese language content, to libraries in Japan.
About Rakuten Communications Corp.
Rakuten Communications Corp. is the information and communications technology business of the Rakuten Group. Based on its vision to become “The New Value Enabler towards our Digital Society,” Rakuten Communications also provides mobile and cloud service solutions, in addition to traditional fixed line-based services, such as IP phones and internet connection services. Rakuten Communications aims to further expand its business in order to create new possibilities in the IP voice and data sector, and in content and application development.