Saving IICLO

By now IRSCL members should have received an email from Tomoko Masaki, alerting them to the possibility that the International Institute of Children’s Literature, Osaka (IICLO) will be closed down and its collection dispersed through the Osaka Prefectural Library. IRSCL has multiple associations with IICLO. Many of us visited the Institute during our Congress in August 2007, and admired its wonderful collections of primary and secondary material including rare early books. IRSCL members have carried out research at IICLO, supported by its knowledgeable staff. Since 1987 the Institute has hosted the Brothers Grimm Award, sponsored by the Kinran-kai Foundation, honouring, among other scholars, the following current and former IRSCL members: Klaus Doderer (1987), Göte Klingberg (1989), James Fraser (1991), Denise Escarpit (1995), Jack Zipes (1999), Jean Perrot (2001), Peter Hunt (2003), Maria Nikolajeva (2005) and, most recently, John Stephens (2007).

The Institute has reached out to the community, too, through storytelling, exhibitions, puppet shows, kamishibai and children’s activities. For information about IICLO in English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese, go to their website.

Tomoko says that the governor of Osaka prefecture does not believe that the prefecture can afford to keep IICLO open. However, emails from around the world might convince him of the importance of IICLO to the international community of children’s literature researchers. If you want to email the governor, contact me at: I’ll then send you the appropriate information.