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The interorganizational networking communities have spontaneously emerged among young Japanese librarians in recent years. This study explores the role of the communities from the perspectives of professional knowledge management, social networks and social capital, and the possibilities to reconstruct the Japanese librarianship. The study examined the following research questions: 1) What outcomes did young librarians who had participated in the interorganizational social networking communities get especially in terms of knowledge acquisition and affections? And 2) What possibilities do the young librarians communities have to transform Japanese librarianship? Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with five librarians to gain insight into how they engage in and feel about outside social networking activities and training opportunities. The results showed that the young librarians’ voluntary communities helped build social networks, provided opportunities for the transfer of tacit knowledge, and were a source of motivation for the participants. They also suggested that the communities could have a significant impact on the transition of Japanese librarianship.
► Young Japanese librarians’ online communities provide knowledge transfer, social networks, and motivation.
► These communities could help transform Japanese librarianship and expand social capital.
► Social networks provide On the Job Training.
Journal: The International Information & Library Review - Volume 43, Issue 3, September 2011, Pages 144–148