In order to pursue the improvement and the development of university libraries, the Japan Association of Private University Libraries is engaged in various activities in the following fields: investigation, research, seminars, lectures, publication, international cooperation, and so on. As of 2010, 520 private university libraries (approximately 90% of Japan’s total number) belonged to the Association.
The Association comprises East and West districts, led by the General Head School (Rikkyo University, 2011-2012). The East and West districts are each made up of a District Head School, Directorial Schools, and a Supervisory School. The Association’s consultative organs are by stages the Regular Executive Council, the Joint Board of Directors, and the General Conference. Moreover, the Association has a Screening Committee for the Association Prize, a Research Support Committee, a Committee for International Library Cooperation, and an Arrangements Committee for the Association's Homepage under the General Head School. These committees receive reports and proposals concerning their activities.
In 1930, the Association originated as the “Tokyo Private University Library Association.” In 1938, the university libraries in the Kansai region joined up, and it was reorganized as “the National Private University Library Association.” At the 6th General Conference (1943), its name was changed to the “Japan Association of Private University Libraries.” In this manner, the Association was established in 1938, and has been steadily developing since then. On September 9th and 10th, 2010, the 71st General Conference and various events were held at Seinan Gakuin University.