The services of the Helsinki City Library are offered by 37 libraries, two mobile libraries, and a home library service for hospitals and care centres. The City Library has a staff of 450 people. The Director of Library Services is Katri Vänttinen.
The library has four units: Regional library services, Central Library Oodi, National Development services and Library network services.
The Regional Libraries unit is responsible for the libraries’ services and customer service.
The Central Library provides library services in cooperation with other units and is in charge of partnerships.
The National Development services provides network, communication and other services to public libraries around Finland, as well as promoting their international activities and mutual cooperation.
Library network services handles, for example, the selection, classification, cataloguing and indexing of library materials and, in cooperation with the National Development service, manages the Multilingual Library.
Helsinki City Library is engaged in close cooperation with the city libraries of Kauniainen, Espoo and Vantaa, which together form the Helmet network (Helsinki Metropolitan Area Libraries). The four city libraries have a shared library card and collections that can be borrowed across municipal boundaries.
The long history of the library
Library services were introduced in 1860, when the first library was opened at the corner of Hallituskatu and Fabianinkatu, in Helsinki.
The first ever building that was originally designed as a Nordic library is the Richardinkatu Library, which remains in operation today.
Continue reading about the history of the library