An appropriation of €800,000 for a national acquisition of digital media for public libraries has been set aside from the Parliament’s additional budget which was prepared due to the coronavirus epidemic. The sum will be spent on procuring e-materials for children and young people. The aim of the national project initiated with the appropriation is to promote literacy, increase learning opportunities and reduce inequality.
The funding will be used to procure e-material licences and balance municipal differences in the scope and availability of e-materials. The special expertise of the libraries themselves will be leveraged in the selection of materials throughout the project.
The project is coordinated by the Consortium of Public Libraries, which represents the entire country and operates under Helsinki City Library. It is responsible for the coordination and public tendering of the procurement as well as the relevant publisher cooperation. In addition to libraries, the project’s key interest groups include a variety of operators that have helped produce, provide or communicate about the digital materials in varying ways.
“The funding decision is much appreciated. This effort to support equal and concrete access to information and new experiences among children and young people demonstrates the wisdom of our decision-makers. Securing a nationally wider offering of e-materials for libraries is a long-term effort, which the funding most certainly expedites,” says Head of Library Network Services Virva Nousiainen-Hiiri of Helsinki City Library.
The project funding will help provide children and young people with more opportunities to dive into the world of stories and literature, improve digital skills and thereby prevent social exclusion. The additional funding will be used to collect high-quality digital materials, which will be made available nationally and equitably through public libraries.
The project will last until June 2023.
Photo: Maarit Hohteri / City of Helsinki