Christmas tree in Kallio Library.

In Helsinki, you can visit the library even at Christmas

This year, five libraries will be open in Helsinki during the Christmas holidays. At Kallio Library and Rikhardinkatu Library, staff will be present on Christmas Eve. Laajasalo Library, Lauttasaari Library and Viikki Library will be open for self-service during the holidays.

In 2018, Kallio Library was the first library in Helsinki to keep its doors open on Christmas Eve. According to Chief Librarian Erna Marttila, very many customers praised the idea, and the library definitely wanted to serve customers again this Christmas after last year’s break due to COVID-19.

No Christmas fuss at the library

The library offers a peaceful space and alternative activities for Christmas, and it is also nice to go there if you feel lonely or bored or if your home feels cramped.

Due to the current pandemic situation, there will be no special Christmas programme at Kallio Library. According to Erna Marttila, the majority of customers on Christmas Eve are regular visitors.
“At Christmas, you may have time to read a book or comic book, watch a good film or play a board game with family and friends, and you can get any of these from the library. If there is enough snow, you can even borrow a sledge for the holidays,” Erna Marttila says.

At Rikhardinkatu Library, too, Christmas visitors are usually regular customers of the library.

“People borrow books or use a computer as usual, but some customers also come here to feel the atmosphere of the library at Christmas,” says Chief Librarian Mari Heino.

Self-service with your library card

Opened in October after a renovation, Viikki Library will be open for self-service on Christmas Day and Boxing Day for the first time. No staff will be present at the library, but the premises will be monitored using technology.

According to Chief Librarian Anki Mölläri, young people in particular have welcomed the self-service opportunity.

“Here in Viikki, we have good experiences with self-service customers. It’s so great that young people are making use of the library. Some older people have had slight difficulties checking in at the door, but it’s not hard to access the library on your own. All you need is your library card barcode and four-digit PIN. Christmas is a good time to borrow games, films and books for the holidays,” Anki Mölläri says.

On Christmas Eve, staff will be present at Kallio Library and Rikhardinkatu Library at 10:00–16:00. On Christmas Eve, Laajasalo Library will be open for self-service at 10:00–18:00, i.e. you can open the library door using your library card and PIN. On Christmas Day and Boxing Day, Laajasalo Library and Viikki Library will be open for self-service at 10:00–18:00 and Lauttasaari Library at 12:00–18:00.

Helmet Libraries