Living in Finland

Cities

Kirjastot
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Libraries

All Finnish cities and municipalities have a municipal or city library. At libraries you can borrow books, read magazines and newspapers, use a computer, study or participate in various events.

Some libraries may also have childrens' games or host story hours.

Most libraries usually have a reading room. This is a quiet space suitable for reading and doing your homework in silence, for example.

The library staff can also help you in using a computer, and some libraries host language cafés where you can practise speaking Finnish.

The contact information for the libraries can be found in the online service libraries.fi.

linkkiLibraries.fi:
Online library serviceFinnish | Swedish | English

There are also scientific libraries, libraries of educational institutes as well as various specialised libraries. They may impose some limitations on using their material, but usually they are open for everyone.

Library Card

You need a library card to borrow books. You can apply for one at any library. Remember to have some form of identification (with a photograph) on hand. If you don't have a Finnish personal identity code, you can get a library card for a limited time period.

The library card is free of charge. If you lose your card, you can get a new one for a fee.

When you move, let the library know your new address. If you move to another municipality where your library card is not valid, you should obtain a new card from the library of your new home municipality.

linkkiYle Oppiminen:
KirjastossaFinnish

Borrowing items

All libraries have a website you can use to search for information on the library collections, renew your loans and make reservations for items.

If you are looking for a particular book, you can ask for help from the library staff.

Books can also be borrowed from mobile libraries.

The loan period for library books is normally one month. Remember to return or renew your loans on time. You will need to pay a penalty charge for any overdue loans. The amount of the charge depends on the number of the overdue books and on how many days they are overdue.

You can also borrow magazines, e-books, CDs and DVDs from a library.

Multilingual Library

The Multilingual Library contains material in over 60 languages. The library is located in the Pasila district of Helsinki. Items in the collection of the Multilingual Library can be taken out anywhere in Finland. You can ask the clerk at your local library to order the item you would like for you. More information about the Multilingual Library can be found in the Helsinki region online library service Helmet.fi.

linkkiHelsinki City Library:
Multilingual LibraryFinnish | Swedish | English

Online material

Through eLibrary you can use electronic material such as books, magazines and movies. Some eLibrary items are freely available online, but some require a library card with a PIN code.

linkkiLibraries.fi:
eLibraryFinnish | Swedish | English

Ask a Librarian Service

Through the Ask a Librarian service you can find an answer to any question. You can submit your question via an online form in Finnish, Swedish or English. The answer will be sent to your e-mail and it will be published on the service website.

linkkiKirjastot.fi:
Ask a LibrarianFinnish | Swedish | English