On March 25, we visited the University of Helsinki Library. What a beautiful building! It was designed for space and functionality. We started with a short lecture and presentation and then had time to wander and explore.
It's a beautiful library. The design was focused on use, how it would be used and by whom. Students had a say in what features would be part of the library and their ideas were incorporated into the plan.
Despite it being a university library it is open to the public and often has high school students there studying for their matriculation exam. There are 180,000 alumi of the university. The library serves more than 40,000 students.
They have 1.5 million books (many of which are e-books) and 150 staff at the Kaisa building we visited. In total they have 4 campuses and 11 faculties work from those campuses. The Kaisa library has roughly 8,000 visitors per day.
Over 357,000 e-books are accessed in one year across the libraries. They are going to more of an e-book and e-journal system similar to the USA.
It is a law that citizens have access to the library. The library system means a lot to Finns. I expect that is because school and knowledge is so important to them as a culture.
I did not take a ton of pictures in the library because there were students there studying but it was really awesome. I want to go study there just because it was so awesome! They have study rooms with doors that students can rent out to work in with partners and groups. They also have spaces that are electronics free, you aren't allowed to bring in phones or laptops because they are SILENT rooms. It was really pretty neat.
This is a view of the entrance area, looking up. From the 4th floor and up, they have stools around the rings and students and set up laptops and such and study there. Very cool!
They love their spiral staircases in Helsinki. I love them too! Here's me in the library with the awesome staircase.