The public library is your local gateway to knowledge. It
offers what people need for lifelong learning and for making
decisions. It supports the cultural growth of each person
and of social groups. (UNESCO Public Library Manifesto 1994)
The library offers you information and support for your
studies. It has lots about leisure interests too. Your library
-Fiction and non-fiction, poetry, picture books
-Newspapers and magazines
-Language courses, music and videos
-Items in electronic format
-Brochures, study manuals, information booklets.
Some of those items may be in several languages.
You can borrow most of the books and other things. You
can not borrow reference works or magazines.
Library staff know their job! They will gladly help you
find what you need.
In Finland, libraries support equality, free thinking
and free speech. They have books and other items about various
political views, religions and beliefs. Libraries serve
adults and children, Finns and foreigners alike.
Every town or district has a public library. It is Finland's
most-used cultural service. There are research libraries
too, mainly for university staff and students.
Money from taxes pays for public libraries. Everyone can
use them free of charge.
|Many libraries have computers for customers
There are rules about using libraries. You can get a copy
from any library. Please read them with care.
Libraries are open to all. You can go there to read, or
information. In many libraries you can listen to music.
You may also be
able to access the Internet. You can go there just to look
There will be other people in the library. Please respect
to read and work in peace.
To borrow something from the library, you need a library
card. Everyone who lives in Finland can have one.
To get a library card you must show formal identification.
Children must have written consent from a parent or guardian.
Take good care of your library card! Nobody else may use
it. If you lose it, tell the library at once.
|A metropolitan area library card.
When you borrow an item, note how long you can keep it.
You can normally keep a book for 4 weeks. You can normally
keep videos and recorded music for one week.
Treat library items with care. Keep them neat and clean.
If they get lost or damaged, you must pay for them.
Return borrowed items in good time. Someone else may need
them. You will have to pay a small fee if you return them
A staff registers your loan on a computer.
Your library offers knowledge and recreation. In the library
find out about Finland. You can find out about most other
It is important to maintain your own language. Reading
helps you do
that. Bring your family to the library. Read aloud to your
help them nurture their language too.
Reading is fun!
|It's a good to encourage children
to become library users.
All libraries have items in several languages. What a
library keeps in stock depends on the library's size. It
also depends on the languages in the local community.
If your library has not got what you want, please ask
the staff for help. They will try to get items for you in
any language. They can ask a bigger library or the Multicultural
Library. They can also get things from Helsinki City Library's
foreign language stock.
The Multicultural Library is a part of Helsinki City Library.
It has books, music and videos to send to other libraries.
Helsinki City Library's stock is all in the HelMet-database.
You can browse it on the Internet. The address is: http://www.helmet.fi
MCL is a net-service for foreigners. It has information
about Finland and all other countries. You can browse MCL-pages
in libraries that have Internet connections. Its address
Publisher: The Central Multilingual
Library Service / Helsinki City Library
Editor: Ari Sainio
Pictures: Jutta Huldén