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  • Bringing neighbours closer

    Bringing neighbours closer

    Welcome to the Interreg V-A Latvia–Lithuania Programme 2014–2020!

    About the programme
  • Bringing neighbours closer

    Bringing neighbours closer

    Welcome to the Interreg V-A Latvia–Lithuania Programme 2014–2020!

  • Bringing neighbours closer

    Bringing neighbours closer

    Welcome to the Interreg V-A Latvia–Lithuania Programme 2014–2020!

A temple of literature or a centre of leisure and entertainment?

31 August 2022

A temple of literature, where books are dozing” – in such a way the National Library of Finland was characterised by one of the Latvian librarians, who have recently visited several libraries in Helsinki. Are all the libraries the same? Are they collections of ‘sleeping’ books and are librarians just preservers of the human treasure – literature?

Such a stereotype reappears from time to time, and librarians are struggling to prove that the library is not a warehouse of books, and librarians’ duties are not limited to wiping dust off books. Of course, books, magazines are remaining the main component of the library, but libraries in the capital of Finland mean much more in life of the Finnish.

A group of 29 librarians and employees of local authorities of the project HOME (Ludza and Jēkabpils from Latvia, and Rokiškis from Lithuania) has just returned from the study trip, where they visited 5 libraries. The libraries are so different from each other like various fruits and visitors can choose a library according to their taste.

In Pasila Library with its real fountain of knowledge, there are books in 80 languages! The chief librarian explained the Intelligent Material Management System, meaning that the floating collection is shared by all libraries in Helsinki. The book, when returned to the library, goes directly to the library, where it is needed at the moment.

The sorting line in Pasila Library

Probably, all librarians in the Baltic States have heard about the Oodi Library. It is a very modern service centre, where it is possible to borrow books, to read, to have a meeting with friends or business partners, to play with Xbox or Play Station, produce an object using a 3D printer, to have a party, using the kitchen and much more activities. There are three robots working in the sorting line! They bring books from the sorting line to the bookshelves.

It is even possible to use an iron at Oodi Library! – Zinaīda Rabša (Director of Jekabpils Principal Library, Latvia)

Töölö Library is a very bright place for the wide scope of users – at the moment of the HOME group visit there were babies who cannot walk yet, youngsters, adults and senior people. The library is proud of the Library Dog, who comes to the library to listen to children reading.

Visitors at Töölö Library

The location of Iso Omena Library surprised everyone in the group – it works in a large shopping centre with boutiques, cafés, bistros! In addition, library neighbours a health centre for mentally disabled people and an addiction treatment centre, and the library visitors are completely satisfied with such neighbourhood thus proving the extraordinary tolerance of the Finnish people.

Customer Service Manager Pia Koskinen is showing Iso Omena Library for our project HOME group

And finally, the National Library looks like a temple or a sanctuary of literature, which preserves printed national heritage of Finland – here old folios are waiting for curious researchers.

Nadiežda Ivanova – a representative of Rokiškis District Library at the National Library of Finland

It has been a fantastic study trip, which has brought new ideas for the partners and they are very grateful to Mr Antti Sauli – a Project Manager of the Culture and leisure sector of the City of Helsinki, who helped, or better to say, organised the visits to the libraries. The librarians, who we met in all the libraries, are fans of the work they are doing, and the result of their work can be seen practically – none of the libraries was empty.

According to the questionnaire, which was filled in by the participants of the study trip 100% of them would advise their colleagues to go to Helsinki on an experience exchange trip.

Last updated: 29.09.2022 14:48