1) How it possible that Central Public Library in Helsinki charges the interlibrary loan. I thought that according to the Library Act/1998 should it be for…


1) How it possible that Central Public Library in Helsinki charges the interlibrary loan. I thought that according to the Library Act/1998 should it be for free? Can you describe me the process of the interlibrary loan? From reader - back to the reader.

2) Is there any new Library strategy? The last one I found was until 2010.

3) Which libraries in Finland are not computerised? Why? Does it mean that they are so small that would be useless to automate them?

Thank you very much.


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1a) Interlibrary loans sent from the Central Public Library to another library

Current Library Act says in its chapter 4, paragraph 5, that the use of a public library’s own materials on the library premises as well as borrowing them is free of charge. The law stipulates further, that the interlibrary loans that the Central Public Library sends to other public libraries are free of charge. That is what Helsinki City Library does. The receiving library in the other end may charge their customer for an interlibrary loan sent from Helsinki City Library, but that has nothing to do with the latter.

According to the law, the library may charge for other services than those mentioned. We do charge academic libraries for the interlibrary loans that we send to them – they charge us for the books they send to us, too. We do charge also for photocopies sent to other libraries’ customers.

The borrower must be a member of a HelMet Library (http://www.lib.hel.fi/en-GB/kaukopalvelu/). He/she can fill out the form on the net, or, the form can be filled out in a HelMet library by a librarian. The form will be processed by the Interlibrary Services Office, and the book will be sent to some HelMet library, from where the borrower collects the book after the Interlibrary Services Office have notified the borrower.

1b) Interlibrary loans sent from another library to the Central Public Library

Libraries that send their books to us usually charge for it. We collect 4 e per book if the sending party is in Finland or in Scandinavia (http://www.lib.hel.fi/en-GB/kaukopalvelu/ ). Loans coming from Great Britain cost 25 e, and from Germany 8 e. Otherwise the payment will be determined on what the sending party charges from us.

The borrower must go to his/her local library (whether academic or public), who then send an interlibrary loan request to Helsinki City Library, who send the book by post to the requesting library, who notify the customer.

2) You seem to be already acquainted with the most important library sites: Ministry of Education (http://www.minedu.fi/OPM/Kirjastot/?lang=en ), and Libraries.fi (http://www.libraries.fi/en-GB/library_branch/ ), plus also the web sites of some large public libraries (Helsinki, Tampere). There is not much to be added, particularly in English.

New library strategy for years 2009-2015 is under construction on library wiki, only in Finnish, unfortunately. It is being written by the Council of Public Libraries (http://www.libraries.fi/Page/f15710b8-2a14-4166-a68b-4c16e7c68df4.aspx ).

3) The size of a library should not be a decisive factor now that co-operation between the libraries has become customary. In 2006, 80 % of Finnish public libraries belonged to some co-operational library system group. You may be interested in a paper written by Kirsti Kekki, Counsellor for Library Affairs in the Ministry of Education: "Public Libraries in Finland – gateways to knowledge and culture". About automation: "About 99 % of library activities are computerised. Local authorities have chosen independently what computerised system to use; there are ten systems available, three of which are in wider use. In recent years, the Finnish Government has invested heavily in promoting library networking. About 95% of municipal libraries provide access to the Internet. About 80 % of the libraries provide free public access to their catalogues through the Internet." (http://www.minedu.fi/opencms/opencms/handle404?exporturi=/export/sites/… )

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