Library legislation

Libraries are a free-of-charge basic service provided for by legislation. In Finland, public libraries are the responsibility of municipalities. They are funded from the state and municipal budgets.

The first Public Libraries Act came into effect in 1928, with the newest version effected in 2017.

The objective of the Public Libraries Act is to promote:

  1. equal opportunities for everyone to access education and culture;
  2. availability and use of information;
  3. reading culture and versatile literacy skills;
  4. opportunities for lifelong learning and competence development;
  5. active citizenship, democracy and freedom of expression.

The implementation of these objectives is based on a sense of community, pluralism and cultural diversity.

Public library activities in Finland also include active promotion of literacy in all age groups. The digital literacy of citizens is supported in many ways, and library premises can be used as venues for cultural events, meetings, work and learning.