From 1 June 2021, the Helsinki Metropolitan Libraries (Helmet) started charging a fee of 1 € for reservations that have not been picked up or cancelled by the last pick-up date. Whilst reserving materials remains to be free of charge, a new fee was introduced to tackle the problem of uncollected reservations overflowing the shelves and slowing the circulation of books and other materials to the library users who need them.
There are 2.8 million reservations made every year in the Helmet library network. 14 % of the reservations are not picked up at all, which makes the reservation queues longer for other waiting library customers and creates unnecessary strain on the environment through unnecessary transport of books from one location to another. Uncollected reservations also burden the staff, so on top of getting the most wanted books to the eager readers quicker, reducing uncollected reservations will free up staff time to serve the library users better.
Many Finnish public libraries have already introduced a fee for uncollected reservations, and so far this has not diminished the popularity of reserving materials in these municipalities.
You can read more about the newly introduced fee on Helmet libraries’ website. Helmet libraries consist of the city libraries of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, and Kauniainen.