Bringing environmental awareness of public libraries to the 2020s project took a thorough look into environmental impact of Finnish public libraries and the SDG work done in libraries. One of the aims was to define the meaning of sustainable development in the framework of libraries. The project also aimed to find out from which elements is the environmental impact of libraries built up.
The theme of the web conference Nordic Libraries Annual 2021, arranged by the Finnish Regional State Administrative Agency 3.-4.11.2021, is Libraries Creating Strong Societies.
The starting point of the Nordic model of society has been to respond equally to the basic needs of citizens by promoting and strengthening welfare, inclusiveness and the social economy.
The IFLA Environment, Sustainability and Libraries Section announced the 6th IFLA Green Library Award results on August 19th, 2021.
The reviews of the digital media project of public libraries are about to be completed, and the results are now available at www.kirjastot.fi/digimediahanke/tulokset. However, the project will continue in September when new talent will be recruited for the pilot phase. In this continuation project, the role of local libraries will be emphasised as they are vital for the implementation of a shared e-library.
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.
People would like libraries’ electronic services to be extensive and easy to use, a survey carried out by Kantar TNS shows. If the recommendations of the digital media project regarding a one-stop e-library controlled by a single body and new digital library user profiles are realised, libraries have good chances of maintaining their status in the future.
Tampere City Library’s new mobile library, Kosmos, started touring its routes in January 2021. The mobile library has special structural features as it is not built on a bus frame, like most libraries on wheels, but on a truck frame.
One of the reasons for this unusual solution was the technical specifications of the loading dock of Tampere’s main library Metso. New material gets loaded from the back to the vehicle and the loading dock is relatively high, so the truck frame provided an easier solution for the logistics.
The Finnish public library statistics from 2020 are published. The Covid-19 restrictions are clearly visible in the 2020 statistics as, due to the springtime’s complete closure of library premises and later restrictions to services, the visitor numbers declined from 2019 roughly by a third. The drop in visitor numbers fluctuated regionally and the decline was greater in areas heavily impacted by the Corona virus pandemic.
The Regional State Administrative Agencies have granted 1 961 900 euros to library development projects this year. The grants fund altogether 97 projects.
The aim is to further public libraries’ projects that promote reading, literacy, and lifelong learning, and projects developing libraries as supporters and promoters of active citizenship, democracy and freedom of speech.
The Helsingin Sanomat Foundation has granted the National Library of Finland a 280 000 € grant for digitizing the biggest daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat and tabloid Ilta-Sanomat up to 31 December 1979. The project will start on September 1 2021 and the material consists of over half a million pages.