Both Swedish and Finnish are official languages in Finland. Swedish is the mother tongue of about 300 000 people in Finland, around 5.5 % of the population.
Finlands svenska biblioteksförening (FSBF, Finland’s Swedish Library Association) is a non-governmental organization, with responsibility for Finland-Swedish library issues. The association has about 400 members. FSBF aims at supporting the Finland-Swedish identity and culture in libraries, in both Swedish speaking and bilingual settings. One of the strengths of the association is that it brings together different types of libraries: public, academic, polytechnic, and research libraries.
The association cooperates actively with other library associations, nationally as well as internationally, as a member of IFLA and EBLIDA organizations.
The Swedish Library Association of Ostrobothnia and the Swedish Library Association of Southern Finland were founded in 1938 and respectively 1945. In 1982, the two associations joined forces to form Finland’s Swedish Library Association.
The Finland’s Swedish Library Association plays an important role as an organizer of further education on current library topics in Swedish. It organizes conferences, seminars, and excursions. FSBF also functions as a networking platform creating opportunities for contacts and cooperation be tween the Swedishspeaking library professionals in different parts of Finland, and from different types of libraries.
FSBF regularly engages in a variety of library promoting projects. The association has called attention to the need for essential library tools in Swedish for libraries in Finland, such as thesauri and cataloguing rules. These tools are developed in cooperation with other organizations. One of the projects was Joy of Reading, which aimed at creating activities in local libraries to enhance reading. Another completed project focused on the situation of school libraries.
FSBF publishes its journal Bibban (slang for library in Swedish) three times per year. The journal focuses on current national and international library related trends and activities. In the special IFLA issue there are a few articles in english as well.
Whenever necessary, FSBF assigns committees consisting of experts to work in special fields, e.g. international library issues, web services of libraries and document description.