Some libraries may also have childrens' games or host story hours.
Most libraries usually have a reading room. This is a quiet space suitable for reading and doing your homework in silence, for example.
The library staff can also help you in using a computer, and some libraries host language cafés where you can practise speaking Finnish.
The contact information for the libraries can be found in the online service libraries.fi.
There are also scientific libraries, libraries of educational institutes as well as various specialised libraries. They may impose some limitations on using their material, but usually they are open for everyone.
You need a library card to borrow books. You can apply for one at any library. Remember to have some form of identification (with a photograph) on hand. If you don't have a Finnish personal identity code, you can get a library card for a limited time period.
The library card is free of charge. If you lose your card, you can get a new one for a fee.
When you move, let the library know your new address. If you move to another municipality where your library card is not valid, you should obtain a new card from the library of your new home municipality.
All libraries have a website you can use to search for information on the library collections, renew your loans and make reservations for items.
If you are looking for a particular book, you can ask for help from the library staff.
Books can also be borrowed from mobile libraries.
The loan period for library books is normally one month. Remember to return or renew your loans on time. You will need to pay a penalty charge for any overdue loans. The amount of the charge depends on the number of the overdue books and on how many days they are overdue.
You can borrow from the library plain language books, which have been written in simple Finnish language. They are also suitable for learning Finnish.
You can also borrow magazines, e-books, CDs and DVDs from a library.
The Multilingual Library contains material in over 80 languages. The library is located in the Pasila district of Helsinki. Items in the collection of the Multilingual Library can be taken out anywhere in Finland. You can ask the clerk at your local library to order the item you would like for you. More information about the Multilingual Library can be found in the Helsinki region online library service Helmet.fi.
Through eLibrary you can use electronic material such as books, magazines and movies. Some eLibrary items are freely available online, but some require a library card with a PIN code.
Ask a Librarian Service
Through the Ask a Librarian service you can find an answer to any question. You can submit your question via an online form in Finnish, Swedish or English. The answer will be sent to your e-mail and it will be published on the service website.