Try and renew

Aalto-yliopisto, Harald Herlin -oppimiskeskus. Kuva: Tuomas Uusheimo.
Aalto-yliopisto, Harald Herlin -oppimiskeskus. Kuva: Tuomas Uusheimo

The Finnish University Libraries’ Network FUN celebrates its quarter of a century by going straight to the issue, its strategy, and opening its three themes in three webinars – COVID-19 will show if we can get to the seminar in the autumn.

In the second webinar of the series on May 20th FUN Experiment the theme was addressed from three different perspectives. The perspective of an active chamber musician and an AI researcher, the scientific history perspective of a top Open access developer, and the perspective of a Citizen Science pioneer.

Experiments and the importance of communication combined the performances.

The Netherlands, Denmark and Finland are all at the forefront as library countries.
Cynthia Liem spoke about the ongoing Future Library Lab project, coordinated by Delft University of Technology and the National Library of the Netherlands. They experiment and throw themselves into new things, organizing encounters between customers, librarians, researchers and new technology, Future Libraries Lab.

The needs of the customers were also considered – the artificial intelligence researcher is also a trained active pianist and from this perspective, the presentation of the information needs was interesting. According to Cynthia Liem, researchers usually use the library only if they cannot find what they are looking for. This could be helped by both increasing discussion with researchers and increasing library marketing. In general, libraries should tell more about research services so that researchers can be involved. In particular, the library could help researchers by making the researcher’s work more visible and accessible than the researcher themselves can ever do, said Cynthia Liem. Libraries could try to organize open discussion moments for researchers – they could talk about their own work and the library could talk about their own work for the benefit of researchers.

The power of different performances is to open new angles of entry into one’s own thinking. The Future Libraries Lab project also considers e.g. how AI could help open materials and how libraries can continue their search for the future. The goal is to bring out different perspectives so that everyone can get out of their own bubble. In a way, this was also highlighted by Janne-Tuomas Seppänen’s performance, which was a story-time journey into the decisive moments in the history of scientific communication – the development of development can depend on a small coincidence. Academic libraries would need to be well informed about what is going on in their own university research and what is coming.

The communication with others and the experimental mindset came up also in a presentation by Thomas Kaarsted, a Deputy Library Director, University Library of Southern Denmark, who shed extensively light on citizen science. He has specialized in it and has also promoted it for years. The decisive factor in the promotion of citizen science at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, too, had been making various light experiments and finding a connection with the faculties.

The slides of the presentations are on the FUN experiment webinar’s website. Kaarsted’s presentation is available from FUN’s Secretary of Cooperation.

Susanna Parikka
Library Director
Lapland University Consortium Library

Looking for the impact of libraries

Helsingin yliopisto, Kaisa-talo. Kuva: Veikko Somerpuro.
Helsingin yliopisto, Kaisa-talo. Kuva: Veikko Somerpuro

We celebrate the 25th anniversary of FUN Finnish University Libraries’ Network during this exceptional period in the form of webinars. The topic of the first webinar was FUN Impact in accordance with one aspect of FUN’s strategy.

Lynn Silipigni Connaway, OCLC’s Director of Library Trends and User Research, demonstrated the topic in her presentation “Where are we Going and What do we do Next? Demonstrating Value and Impact of Academic Libraries in Uncertain Times”. The subject is very topical. Over the past year, many libraries have had to rethink their operations and demonstrate their impact and effectiveness in the midst of a pandemic. Libraries have been closed for some time, and are still not in normal form of operation.

Silipigni Connaway’s presentation based on her research Academic Library Impact: Improving Practice and Essential Areas to Research (2017). In addition to a literature review, the extensive study included interviews with university management, such as provosts. The areas related to the effectiveness of libraries were service, learning support, collaboration and communication.

An important manifestation of the impact of the library was the increase in critical skills in the world of fake news, which at the time of publication of this study (2017) was only raising its head and expanding to wild proportions in the United States. Impact, according to Silipigni Connaway, must also be produced by visualizing achievements and various metrics. Adding data as part of the data collected by the university is very important, and I dare say that in many Finnish universities this is something we already do quite well.

In assessing impact, a picture speaks more than a thousand words, as the phrase says. The impact of the library can also be improved by cooperating in many directions from within the library. By expanding to work closely with your own university administration, researchers, teachers, and students, and increasingly cooperating outside of the university, we can achieve a fundamentality of action. The involvement of different groups in the planning of library operations and facilities is also becoming increasingly important, as university’s facilities are condensed and renovated. In many ways, it is conceivable that the impact and significance of the library in the future will serve as a partner in achieving the university’s strategic goals.


Tommi Harju
Library Director
University of the Arts Helsinki

Information about the University libraries’ services during the state of emergency / Yliopistokirjastot tiedottavat palveluistaan poikkeustilanteen aikana / Universitetsbiblioteken informerar om servicen under den rådande undantagssituationen /

Aalto-yliopiston oppimispalvelut / Aalto University, Learning Centre

Oppimiskeskuksen palvelut poikkeustilanteen aikana

Learning Centre services during the exceptional circumstances

Helsingin yliopiston kirjasto / Helsinki University Library

Asiakaspalvelu ja kirjojen lainaaminen poikkeustilanteissa

Customer service and borrowing books in the exceptional situation

Itä-Suomen yliopiston kirjasto / University of Eastern Finland Library

Kirjastotilat ovat kiinni – katso miten muut palvelut toimivat

Libraries are closed – see how online services continue

Jyväskylän yliopiston kirjasto / University of Jyväskylä Library

Jyväskylän yliopiston kirjasto laajentanut palveluita 14.5 alkaen

The Library has limitedly widened its services from 14 May

Lapin korkeakoulukirjasto / LUC Library

Kirjaston poikkeusjärjestelyt jatkuvat

Arrangement of LUC library services during May and summer

LUT-tiedekirjasto / LUT Academic Library

Rajoitettu lainaus ja palautus LUT-tiedekirjastossa 14.5. – 18.6.2020

The library offers limited lending and return services from 14.5

Oulun yliopiston kirjasto / Oulu University Library

Oulun yliopiston kirjasto avataan vaiheittain asiakkaille 1.6

Oulu University Library to open to the public in phases on 1 June

Svenska handelshögskolans bibliotek / Hanken School of Economics Library

Hämtservice för böcker

Library’s book pick-up service

Taideyliopiston kirjasto / Konstuniversitetets bibliotek / Uniarts Helsinki Library

Taideyliopiston kirjastopalveluita tarjotaan Helsingissä rajoitetusti 1.–18.6.2020

Konstuniversitets bibliotekstjänster erbjuds i begränsat sätt 1.-18.6.2020 i Helsingfors

Library services at the University of the Arts are offered in Helsinki on a limited extent 1.-18.6.2020

Tampereen yliopiston kirjasto / Tampere University Library

Korona – Tampereen korkeakoulut

Corona – Tampere Universities

Tiedekirjasto Tritonia / Vetenskapsbiblioteket Tritonia / Tritonia Academic Library

Tritonia Vaasa avautuu rajoitetuin palveluin 1.6

Tritonia Vasa öppnar med begränsad service 1.6

Tritonia Vaasa opens with limited service 1.6

Turun yliopiston kirjasto / Turku University Library

Kevään 2020 poikkeukselliset palvelut

Spring 2020 temporary services

Åbo Akademis bibliotek / Åbo Akademi University Library

Åbo Akademis bibliotek 1.6–9.8

ÅAU Library 1.6–9.8

Yliopistokirjastot tiedottavat palveluistaan poikkeustilanteen aikana / Universitetsbiblioteken informerar om servicen under den rådande undantagssituationen / University libraries informs about services during the exeptional circumstances

Aalto-yliopiston oppimispalvelut / Aalto University, Learning Centre

Oppimiskeskuksen palvelut poikkeustilanteen aikana

Learning Centre services during the exceptional circumstances

Helsingin yliopiston kirjasto / Helsinki University Library

Kir­jas­ton pal­ve­lut ko­ro­na­vi­ruk­sen ai­heut­ta­mas­sa poik­keus­ti­lan­tees­sa

Library Services at the Ex­cep­tional Situ­ation Caused by Corona Virus

Itä-Suomen yliopiston kirjasto / University of Eastern Finland Library

Kirjastotilat ovat kiinni – muut palvelut toimivat

Libraries are closed – online services continue

Jyväskylän yliopiston kirjasto / University of Jyväskylä Library

Koronatilanteesta 2020

Corona situation

Lapin korkeakoulukirjasto / Lapland University Consortium Library

Lapin korkeakoulukirjasto suljettuna 18.3.-13.4.2020

Lapland University Consortium Library closed 18.3.-13.4.2020

LUT-tiedekirjasto / LUT Academic Library

LUT-tiedekirjasto on toistaiseksi suljettu

Oulun yliopiston kirjasto / Oulu University Library

Kaikki Oulun yliopiston kirjaston toimipaikat ovat suljettuina keskiviikosta 18.3. lähtien

Hyödynnä kirjaston palveluita etänä

Oulu University Library units are closed from Wednesday March 18 onwards

Access library services remotely

Svenska handelshögskolans bibliotek / Hanken School of Economics Library

Bibliotekets service under nedstängningen

Library’s services during the shutdown

Taideyliopiston kirjasto / Konstuniversitetets bibliotek / Uniarts Helsinki Library

Kirjasto on suljettu 18.3. alkaen – palvelut ja aineistot verkossa

Biblioteket stängt från och med 18.3. – tjänster och samlingar på nätet

Library is closed from March 18 onwards – services and materials available online

Tampereen yliopiston kirjasto / Tampere University Library



Tiedekirjasto Tritonia / Vetenskapsbiblioteket Tritonia / Tritonia Academic Library

Kirjastotilat suljetaan 18.3. – verkkopalvelut palvelevat

Tritonias lokaler stängs 18.3 – vi betjänar på webben

Tritonia will be closed from 18.3 – online services available

Turun yliopiston kirjasto / Turku University Library

Kirjastot suljettuna 18.3.2020 alkaen – hyödynnä kirjaston palveluita etänä

Libraries are closed 18.3.-13.4.2020 – use library services online

Co-operation with our Nordic friends began at the Arctic Circle

According to our new strategy, FUN started to put an effort to internationalization. FUN also made history with organising the first joint meeting ever with Nordic colleagues. It is natural, of course, to begin with the neighbours. Besides, the Nordic university systems are quite similar to each other. We also share the same culture and values. Because there is a Finnish chairperson in NUAS Library Group, Pia Södergård, the contact with our Nordic friends was easily established. Pia Södergård actually founded the NUAS Library Group and has been the chairperson from the beginning.

NUAS is a network for Nordic university employees, especially for us who don´t do research or teaching. NUAS means “Nordic Association of University Administrators”. NUAS´ activities are meant for NUAS member universities. NUAS has 13 working groups and one of them is the Library Group. It has nine members from NUAS member universities: two from each country, except for Iceland, which has one member. I have been the second Finnish member from the beginning.

NUAS Library Group had already chosen Rovaniemi and University of Lapland as the place for the autumn meeting, and that is why also the joint meeting was organised in Rovaniemi, at the University of Lapland´s Arctic Center.

Our small working group succeeded in getting it all together: the joint meeting, the separate meetings for FUN and NUAS, something nice to do while the other group had its meeting and a dinner together.  While we were at the Arctic Circle in Lapland, we naturally provided everyone the possibility to enjoy the nature of Lapland on an excursion.

Arctic circle hiking area trails offered a beautiful sunset.
Photo: Pia-Maria Niemitalo

The impact of the library, which everybody considered as an important theme, was chosen as a theme for the joint meeting. The best expert in Finland, Jarmo Saarti, gave us an introduction to the subject; libraries are going towards a multimodal evaluation. Afterwards we worked in small groups (Learning Café) with several underthemes, and at the end of the meeting we watched an online presentation from Rome, where Hanna-Mari Puuska, Janne Pölönen and Vidar Roeggen told us about a Nordic initiative for a new Nordic Publication Information Infrastructure.

What did we gain from the joint meeting? In my opinion, it is very important to learn to know each other, especially if we will continue the co-operation. It is also essential that we all learn more about each others´conditions and circumstances. And it is always a good idea to learn about your colleagues´ views and opinions on common subjects.

FUN and NUAS at the Arctic Centre.
Photo: Pia-Maria Niemitalo

Besides, we also noticed that we together could produce many ideas about the impact of libraries, which we can continue working with. There are similar developing perspectives in all countries, but each country also has its own characteristics. We also noticed that there are many other meaningful subjects that we can work together with in the future. NUAS Library Group has already helped us with this. Last summer the group made a survey for all Nordic leaders of academic libraries. On that basis, the group has started planning workshops on current topics for Nordic leaders of academic libraries.

You have to prioritize – nobody can use all her working time for Nordic co-operation – unfortunately.

Susanna Parikka

Library Director, Lapland University Library

Libraries = Strong Communities

American Library Association (ALA) President Loida Garcia-Febo held an inspiring guest lecture in Tritonia on the 5th of June. During the lecture, Garcia-Febo talked about the significant role of libraries in the society. She also introduced us to the work of ALA, libraries and librarianship in the United States and worldwide.

”Because libraries bring us together”

Libraries worldwide strive to be as including as possible, and to offer services equally to everyone. Today information can be found everywhere, but library workers still play an important role in organizing information and making it accessible. Libraries have an impact on people’s lives – to educate, to find jobs, to increase their income, to learn more about society and to participate in developing it.

ALA is a large association with several divisions. The association is actively taking part in, taking a stand for and pointing out important topics, both regarding libraries and the society in general. ALA has several employees, which enables a diverse range of activities. They have lots of activities not directly connected to libraries. ALA aims to take part in the society on many different levels and they work actively for justice, diversity and inclusion. ALA focuses on marketing and the association is active on social media. Some of their established hashtags are #LibrariesStrong, #Together and #LibrariesTransform.

Loida Garcia-Febo in Tritonia

Garcia-Febo repeatedly points out how important libraries are in the modern society. The Center for the future of libraries identifies relevant trends for libraries and library workers, divided into seven categories. Their website includes more information on why these trends develop and why they are essential for the libraries.

“We are creating the future of libraries every day.”

One of ALA’s divisions is The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL). ACRL develops programs, products and services to support the staff of academic libraries to learn and innovate within the academic society. ACRL has diverse tools that are free of charge, also for non-ALA members. For example, ACRL has published Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, and to support the use of the framework ACRL Framework for Information Literacy Toolkit and ACRL Framework for Information Literacy Sandbox were launched. ACRL also offers the free service Project Outcome, to help libraries understand and share the impact of their services.

After the lecture, we got a brief interview with Garcia-Febo. We discussed her thoughts about the future challenges of libraries and librarianship.

Garcia-Febo thinks that the attitude towards libraries is good in general. “Libraries are all about people” – the library will always be relevant because we focus on people. Librarians are the link between information and the people seeking information. Garcia-Febo believes that if we market ourselves by emphasizing how we help people find, analyze and use information, we could get more support from decision makers and members of the society. Library workers of the future need to be creative, curious and flexible, and want to work with people. She also highlights the importance of working together, not only within the organization and on a regional level, but also on a national and international level.

“You cannot take the librarians out of the equation, it would be incomplete”

Garcia-Febo’s greetings to university boards regarding funding and the future of academic libraries are that libraries are at the center of research, student retention and the university success rate. Libraries need to be given resources to move forward with the mission of supporting the university. The library is a part of the ecosystem of the university. You cannot take the librarians out of the equation, it would then be incomplete.

So what does the future of the book look like? Garcia-Febo believes that books will be an essential part of our lives even in the future. However, she thinks that we will primarily listen to audiobooks and that textbooks will mainly be in e-book format.

If you are interested in ALA´s activities, you can subscribe to their newsletter Read for later.

Loida Garcia-Febo and Anne Lehto

Text: Pia-Maria Niemitalo & Gun Vestman

Photo: Jonna Toukonen

Mindset change in information literacy education

Information literacy (IL) has been taught in various forms all through my long working career and a long time before that. Early views of necessary learning content were connected with library use, information society skills, and supporting the information searchers’ own lifelong learning.

Technological development around early 1990’s made electronic information sources more reachable to end-users. As a consequence, higher education (HE) teachers started to expect their students to find information for their assignments independently. While assisting students in doing their searches, librarians and information specialists soon noticed that students tried to use natural language in the library and internet search engines. The outcomes of searches of that kind were either empty result sets or abundance of inaccurate hits, which caused a lot of frustration among students. Therefore librarians and information specialists started to deliver their own expertise namely database operation principles and information search skills to students and research personnel.

I believe that efficient information retrieval requires a special ‘information specialist mindset’, which consists of three elements. Firstly, electronic search engines hardly ever look for semantic words. To the search engines, words which in our minds have specific meanings are just character strings.  Bearing that in mind, searchers can more easily understand how words can and should be truncated and combined with each other. Secondly, knowing the contents of information sources, e.g. databases, helps in finding the right kind of information which can then be evaluated according to the desired use. The third part concerns information use according to the ACRL IL standard i.e. the ethical and legitimate use of information by taking into account economic, legal, and social aspects.

The information specialist mindset is still well-founded and the required skills are justified. Banks (2013) states that in the 2010’s Internet has changed the practises of creating, disseminating, and evaluating information. Scientific databases include information for scientists but locating it requires skills mentioned in connection with the mindset. Increasing open publishing allows all to access reliable scientific information but it is scattered among inaccurate and even false information, which should be identified. The 2015 IL framework (ACRL 2015) state that in addition to the previously mentioned IL skills it is important to understand the overall production process of information.

From the engineering viewpoint, design problems have become more complex than before. Solving them also requires a different mindset. One example are new and developed materials, which consist of different elements and behave differently compared with earlier ones. Therefore, some previously used standards do not apply any more. Moreover, sustainability must be taken into account in all research and design tasks which means that engineers can no longer examine their problems only from the viewpoint of their own discipline. The mindset change sets new requirements to engineering education but IL education must also change.

Many libraries struggle with IL education resource problems. How to meet the claims set by increasing student population, new multidisciplinary contents in substance education, and changes in IL education which is trying to find its place and shape in the new HE curricula while the Library’s own resources decrease?

Photo: Jonna Toukonen

In my organization, the basis of the solution to the resource problems is in integrating IL education into substance courses either as online teaching or in form of brief classroom sessions. The IL mindset which is central in IL education emphasizes understanding that students are seeking reliable and the right kind of information to find a solution to their research problem and that information searching is a crucial part of the research process. Searching skills are, of course, necessary but the main point is in the connection of information with the substance. The IL instructor guides students towards the right multidisciplinary and sustainable-centered information seeking by asking them relevant supporting questions.

Do students reach all necessary IL learning outcomes during brief IL education? This was one of the research questions in my doctoral dissertation (Talikka 2018). I studied the effects of brief integrated IL education on, in particular, mechanical engineering students’ ability to understand the nature of research i.e. looking for a solution to their research problem and using the retrieved information to create new information.  

On the mechanical engineering seminar course, which I studied in my dissertation, students wrote a seminar paper and made a poster based on literature search. They were supposed to find the most sustainable materials for a given solution. In the integrated, standard format IL lecture, I emphasized the IL mindset in understanding the multidisciplinary research problem as well as in information searching and in creating new knowledge. The pursued learning outcome was the new way of thinking: Firstly, the students should understand how their research problem concerns partly mechanical engineering and partly sustainability science. They should be able to find the right kind of multidisciplinary material and use it in creating new knowledge. Secondly, search skills were taught according to the letter-chain principle which made it easier to understand how words were truncated and connected to build search queries.

In a blind research, substance teachers gave higher grades for research problem definitions to research group students than they gave to the comparison group. According to my own observations, the number of central, research-problem-related terms was larger in the research group compared with the comparison group. Also the information search methods used by the research group had produced more accurate search results. The citation evaluations proved that the research group used more recent publications among which there was a higher percentage of scientific journals.

Another part of my research concerned changes in students’ definitions of their research problems and the respective information search questions. Students defined them in three stages: before IL education, after the classroom lecture, and when the project was finished. According to the classifications created for this research, students’ definitions of their research problems and information search questions matured towards deeper and more multidisciplinary understanding of the problem. Their papers also included skills, which are listed as key learning outcomes in international quality assurance organizations’ (ASIIN 2011, O’Hern 2012) criteria and the 2015 IL frames (ACRL 2015).

When brief IL education is integrated into mechanical engineering and sustainability science curricula students learn to understand the importance of reliable information and gain abilities to find and use it in solving multidisciplinary problems. One of the central findings in this doctoral study was that it is possible to influence the scientific level of students’ assignments in higher education. IL education can also have and important effect on students’ mindset in significant social matters – in this case recognizing sustainability problems and their solutions.

Based on this research we can also argue that brief integrated IL education saves library personnel’s time when IL lectures and learning assignments are part of substance education. For example, there is no need to allocate time for grading IL learning assignments. Saving time does not concern only the library staff; on multidisciplinary courses teaching time of substance experts is also saved as students appear to acquire knowledge from outside their own discipline when they use information from multiple fields of science.

The IL educators’ mindset also needs to change. In libraries, we tend to think of information literacy as our special expertise. In a way that is the case but taking it only as the library’s expertise leads to keeping IL separated from the substance teaching. The information professionals face a mindset change, because in addition to information expertise, there is an increasing need to familiarize oneself with substances taught in the core organization. To my mind, the IL teachers are HE educators who work side-by-side with other university teachers and who bring their contribution to university education with their information authority.


ACRL, 2015-last update, Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education | Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) [Homepage of Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL)], [Online] [Nov 5, 2015]. Available:

ACRL, 2000-last update, Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education | Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) [Homepage of American Library Association Institutional Repository], [Online] [Nov 15, 2015]. Available:

ASIIN, 2011-last update, SUBJECT-SPECIFIC CRITERIA Relating to the accreditation of Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes in mechanical engineering, process engineering and chemical engineering [Homepage of ASIIN], [Online] [May 10, 2017]. Available:

BANKS, M., 2013. Time for a Paradigm Shift: The New ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. Communications in Information Literacy, 7(2), pp. 184-188.

O’HERN, C.S., June 27, 2012-last update, Undergraduate Study [Homepage of Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science], [Online] [May 21, 2017]. Available:

TALIKKA, M., 2018. Recognizing required changes to higher education engineering programs’ information literacy education as consequence of research problems becoming more complex, Lappeenranta University of Technology.

Text: Marja Talikka

The EU Accessibility Directive

On 1st April 2019 the national law concerning digital services, Laki digitaalisten palvelujen tarjoamisesta (306/2019), came into force. According to 2§, all universities and universities of applied sciences are included into the law’s definition of authorities. This law brings the Directive 2016/2102 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the accessibility of the websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies into effect ( There are no sanctions stated in the directive, but the national legislation gives the supervising authority the right to use penalties.

In the directive, accessibility means:

that websites, mobile applications and their content are such that everyone can use them and understand their messages. Accessible services use techniques and methods that make them available through different types of data equipment and assistive technologies. Accessibility can be described as easy accessible digital services that are available also for persons with disabilities.

Accessibility is an essential part of the “design for all” principle. According to this principle all types of users and their needs are taken into account already when planning the service. The goal is to guarantee equal possibilities for all users to make the most of digital services, despite sight and hearing capacity, disruption of motor functions or other functional limitations. (Free translation of Finansministeriet: Vanliga frågor om tillgänglighet och tillgänglighetskrav,

The schedule for meeting the demands in the directive is as follows (Free translation of Finansministeriet: Tillgänglighet.

  • Websites published on 23th September 2018 or later must meet the accessibility demands no later than 23th September 2019.
  • Websites published before 23th September 2018 must meet the accessibility demands no later than 23th September 2020.
  • Mobile applications must meet the accessibility demands on 23th June 2021.
  • PDF-files and other documents:
    • For websites published BEFORE 23th September 2018
      • PDF-files published 23th September 2018 or later must be available in September 2020.
      • PDF-files published before 23th September 2018 do not need to meet the accessibility demands with the exception of PDF-files in administrative processes, e.g. applications.
    • On websites published on 23th September 2018 or later the PDF-files must be available in September 2019.

Besides websites and mobile applications, the academic libraries must overlook the production and publishing processes of theses, as well as videos and other audiovisual material presenting the library’s services.

The university library is usually managing the institutional repository where theses are published. In order to fulfil the accessibility demands these PDF-files must be readable with different types of technical devices. Celia – a national center for accessible literature and publishing in Finland – has collected some instructions for how to create PDF-files, and other office programme file types, so that assistive technologies can make use of them: (only in Finnish). The recommended PDF-file format, PDF/UA, is compatible with the PDF/A-file format used for archiving.

According to the information on the website of the Ministry of Finance, all audiovisual material that will be made available for longer than 14 days on the websites of the authorities, must be subtitled in Finnish and Swedish, and when necessary, also in other languages, e.g. Sami, English and sign language. This applies to, for instance, video recordings and podcasts. If subtitling is not possible, the content should be explained in another manner, e.g. in text format. Exceptions are made for live broadcasts and video recordings made available before the directive took effect on 22nd December 2016. Read more about the accessibility for time-dependent media content in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG):

In May there will be more information available on the website of the Regional State Administrative Agencies: Libraries find valuable information on Celia’s website: In addition, the blog contains current information from the Finnish forum Design for all.

Text: Tua Hindersson-Söderholm

Greetings from the new chair

Anne Lehto

I want to thank the members of FUN for their confidence in me, as I was elected chair of our network for the period 2019-2020.

FUN was reorganized in 2018 from a council to a network. At the same time, the new name FUN Finnish University Libraries’ Network was introduced, as was the new logo and motto: “Fun – fuelling research”.

From the beginning of 2019, the number of members in FUN has decreased to fourteen, as two universities in Tampere and their libraries have merged. The new Tampere University Library serves both the universities and Tampere University of Applied Sciences.  As the director of Tritonia, a joint library since 2001, I warmly welcome Tampere University Library also to the community of joint libraries.

I participated in writing the FUN strategy for 2018-20, and halfway through the strategy period I am pleased to note that the main themes – Impact – Visibility – Experiment – are more relevant than ever.  There is still a lot of work to be done in these fields. Emphasizing the impact and expertise of the university libraries requires ability to make our competence visible.  During the following period, we aim to start building a toolkit for impact and to benchmark international practises. The challenges of the university libraries are to a great extent the same for all universities, also internationally. On a national and global level, it is a waste of resources to try solving problems alone. During 2009-2016 I was a member of IFLA:s Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning Section, and those years strengthened my opinion on the need for continuous learning and for networking.

The open science megatrend and the acts to promote it, such as Plan S of European research funding organizations, are fundamentally affecting our operational environment.  The business models of licensed e-resources have diversified and nowadays there are a variety of open access models available, where producing and publishing data form the basis for costs. The university libraries want to promote open access solutions which are easy to use for the researchers, sustainable, and responsible. The university libraries also want to promote students’ science education for openness, through multi-step information literacy education.

In autumn 2018, the coordination for open science was initiated in Finland, including preparations for national open science policies and action programmes. It is essential that the experts at university libraries are actively participating in this work.  In Acatiimi 2/2019, there is an article (in Finnish) about open science services and competence needs in university libraries, written by colleagues at University of Eastern Finland (Rosti, Saarti & Silvennoinen-Kuikka)

Continuous learning is vital for all of us in order to master research data management, data mining, AI, blockchains, as well as many other phenomenons, not even invented yet. Let us do it connectively!

Wishing you all an inspiring spring,
Anne Lehto

Rapid transition to open access publishing essential

The proliferation of open access publishing models in academic publication provides researchers and the academic community with opportunities to share and access academic information faster and more flexibly than before. Finnish institutions of higher education and research institutes are currently negotiating with academic publishers to enable the efficient use of open publication methods. “Our goal is to simultaneously ensure that the overall costs of academic publication do not increase,” states Mikael Laakso, assistant professor at the Hanken School of Economics and member of the strategy group for the negotiations.

Libraries give researchers help and support with open science (photo: Jussi Männistö)
Libraries give researchers help and support with open science (photo: Jussi Männistö)

The Ministry of Education and Culture has stated as its goal that Finland will become one of the leading countries in the openness of science and research by 2017. “To reach this goal, we must rapidly transition from subscription-based licensing agreements towards new, open access publishing models,” says Laakso.

Overlapping expenses must be minimised

Currently, institutions of higher education and research institutes pay for academic publications through subscription fees. In an open access model, the author or the author’s organisation pays for the publication of an article. The overall expenses of publication must be examined, as particularly large publishers currently favour hybrid publication, in which a researcher whose article has been accepted for publication in a subscription-based journal can pay a separate publication fee to make his or her article open access. It is important for researchers to publish in journals which are esteemed by the academic community, even if making the article open access requires a separate fee. This model of article fees, however, generates overlapping expenses, unless the publisher correspondingly lowers the subscription fees for the journals in question.

The National Library’s FinELib consortium, which represents institutions of higher education and research institutes in the negotiations, has insisted that the hybrid model, which involves both subscriptions and article fees, be considered an interim solution on the way to full open access publishing. During this transition period it is essential that overlapping expenses from the new open access model and the old subscription model are minimised.

Aiming for a contract with integrated support for open access publishing

The subscription fees for academic journals represent an annual expense of about €23 million for institutions of higher education and research institutes. The exact costs of open access publishing are unknown as they are not monitored in Finland on a national level. However, according to estimates from the project Tieteen avoin julkaiseminen (Open Publication of Science in Finland), in 2014 Finnish universities paid at least €1 million to publish open access articles, and these expenses are on the rise.

Open access models which would be both financially sustainable and easy for researchers are currently also being sought internationally. At the moment, several international campaigns promoting open access are underway, including the Christmas is over campaign organised by the League of European Research Universities and undersigned by several Finnish institutions of higher education. Dutch universities, for example, have been able to negotiate package deals with the major publishers Springer and Wiley which facilitate open access publishing.

Libraries to support open access

Researchers can find support for open access publishing from the library of their organisation as well as the many open access resources online, such as:

Open Access (Helsinki University Library)

Open Access and Aalto University

Open Access instructions in Finnish (University of Eastern Finland)

The Open Science and Research Initiative

Further information:

Vice-Rector Keijo Hämäläinen, University of Helsinki, chair of the strategy group for the contract negotiations, tel. 029 415 0640,

Assistant Professor Mikael Laakso, Hanken School of Economics, member of the strategy group for the contract negotiations, tel. 050 9100 864,

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