Ari Muhonen elected FUN’s next chair

Ari Muhonen, the director of Jyväskylä University’s Open Science Centre, has been elected as FUN’s next chair for the term 2021-2022.

Earlier in his career, Ari has worked as the director of University of Helsinki’s Viikki Campus Library, as well as the head librarian at Aalto University and Helsinki University of Technology. Ari is also an experienced author. Ari previously served as the chair of FUN’s predecessor, Council for Finnish University Libraries, for the term 2005-2006.

National Bibliometrics Seminar to be held as a webinar on 22.9.2020

FUN is participating in organising the annual Bibliometrics Seminar, which is going to be held as a webinar on 22.9.2020. The theme of the event is “Considering the diversity of publishing along with different sources of information and research methods in research evaluation”.

The seminar is bilingual: some speeches will be held in English, others in Finnish. 

Registration (until 18.9) and more information:

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

Summer in the university library

For the past summers, Tritonia Academic Library in Vaasa has been open all summer long. During summer, there are restricted opening hours and more self-service, but the reading rooms can be accessed as usual, for example. Statistically, there are much less visitors in summer compared to the busiest months during autumn. However, there is still a demand for a place to sit and study during summer, and numerous hardworking students can be found in the library throughout the summer. We have noticed at the service desk that both the customers and the questions they have are different in summer than during the academic year. This is because we have more external customers in summer, students from other parts of the country as well as local customers searching for literature in their own field of interest.

The past summer was more exciting than usual, as Tritonia adopted a new open-source library system called Koha. In June, the staff got to learn how to use the new system, and there were numerous aspects to consider regarding the changes Koha brought to the loans procedures. After midsummer, the library was closed for a week, while data was converted into Koha. During July and August we tested Koha in action, learned how it works and updated information and tutorials about the new system on our website. The implementation of Koha went smoothly and we did not run into any major problems.


Traditionally in summer, as there are less customers in the library, it has always been a time to do more extensive collection moves. The project for this summer was to merge all the journals from the subject collections to one journal collection, including moving journals from three different floors to one floor. We have also moved theses, serials and university publications, as well as weeded several collections. Now we have a uniform journal collection waiting for new and old customers.

Autumn has now arrived and we are happy to see the library once again filled with eager students all day long.

Text and photo: Jonna Toukonen, Head of services, Tritonia

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