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

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