The Hämeenlinna City Library is a meeting place of culture and knowledge. It’s known in Finland as a pioneer and innovative developer of library’s web services. The Library has had several development projects, in particular web 2.0 solutions and social media since 2007. In addition to the main library there are seven branch libraries and two library buses. The amount of personnel is 54. Annual amount of loans is 1.3 million, more than 20 loans per inhabitant. New services are developed according to the following divisions:
- Supporting different activities, participation and studying
- Culture and media education
- Preserving cultural inheritance
- Culture and literature events
The Hämeenlinna City Library is one of the Finnish Regional Libraries. It supports the information services and interlibrary loans in the area’s public libraries and develops the information services about the area of operation. Perhaps the most important regional duty in Hämeenlinna today is familiarizing library personnel in the new form of activities and development projects of library work in the area of operation.
Library as the open learning environment for knowledge and culture
The Hämeenlinna City Library aims to discover and implant novel working practices. The objective is to improve the services for library customers, and to reach new library users. The vehicle for deploying qualitatively new art of library work is training of library personnel and candid deployment of new media technologies. The library has implemented training programs in web writing, production of digital stories, digitizing, image processing, video editing, and social media platforms. In November 2010 the library launched its newest web-service: Virtuaalipolku.fi
It’s based on Google maps and presents cultural objects and events in Hämeenlinna. The users may also create and attach their own maps. The service may be used with mobile devices. It also uses augmented reality technology: QR-code tagged signs have been distributed around the city. Reading these signs with smart phones the users can access interesting media files associated with the sign locations.
The librarians are active content producers in the open regional wiki, Häme-Wiki, where inhabitants can tell their stories and knowledge of their own domiciles. The librarians provide assistance in material production in editing rooms. Through new skills and new interactive services, the library has found its role as an actor in the information society, and has also found new partners and new kind of customers. The development project is funded by the European Social Fund.
The latest national pilot project based in the newest technological solutions is an open library consept of the Jukola Branch Library. It’s a modern self-service library situated in the lively suburb of Hämeenlinna. It’s open every day from early morning to 22 pm. The customers are available to use the services by themselves, without personnal. There will be a librarian on daytime and a net connection to the information service of the main library.
Hämeenlinna, the city of lakes, history and culture
Hämeenlinna is an idyllic provincial city in the middle of southern Finland. This Finlands’s oldest inland town has grown on the shores of Vanajavesi around a medieval castle built in the 13th century. It’s a traditional as well as dynamic city with 67 000 inhabitants. Today Hämeenlinna is experiencing a very positive period of development. In many ways it is the engine of Häme province and a target of interest.