Participants 2013

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Mikko Heliölä: Of libraries and languages

mikko-1

Due to the practical experiences in a public library of Sipoo where the customers have mostly either Finnish or Swedish as their mother tongue, I’ve become to wonder how are the languages noticed in similar areas for example in Belgium, where the customers similarly have different languages sometimes in the same area? Or in the greater scale, elsewhere in the world? In which ways libraries have to pay attention to the different languages in their presence, will it be in library facilities and services or in the social media?

Languages used in the community where library functions plays here in Sipoo libraries a significant role in purchasing of material (near-equal amounts of material purchased in Finnish and Swedish), customer service, shelf signs and library design. Some basic facts and figures about Sipoo and our library: (2012)

  •  Amount of inhabitants: 18.526
  • Language relation: twolingual municipality, Finnish as the major language
  • 2 libraries with a staff of 19
  • Loans: 292 917
  • Visits: 153 940

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