Congress theme: “Libraries Now! - Inspiring, Surprising, Empowering”

Finnish Perspective: Let’s get acquainted with a different kind of library

Spotlight on the Local librarian of the day

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Kirsi SalminenThe Helsinki City Library's Urban Office is a modern, free-of-charge work and meeting space open to everyone.  The library is one of four recipients of the 2012 American Library Association (ALA) Presidential Citations for Innovative International Library Projects.

Meet Kirsi Salminen who works there as a Planner:

We got the idea for Urban Office when we were in the process of changing the services we offer in our lobby. Our customers started using the empty space in a new way, so we decided to fill this need in our services.

There are Urban Offices in the Helsinki City Library and the Espoo City Library.  We have many entrepreneurs, freelancers, and people who work in creative industries as customers, not the typical business park or business hotel user.

We are constantly developing new library services and attempting to build service packages, where new services capitalize on existing ones. The Urban Office service will be developed to focus towards a more customer engaging direction and our next new service will be to provide 3D printing capabilities for our customers who want, for example, to print prototypes.

I invite IFLA delegates to come meet us at the city center—just across from Library 10.