Greeting from the Mayor of Helsinki


Jussi Pajunen, Mayor of Helsinki Coat of arms of the city of Helsinki








Dear Delegate,

The City of Helsinki is honoured to host the World Library and Information Congress. We are looking forward to welcoming information specialists from all over the world in 2012, which is a true jubilee year for Helsinki, celebrating its 200th anniversary as capital of Finland and designation as World Design Capital.

It is impossible to overestimate the significance of the library system in the Nordic welfare model. Libraries reflect many of the most fundamental values of our society, such as openness and equality, and confirm our appreciation for learning and for knowledge. Furthermore, libraries play a critical role in achieving the aims of the information society. Not only do they ensure access to lifelong learning and electronic services for all citizens, but also offer opportunities for gaining new international perspectives and support for developing civic skills and media literacy.

In 2010 the Helsinki City Library celebrated its 150th anniversary. Its continuing vitality is the result of continuous renewal and successful adaptation to the expectations of the surrounding society. I feel that libraries are the hallmark of a highly educated nation with a will to embrace a wide and far-reaching future. Helsinki is currently preparing the foundation of a new Central Library. The concept of a library of the 21st century must go beyond traditional models. We see it as a social hub and a multi-media node for accessing skills, knowledge and stories.

Collaboration between academic and public libraries is lively in Finland. A brand new university library will be opened in 2012 in the heart of Helsinki City Campus. The library of the future is a living haven of culture, a hub of knowledge and inspiration that one can visit physically or virtually according to one's needs.

During the month of August, summer and Helsinki will be at their best, offering Congress delegates opportunities for a multitude of social and cultural activities. You will have a chance to discover our unique archipelago, as well as a chance to see and enjoy Finnish art, music, design and architecture.

I warmly welcome the World Library and Information Congress to Helsinki. We will do our utmost to make your stay successful and enjoyable.

Jussi Pajunen

Mayor of Helsinki

Last update: 4 May 2012