6. Vantaan kaupunginkirjasto, Vantaa, Finlandpartner

Vantaa City Library is a public library of the city of Vantaa, the fourth largest city in Finland situated in the capitol area in the south of Finland. Vantaa City library has 10 branches and two mobile libraries. Library serves citizens of all age groups and has a wide collection of books, magazines, dvd:s, e-books etc. It belongs to a bigger library network and online library system called HelMet, which has more than 3,4 million items. A customer can use the library via internet and reserve items from all libraries in the capitol area. Using the library is free of charge. Library organised cultural activities for children, school groups, teenagers, grownups and seniors. There are reading clubs, language cafes, arts and crafts clubs in many libraries.

In Finland the library is a very important public service. It has developed together with the education system and has an important role in our society. However the library needs new ways of thinking, new innovations and ideas about how to serve people even better. In Vantaa there are a number of areas with a lot of social problems and library has to be able to deal with them. The Library can offer leisure activities and teach information skills to people who are in the danger of exclusion. We can share our good practise to others and also get ideas from other partners.

For many people living in the suburbs, the library is a vital meeting place, an information point where they can have social interaction, get information and take part in different courses and clubs. In some areas, the library is the only cultural centre and because it is free of charge it has an important role in people’s life especially in poorer areas. The Library teaches life skills, offers a possibility to use computers and learn about new technological invention. The library staff are trained to teach information skills and give advice to people. For immigrants the library is a place to meet native citizens and to use internet for reading magazines in their own language. The Library organizes regular courses for people who are in danger of being left out from the information society.

 For Library and Information services/ The City of Vantaa because of the large opening hours and many free of charge courses unemployed are an important target group. One of our goals is to organize leisure activities and teach information skills to people who are in the danger of being left out from the information society.