New Main Library of University of Helsinki – The First Impression

As I’ve already said a couple of times, I’m excited that school is starting again. A huge part of it has been the fact that – yes, you read the title, you know already – we have a new main library! There used to be several smaller libraries scattered around the central campus, but now there’s only this new beauty and the National Library. As fond as I was of the little ones and the student library, now that I have seen the new system I’m ready to fall head over heels.

For better researched info, visit Kay’s blog and see what she says. I’m here just to enthuse.

First of all, this is the entrance on Fabianinkatu. (All pictures taken today by yours truly!)

It’s just so beautiful. The student library next door looks like some sort of license office.

Before visiting the library myself I ran into a friend who told me she got lost twice during the twenty minutes she spent in the building. I don’t know how she managed that – I found everything I wanted (fifth floor, modern languages and arts). There’s a multitude of floors, and I only visited a few of them.

The fifth floor, my future home, has an awesome view! You can see Ateneum and the second biggest movie theatre!

There’s all sort of nooks and corners for reading, and a lot of table space for working. For once I feel I could actually pack my laptop and go there to write an essay. You know – as all the reference material could actually fit on the table!

And the check-out machines. Oh gods. They read the barcode on your library card. That’s nothing out of the ordinary, of course. But wait! There’s more! There’s no barcodes on the books, no chips that you can see, sometimes not even titles on covers, nothing. You just plunk it on the machine, and it knows which book it is! I just want to keep checking out books because it’s beyond awesome. A friend of mine then informed me that in Turku (an old University town) this kind of technology is used in every library. Don’t know why Helsinki is so far behind – I want this everywhere! Magic!

So that’s it for now. I didn’t do a very extensive exploration of the place, as it’s huge and we were getting impatient after having been around Uni for two hours already, but I’ll be going back and perhaps building a nest.

Lectures start tomorrow. Getting restless with excitement!

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “New Main Library of University of Helsinki – The First Impression

  1. Our local town library has those scary checkout machines too, I can’t cope with them at all, I’m way too old-fashoined 😀

    I’m lucky enough to get access to the Cambridge University Library as well (lib.cam.ac.uk) and that’s a really amazing place. You definitely need a map to get round it, and it looks like some weird concentration camp of learning – all uniform metal stacks and lights on timers…

    • I love the new machines so much! 😀 And I hear the return machine thing has blue lights! And that sounds like a scary library… This one is all white and friendly shapes and light and windows and colourful sofas!

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