Model Programme for Public Libraries

Kultur styrrelsen



Case: Myllypuro Media Library, Helsinki


Myllypuro Media Library is an open learning centre. Both for ordinary users who can experiment with new forms of media, technology and culture, and for Helsinki's library staff in relation to the competences that will be needed at tomorrow's libraries. It is also a pilot project for new functions at the coming central library in Helsinki.

From Reading Room to Media Library

In 1997, Myllypuro Reading Room was set up as a part of Helsinki's ‘Neighbourhood Project’. The purpose was to improve the suburb's attraction and support the residents' active citizenship. In 2011, the new Myllypuro Media Library opened with a new purpose and a new service profile. Today, the library is to support the inhabitants' possibilities of being active citizens in the modern digital world by providing support and instruction in the use of new media and technical solutions. After the reorganisation, the number of visitors has doubled, so that there are now more than 5,000 visitors per month.

New digital services

The relatively small library of 150 m2 does not offer ‘the big package’ of traditional library materials. It only has journals, a small bestseller collection and materials handed in by others for lending. Instead, it has a whole string of new offers and services:

  • Materials in digital form: newspapers and e-books for use on PCs, laptops, iPads and e-book readers
  • Lending of video cameras and the possibility of editing in the library's studio or using ‘media laptops’ on site
  • Lending of tablets (on which six new books are installed for free reading)
  • Editing of AV material in the studio, which can then be transmitted via the Internet or TV
  • Laptop club with a mentor
  • Lending of sports equipment such as pedometers, heart rate monitors, GPS clocks and compasses

All users of the library can book an appointment with one of the library's media assistants who will guide and help them with photo development, video editing, recording of media files, publishing and scanning etc.

Organise an event!

In collaboration with the Community Centre's stage, the library offers users the chance to organise their own events, either on their own or in collaboration with others. The library also has a meeting room with permanent IT equipment.

Local context

Myllypuro is a suburb of Helsinki. The population is mainly low-income groups, and there are relatively many immigrants here. The entire area is in the middle of a reconstruction process with many new houses and therefore many new residents in the area. The newly inaugurated Media Library is located at the heart of the reconditioned shopping centre in the same building as the local Community Centre and a cafe.

The library's users represent all age groups, albeit with a slight predominance of elderly, newspaper-reading men.


The library staff is made up of three permanent employees and two conscientious objectors, all chosen in relation to their competences within new media and technical solutions. As the Media Library is relatively new, they continually experiment with new offers, which means that new needs for staff competences continue to arise.

18. Sep 2017 at. 13:42

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