FAQ - Library material

How may I leave acquisition proposals?

You can fill in an acquisition proposal form. Naturally, you are always welcome to leave requests directly to the library staff.

Why can't I find a new publication in Helmet?

Acquisitions of new material are often decided months in advance. You can find the material in Helmet online catalogue as soon as the material has been registered into the database. Our staff are also happy to check whether material has already been acquired. You can leave acquisition proposals online or directly with our staff.

Can I borrow material from closed storage?

Yes, the library staff will fetch the material you want. The material in closed depositories can also be reserved online in the same way as all other library material. A comprehensive book depository shared by all Helmet libraries resides in the Pasila Library. The Pasila Book Depository has a lot of culturally significant and often out of print material.

I can't find a work in Helmet catalogue. Can I reserve it from another library?

Yes, you can. Make the reservation in the library from which you wish to fetch your material. Please note, that interlibrary loans are liable to fees. See the fees here.

How can I reserve a work that is available on the shelf?

You can reserve a work in the Helmet online service or Taskukirjasto. You will be notified by text message, e-mail or post when the material is ready for pick up in the pick-up library. If you would like to pick up the work immediately from the library where it is available on the shelf, please call the library in question first and ask the work to be reserved for you. You will need your library card number for the phone reservation. In the online service, you will need your library card number and PIN code.

I am unable to pick up my reservation. Can someone else pick it up for me?

If you are unable to pick up your reservation yourself, you can ask another person to borrow the reserved item on their own library card at the library’s customer service desk. The person borrowing the item must present the reservation notification you received from the library by text message, e-mail or post, so please forward your notification to this person. If you would like the reservation to be borrowed on your own library card, the person picking up the item must bring their own ID, your library card and a power of attorney where the intended use is specified.

If you no longer need the materials you have reserved, please cancel your reservation as soon as possible. This way, the item will become available for the next customer in the queue. You can cancel the reservation any time before the end of the reservation period. You can also freeze a queued reservation for the duration of a holiday or other absence. You can only freeze your reservation before it is on the way to the shelf or has arrived at the shelf. 

The fee for uncollected reservations also applies to reservations made before 1 June that are removed from the reservation section on or after 1 June because they have not been picked up. 

Instructions for freezing reservations

I am going on holiday and I have reservations. I do not want my reservations to arrive at the library during my trip. Is there something I can do?

You can freeze your reservations by signing in to your personal information on the Helmet page. You can freeze a reservation that you are still in the queue for. By freezing your reservation, you ensure that the reserved work will not be ready for pick up at the library until after you have unfrozen it. You will move up in the reservation queue even if your reservation is frozen.

You can unfreeze your reservation in the same way as you froze it. After you have unfrozen your reservation, it will be ready for pick up at your library once it is your turn in the reservation queue.

I do not want my full name to be visible on the reservation shelf. How can I prevent it?

Most libraries have switched to numbered reservation shelves or reservations.

At some libraries, you can pick up reservations under an alias. You can get an alias, i.e. a pseudonym by visiting the library and presenting a valid ID. After getting an alias, your alias will be visible in the reservations instead of your name.

Is it possible to buy material from library shelves?

Unfortunately we are not open to offers concerning the material that is currently part of our collection. It is possible to buy material that has been removed from the collection. Material might be removed from the collection due to its age, poor condition, outdated contents, or low usage.

May I donate my books to library?

Yes, libraries accept material donations according to their needs. Libraries reserve the right to further channel the donations e.g. to recycling shelves from where customers can take books for themselves. Feel free to contact the library of your choice on the matter. NB! Cetntral Library Oodi does not accept donations.

How are materials chosen?

Helmet library comprises the libraries of Espoo, Helsinki, Kauniainen and Vantaa.

We offer materials for the residents of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area in order to support freedom of speech and active citizenship as well as provide joy and experiences.

The library has books, magazines, music, movies, audio books and games in both traditional and electronic formats. Some of the magazines can be borrowed and reserved. Plenty of online magazines are also available.

All material acquisitions are put out to tender. The materials are usually chosen by the local libraries. Materials are purchased for people of all ages in the languages with the most speakers in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. The library purchases movies and games that are covered by public lending right. The library pays the copyright remuneration.

Materials that are particularly expensive or expected to have a limited number of users but the purchase of which is still necessary are only selected for some libraries.

Most Finnish literature is purchased without a separate request. You can fill in an acquisition request online or inform library personnel about the work you would like the library to purchase.

For quick readers, we have bestsellers that you can borrow for two (2) weeks from your local library. The most popular new music is also loaned out for two (2) weeks.

You can borrow materials or renew your loans in our online service. We deliver the reserved materials to the desired library throughout the Helmet area. Libraries accept donations at their own discretion.

The library’s collection lives and changes, and its condition and use are monitored continuously. Materials are removed from the collections due to low demand, poor condition or outdated content. Materials removed from the library are sold to customers, donated or recycled.

Helsinki City Library’s collection policy