HelMet library user regulations

Helmet is an abbreviation of the words Helsinki Metropolitan Area Libraries. Helmet library service consists of Espoo, Helsinki, Kauniainen and Vantaa City Libraries. Helmet libraries have a shared customer register and library system.

Helmet libraries are open for everybody. Anyone who follows the customer regulations is allowed to use the libraries’ collections, services and customer facilities. For your own part you are obliged to use library materials, media and facilities in an appropriate way.

When you receive a library card (a customer registration number) or when you accept being a guarantor, you are committed to follow these user regulations and the potential changes of the regulations. The current user regulations and the separate instructions and rules about the various appliances to be used at the library along with the rights to use them are to be found at www.helmet.fi -> Info -> Using the library.

Library card and PIN code

Library card is a card or a customer registration number in some other form approved by the library (later in this text referred to as library card).

You can get a personal library card, the right to borrow and a PIN code at any Helmet library or mobile library. You will get the library card when you state your address and present a valid ID card with a photograph and personal identity number accepted by the library. To be able to receive a library card you need an address in Finland. The first library card is free of charge. If you do not have a Finnish personal identity number, your library card is valid for twelve months at a time.

A person younger than 15 years of age can get a library card with a written consent of his/her guardian or another consenting adult acting as a guarantor. The guarantor is responsible for the material that has been borrowed with the library card of a person younger than 15 years of age. A person who has lost his/her borrowing rights cannot act as a guarantor.

A day-care center, school, other institution or community can get a library card for one year at a time with the written consent of a consenting adult acting as a guarantor. The guarantor is responsible for the material that has been borrowed with the library card of an institution or community.

The library card is personal. You are responsible for the items that have been borrowed with your library card. In order to prevent the misuse of your library card you can ask that the employee in the lending services always checks the identity of the borrower. Lending by the automatic lending machine is protected with your PIN code. A staff member of an institution or community can use the institution’s or community’s library card with the consent of the guarantor of the institution or community.

You must inform the library immediately if your library card disappears. This responsibility also concerns the guarantor. If you have lost your library card, you can call the telephone number 09 3108 5309 when the libraries are closed and leave a message in the answerphone. You are not responsible for the material that has been borrowed with the lost library card after you have informed the library that the library card is missing. A library card that has been reported lost will be removed from use.

Along with the library card you will need a PIN code, if you wish to use the library’s web services, lending machines or customer computers. You will get the PIN code from the library or mobile library when you present a valid ID card approved by the library. The PIN code will not be given by e-mail or phone.

Please keep your contact information up-to-date. You must notify the library without delay about the changes of your address, email address and your name. You can check your contact information on the website www.helmet.fi .

The relationship between the library and the customer is confidential. The library is responsible for the accuracy of the customer register. The personal information on the borrower and the guarantor is recorded in the libraries’ customer register. It is the library’s responsibility that the customer register is in accordance with the Personal Data Act. In accordance with the Personal Data Act, the library has the right to record the customer’s personal identity number into the register. The register report is on view at the libraries and on the website www.helmet.fi -> Info -> Using the library.

You are entitled to check the information recorded about you in the library’s customer register. You will be shown the information in question at the library’s customer service desk when you prove your identity by presenting a valid ID card accepted by the library. The guarantor of a person younger than 15 years of age is entitled to get information about the guarantee’s overdue loans and unpaid fees. The guarantor of an institution or community is entitled to check the information about the institution or community in question.

Loans, returns and renewals

You may not have more than 100 items on loan at the same time of which no more than 5 console games. The loan period varies from 1 day to 28 days. You will find specific information about the loan periods in the appendix of the user regulations. Visual recordings and games will not be lent to a customer who does not fulfill the age limits approved by Kansallisen Audiovisuaalisen Instituutin Mediakasvatus- ja kuvaohjelmayksikkö MEKU (Media education and visual program unit of National Audiovisual Institute).

Please return your loans on the due date at the latest. You can return the material to any HelMet library during its opening hours. If you wish you can get a receipt of the return. Some libraries have so-called returning boxes. The items returned via the returning box are registered as returned on the next opening day of the library. Returning your loans via a returning box is on your own responsibility.

You will receive a due date reminder 2 days before the due date if you have a functioning email address in the library’s customer register and you have chosen email as the notification method. You can also receive the due date reminders as text messages if you subscribe to SMS alerts, which are subject to a charge.

You can renew your loans five (5) times at the library, mobile library or in Your record at www.helmet.fi . It is not possible to renew the loans if the material has been reserved or if you have lost your right to borrow. There may be restrictions in renewing the loans.  E.g. best-sellers and most objects that are to be borrowed cannot be renewed.

The first reminder concerning items that are overdue is sent 14 days after the due date, the second reminder 28 days after the due date. The first reminder can also be received by email. The HelMet library system also sends reminders on unpaid payments in order to avoid the expiration of the debt.

You will lose the right to borrow
if your loans are more than 28 days overdue
if you have lost or damaged the material of the library
if you fail to pay your penalties when they have amounted to or exceeded the sum indicated in the payments appendix

An exception to the above is a borrower who has started the process of a loan arrangement and whose debt to the library belongs to the freezing of payments. In the case of a debt like this, the debtor may not be targeted by the loss of borrowing rights due to a delay in payment.

You will regain your borrowing rights
by returning the items that are overdue
by compensating for lost or damaged items
by paying accumulated fees

The restoring of the borrowing rights can take about a week depending on the method of payment. If you pay the fees to the bank account of the library, the borrowing rights are restored after the library has dealt with the payments in its own bookkeeping. If the payment has been transferred to a collection office the borrowing rights are restored only after the collection office has made the payment to the library’s account and the library has checked the payment.

Reservations and interlibrary loans

You can reserve material either at the library or in Your record at www.helmet.fi . You may not have more than 50 pending reservations at the same time. You will receive a notice concerning reservations ready for picking up by a letter or email, or by ordering a text message subject to a charge. There may be restrictions in reserving materials.

If you pick up your reservations from a library with a self-service pick up shelf, you can get an alias (an assumed name).  You will get the alias from the customer service desk at the library, when you present a valid ID card accepted by the library. After you have acquired the alias, the reservation pick up slip will no more show your name but your alias.

You can order an item as an interlibrary loan from elsewhere in Finland or abroad, if the item is not available in the collections of any HelMet library. The service is subject to a charge. If, however, the material in question is available in some scientific or special library in the metropolitan area, it cannot be ordered as an interlibrary loan.


Using the library is in general free of charge. A fee is, however, debited for an item you return or renew after the due date, and for certain special services. The overdue fee accrues every calendar day after the due date until it reaches the maximum amount. No overdue fee is debited for material from the children’s and teens’ departments. The overdue fee is debited even if failing to renew the loans is due to a break in the internet connection or some other technical problem. The essential fees debited at the library are specified in the appendix of the user regulations.

You must compensate for lost or damaged material. Instructions to compensate for material are to be found in the appendix of the user regulations. NB. The library is not responsible for damages which the recordings you have borrowed possibly have caused to your appliances or for those damages caused to a third person by using the library appliances.

The library uses a collection office to collect outstanding payments. The outstanding payments are transferred from the HelMet library system to the collection office used by each city library in question approximately 60 days after the due date. The collection concerns material borrowed by a person 18 years of age or older. More information on collection can be found in the appendix of the user regulations.

Loss of user rights

The loss of user rights refers to a fixed term prohibition to use the library in cases when the customer acts disruptively towards the staff members or another customer despite forbiddance. The loss of user rights can last from one day to three months. The library director or a staff member of the library authorized by the director can order the loss of user rights. Before the ordering of the loss of user rights the parties will be reserved the chance to be heard. In minor situations the prohibition regarding the loss of user rights will be ordered orally, otherwise it will be ordered in writing. The prohibition will be recorded in the customer register of the library and the record will be removed when the user rights are restored after the fixed term.

The application and validity of the user regulations

These user regulations are applied at the city libraries in Espoo, Helsinki, Kauniainen, and Vantaa after the city libraries in the respective cities have approved the regulations. The amendment of the regulations requires identical decisions. The mobile libraries, institutional libraries and the home services of libraries apply these user regulations when applicable.

These user regulations repeal the user regulations approved on 1.3.2010. These user regulations will enter into force on 1.4.2014 and will be valid until further notice. The period of notice is six (6) months.

Loan periods and fees
User regulations for customer computers

User regulations in other languages:

User regulations in Arabic

User regulations in Estonian

User regulations in Persian

User regulations in Somali

User regulations in Russian