Helsinki Central Library Oodi chosen as the best new public library in the world 

Finnish libraries are appreciated around the world, as the city libraries of Espoo and Vantaa will also be awarded in the World Library and Information Congress held in Athens.

Tuesday 27 August, Helsinki Central Library Oodi was chosen as the winner of the 2019 Public Library of the Year award in the World Library and Information Congress of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), which is currently underway in Athens. Espoo City Library and Vantaa City Library will also be awarded in Athens. 

The annually presented Public Library of the Year award is presented to a public library that is either newly built or set up in premises not previously used for library purposes.This year, a total of 16 libraries from all over the world applied to be considered for this award. The other libraries that made it to the final were Green Square Library and Plaza in Australia, Bibliotheek LocHal in the Netherlands and Tūranga – Christchurch Central Library in New Zealand. The award’s sponsor, IT company Systematic, awarded USD 5,000 to Oodi. 

‘Oodi was designed together with customers for a long period of time. We received more than 2,000 ideas from customers to serve as the basis of the architectural competition. ALA Architects designed an amazing and unique building that takes all the elements most desired by customers into account. The customers immediately made Oodi their own, which is our greatest success. The Public Library of the Year award tells us that the world has also taken notice of this,’ rejoices Director of Oodi Anna-Maria Soininvaara

Video produced by Espoo City Library awarded as the best 

The video ‘100 Reasons why these Finnish Libraries are the Best in the World’, produced by Espoo City Library, has won the 2019 IFLA Metropolitan Libraries Short Film Award. The award was presented in Athens on Tuesday. The participants of the international MetLib conference held in Helsinki in May 2019 voted Espoo’s video as the best among the 10 candidates.

The video was produced in honour of the 100th anniversary of Finland’s independence in 2017. Targeted at an international audience, the video humorously presents one hundred reasons why the libraries of Espoo and Finland in general are among the best in the world. The video showcases versatile services, locations and facilities. The video was created by Saala Erlo and Topias Salonen from Espoo City Library. Watch the video here:

Vantaa City Library wins second place award for the marketing of Taskukirjasto 

The marketing campaign for the Taskukirjasto (Pocket Library) application developed by Vantaa City Library won the second place award in the IFLA PressReader International Marketing Award for 2019 competition. The news about the award was released in April, and the award was presented in Athens on 28 August. The competition awards library marketing campaigns that utilise innovative and unique marketing strategies.

Taskukirjasto is a free-of-charge mobile application for the customers of Helsinki Metropolitan Area Libraries. It allows customers to renew loans and make reservations. The application also acts as a library card. You can check out Taskukirjasto at

Photo: Maarit Hohteri / City of Helsinki