Library reading sessions can now be enjoyed online

Libraries are taking care of readers even during the state of emergency. Reading sessions have rapidly moved online on the national Library Channel video service. Copyright matters have been agreed on with Sanasto and Kopiosto.

Reading sessions and literary events are an essential part of libraries’ operations. Now that libraries are closed, these events will also be held online. Libraries are now organising story times, novella knitting sessions, book tips and poetry nights online. They have also ensured that authors and illustrators are compensated for the use of their works.

Libraries have quickly agreed on an exceptional online licence with copyright protection organisations. This licence allows libraries to display story times and other reading sessions on Library Channel (Kirjastokaista). Library Channel is a shared video service on which all public libraries in Finland produce content. The online licence also encompasses the reading sessions published by Helsinki City Library on Helsinki Channel.

“Mutual goals and excellent co-operation with Sanasto and Kopiosto allowed us to act quickly to reach an agreement. I want to sincerely thank all parties on behalf of all public libraries,” says Head of Library Network Services Virva Nousiainen-Hiiri from Helsinki City Library.

Online content through co-operation

Helsinki City Library started organising online literary content as soon as the state of emergency started. As the host of the Consortium of Public Libraries, it also negotiated on a copyright solution on behalf of all Finnish libraries.

Copyright organisations Sanasto and Kopiosto agreed on the online presentation of works with the libraries. Sanasto represents authors, while Kopiosto represents illustrators.

“Literature brings joy and comfort, particularly in these times. It has been a pleasure to agree on the online reading sessions as a representative of authors and translators. Now we have ensured that they are compensated when their works are used,” says Executive Director of Sanasto Anne Salomaa.

With reading sessions in video form, and children’s story times in particular, illustrations are extremely important. Kopiosto’s CEO Valtteri Niiranen is glad that illustrations will be transferred to homes along with the books’ stories.

“In these exceptional times, offering opportunities for people to read and join reading sessions is particularly important. It’s great that we can represent illustrators and facilitate new ways of enjoying their works, while also offering new experiences for people at home,” Niiranen says.

The agreement on online reading sessions will be valid until 22 June 2020. If the state of emergency continues after this date, the agreement can be extended.