Safer space principles in Vantaa libraries

A safe city constitutes the foundation for the residents’ good life. In particular, children and young people spend a lot of time on city premises, which is why ensuring their safety is of the essence. All premises owned by the City of Vantaa, including libraries, adopted the safer space principles in 2022.

The library’s safer space principles were compiled together with the staff and visitors. In September and October, the Tikkurila, Point and Länsimäki libraries hosted workshops and conducted surveys, especially for children, young people and families. In addition, we collected the wishes of library customers in an online survey carried out on the platform from 23 September to 18 October 2022. Workshops were also organised for library staff, in particular to consider how the staff can help make the library’s premises and events safer.

The paper surveys for schoolchildren, young people families with children yielded a total of 180 responses, and the online survey had 74 responses.

The responses of both children and adults revealed very similar themes. In a safe library, there is no bullying, harassment, discrimination or threat of violence. Visitors take others into account by being calm and quiet. All are welcome to the library, and the staff acknowledge everyone with at least a greeting. In addition, customers would like the staff to intervene in disturbances, have a visible presence in the library, be helpful and take care to ensure that the library is comfortable and safe.

On the basis of the surveys and workshops, the safer space principles were completed and introduced in all libraries. The libraries can also make additions to the principles in cooperation with their visitors.

Safer space principles in Vantaa libraries

The library belongs to everyone

You are welcome in the library as you are. You can come to the library to read, play, study, work or just spend time. Bullying, racism and discrimination have no place at the library. Please remember this in how you act and speak.

Please consider others

Give others space and peace. Respect other people and take care of shared spaces. Everyone can help make the library safer and more comfortable.

Our staff are here for you

The staff are responsible for the safety of the premises and will intervene if someone breaks the common rules. If you experience or witness harassment, you can tell the library staff about it. You can also always give feedback and ask for help.

More information about the safer space policies in Vantaa.

Text: Marjo Mannila & Maija Lehtola
Image: Odelia Airaksinen