User regulations for self-service library in Helsinki

1. What is a self-service library?

Self-service library is a library that a customer can use independently outside the library’s
actual service hours. Self-service library refers to library premises that have been equipped with a system that enables the clients to use the library independently. The client can also access the library premises outside the library’s service hours, if they have a Helmet library card and a valid PIN number.

Self-service library extends the library’s service hours and the availability of its services by opening the premises and materials to customer use also in the mornings, in the evenings and on weekends. Library staff is not present in the premises during the self-service library’s self-service hours.

The times and available services of self-service libraries are presented on the website of each self-service library ( Remember to also read through the library-specific guidelines in the premises.

2. What can you do in a self-service library?

During the self-service hours, you can loan and return materials, pick up your reserved
books from the self-service shelf, read magazines and work. The clients have access to the library premises, materials, customer computers and the public wireless network. The services that require personnel are not available during the self-service hours.

3.Logging in and exiting

Each customer must log into the library personally, aside for children accompanied by
adults. Additionally, the customer must ensure that no other persons enter the premises when they open the door, both when coming in and leaving.

The library premises are equipped with signs that show when the self-service hours start and end. The customer must leave the library premises when the self-service hours end and the library closes.

The premises are supervised with video surveillance and access control, for example. Staying in the premises will trigger an alarm. The library will charge the costs of the alarm from the customer. Violating the library’s self-service rules or the Public Order Act may lead to prohibiting the use of the self-service library. If necessary, any offences will be reporteto the police.

4.Responsibilities and obligations

Becoming a self-service customer of the Helsinki City Library requires you to have a Helmet
library card and a PIN code. You will also need to commit to the self-service library’s user regulations and the library’s general regulations (Helmet library’s user regulations).

Each user is obligated, in their own part, to maintain the cleanliness, comfort and safety of the library premises.

According to the Public Libraries Act (1492/2016), a library user must behave in a sensible manner in the library. The Public Order Act (612/2003) will be applied if the operations of the library are disrupted or safety is compromised. The library user must handle the public library’s materials and other property with due care.

During self-service hours, public assemblies or events defined in the Assembly Act (530/1999) cannot be held in the library, unless otherwise agreed with the Helsinki City Library.

The customer is liable for any material damage caused by them. The user regulations of Helmet libraries as well as the Public Libraries Act (1492/2016) will be applied to cases where damage has occurred.

The customer is liable for the materials registered onto their library card. If there are issues with the loan or return of these materials, the matter must be reviewed with the staff during the library’s public opening hours.

A library is a public place, where the Public Order Act (612/2003) must be followed. Based on the Public Order Act, the following actions, among others, are prohibited in a library also during its self-service hours:

  • substance use
  • disrupting the peace by e.g. excessive noise
  • threatening behaviour towards others, both physical and verbal

5. The premises are equipped with recording access control and camera surveillance systems

The self-service library premises are equipped with access control and camera surveillance
systems, which are counted as a personal data register according to the Data Protection Act (1050/2018). The register description is available in the library as well as on the page Using the library. The register administrator is the Helsinki City Executive Office.