I was given a lovely tour of Pasila Library last week (which has this stunning water feature). It’s Helsinki’s main library with almost 200,000 items, including materials in over 100 languages which can be sent all over Finland to other communities. Pasila Library does a particularly good job of supporting immigrants who are learning Finnish and about local culture.
I was very impressed with the whole library, but especially the children’s section, which had an excellent selection of books in English and many other languages. Many older Finnish children read in English, which I find pretty astounding, and there is plenty for them to enjoy here. The children’s area is decorated with quite a few animal sculptures and one very pretty water spirit. There is also an activity room where children come to paint and even to knit while they are read to by the librarian.
The library takes an active role in inviting young children to become library users, creating brochures, invitations and games that encourage them to visit. They even produced a high-end sticker game showing cartoon characters using the library.
Many thanks to the enthusiastic librarians for showing me around and giving me some of their very interesting materials to take back to Scotland. And you can see a few more pictures of the library’s sculptures here.