You can visit some libraries even when there is no staff present. These libraries are called self-service libraries.
Helmet libraries is the collective name for the libraries of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen.
How a self-service library works
At a self-service library, you can borrow and return books. You can also use computers, read newspapers and magazines, work, and hold meetings. The libraries have a wireless network.
You can also use self-service libraries outside the library’s normal opening hours.
You can check the self-service hours on the library’s website. You can also check when there is staff present.
Before you can use self-service libraries, you must register as a user and accept the self-service library rules.
You can access a self-service library using your library card and PIN code. The staff will give you the PIN code.
When there is no staff present at the library, the premises are monitored by camera surveillance.
Registering as a self-service library customer
You must be at least 15 years old to register as a self-service library user. You can register at any Helmet library. The library staff will help you with the registration.
As a registered user, you can use any self-service library in the Helmet area.
How to register
- Bring your library card and a photo ID with you. On the identity cards webpage, you can check which identity cards are accepted.
- The staff asks you to read the self-service library rules. By signing the rules, you accept them. You can take the signed rules home with you.
- The library employee enters your name in the library database.
- Read the emergency instructions of the library you use. They are available at the library.
- You can now start using the self-service library.
Use of self-service libraries for children under 15
Children under the age of 15 may use the self-service library independently with the written consent of their guardian. To give consent, the guardian must visit the library when there is staff present.
- To give consent, the guardian must visit the library. We also hope that the child to whom consent is given comes along.
- The library employee checks the library card of the child. The guardian must show a photo ID. On the identity cards webpage, you can check which identity cards are accepted.
- The guardian and the child read the self-service library rules. If the child is not present, the guardian will read the rules with the child later. If the child is present, the child signs the rules.
- The guardian also signs the rules. The guardian has now given consent for the child to use the self-service library. The guardian and the child take the signed self-service library rules home with them.
- The library employee enters the child’s name in the library database.
- It is recommended that users read the library’s emergency instructions, which are available at the library.
- The child can now start using the self-service library.
A guardian can also withdraw their consent.
To withdraw their consent, the guardian must visit the library, where a staff member will help them with the process.
If the child is not allowed to use the self-service library alone, they may visit the library accompanied by an adult.
The adult ensures that the child follows the library rules.
Self-service library rules
Helmet libraries have common self-service library rules as of 1 November 2023.
Rules as of 1 November 2023
Self-service library rules
Rules until 31 October 2023
Espoo self-service libraries' rules (PDF)
Helsinki self-service libraries' rules
Kauniainen self-service library rules (PDF)
Vantaa self-service libraries’ rules
If you break the rules
If you break the library rules or the law, your right to use the library may be suspended for a maximum period of 30 days.
The suspension may apply to all library use or be limited to self-service use.
Self-service libraries in the Helmet area
Self-service libraries in Helsinki
- Herttoniemi Library
- Laajasalo Library
- Lauttasaari Library
- Paloheinä Library
- Suomenlinna Library
- Viikki Library
Self-service libraries in Espoo
- Haukilahti Library
- Kalajärvi Library
- Karhusuo Library
- Kauklahti Library
- Laajalahti Library
- Laaksolahti Library
- Nöykkiö Library
- Otaniemi Library
- Saunalahti Library
- Suurpelto Library
- Viherlaakso Library
Self-service libraries in Vantaa
- Mosaiikki Library
- Länsimäki Library
- Point Library
- Pähkinärinne Library
Kauniainen Library also has self-service hours.
Using a library when it is closed
Only some libraries have self-service hours. However, it is also possible to use some of the other libraries when they are closed. This requires a separate agreement with the library.
Other independent use of libraries
Sometimes libraries have fewer employees present. At these times, customers use the library independently. Different libraries have different practices for independent use of the premises.