Library Science Talks: Tuula Haavisto, City of Helsinki
Dienstag, 04. Juni 2019
16:15 - 17:45 Uhr
Helsinki Central Library Oodi – why it turned to be a success story?
Tuula Haavisto, Cultural Director, former Library Director, City of Helsinki
The opening of the Helsinki Central Library Oodi in December 2018 was a grand event in whole Finland, gathering 55 000 people to the library during two days. More success followed, the first million of visitors was broken at the end of March 2019. The same pace is still continuing.
Very attractive to our Mayor and other politicians is the fact that Oodi brings a lot of good reputation to Helsinki. Only in 2018, the calculatory media coverage was worth of nearly 11 million euros.
This popularity is a result of decisive and ambitious planning. I would argue that this is in the air – Helsinki is not the only city building a big central library: Aarhus, Oslo, Gent... These open buildings are an answer to a clear need in the society. In practice, the success consisted of participation of citizens, quality architecture, systematic PR work and political understanding, which was greatly pushed by the covering support from citizens.
We planned a library with citizens, not for citizens. Now they really feel ownership of the library.
Tuula Haavisto is the Cultural Director of the City of Helsinki, Finland. From March 2013 to the end of July 2017, she served as the Library Director in Helsinki. Before that, she worked in the Tampere City Library in the same role. 1997-2006 Haavisto run her own consultancy ‘Tuula Haavisto Library Knowledge T:mi’, working on domestic and international projects, training and development. On 1987-97 she was the Secretary General of the Finnish Library Association. Before that period, she had librarian and researcher posts in the Ministry of Environment, Academy of Finland and others.
Ms Haavisto is Master of Social Sciences from Tampere University (1983). She has had numerous positions in professional organisations, given articles and lectures and run other activities in Finland and abroad during her career. At the moment she is Chair of the Steering Group of Data Management of the National Library of Finland.