(Roughly) Daily

“Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation”*…

An opportunity to learn from one of the best: Pirkko Lindberg on Finalnd’s public libraries…

Library services are the most used cultural services in Finland, 50 % of all citizens use the library at least once a month and 20 % use it weekly. A national user inquiry from 2013 showed that experiences of the users according the benefits of the library are remarkable. Nine out of ten respondents told that libraries have made their life better. Finnish people are also heavy library users, last year my library, Tampere City Library, had 22.5 lends/inhabitant. Lending is not decreasing, for example children´s loans went up 6 % last year!

Finland is one of the few countries in the world that has own Library Act, the law that defines tasks and official guidelines to public library`s work. The first Finnish Library Act was published 1928 and it has been renewed several times during decades. The Act must live and develop with the society and it has to reflect surrounding environment and changes in the society. Digitization, economic crises and the changes in the municipalities requires authorities to update the Library Act in Finland…

The new act enhances in the new way libraries’ tasks in the society. The act´ s goal is to promote among other things citizen´s equal possibilities to civilization and culture, possibilities to lifelong learning, active citizenship and democracy. To implement these goals the baselines are commonality, diversity and multiculturalism…

License to cure – the new Finnish Library Act gives a mandate for better citizenship: “New Library Act and New Strategy for Finnish Public Libraries from @IFLA.

See also: “Light and enlightenment: libraries in Finnish cultural identity” (source of the image– the third-floor reading room in the Helsinki Library– above)

* Walter Cronkite


As we check it out, we might recall that it was on this date in 1836 that disaster befell a very specialized “library”: a fire destroyed the U.S. Patent Office (which shared quarters in Blodget’s Hotel with the Post Office). All records of nearly 10,000 patents issued over 46 years– all the patents issued to that date– were lost, most forever, along with around 7,000 patent models filed with them. All patents from prior to the fire were listed later as X-Patents by the office (having been reconstructed by getting copies of the approved applications from inventors).

In response to the fire, Congress made the Patent Office (which had been part of the Post Office) its own organization under the United States Department of State. Henry Leavitt Ellsworth, its first Commissioner, immediately began construction of a new fire-proof building, that was not completed until 1864. But a fire in 1877 destroyed the west and north wing of the new building and caused even more damage.

Blodget’s Hotel with stagecoach parked in front, in around 1800s—before 1836 Great Fire (source)

Written by (Roughly) Daily

December 15, 2022 at 1:00 am

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