A Dream Come True of Citizens – the New Helsinki Central Library

HAAVISTO, Tuula (2017) A Dream Come True of Citizens – the New Helsinki Central Library. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2017 – Wrocław, Poland – Libraries. Solidarity. Society. in Session 207 - Library Buildings and Equipment with Management and Marketing.

Bookmark or cite this item: https://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/1790
Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.


A Dream Come True of Citizens – the New Helsinki Central Library

What a discussion about libraries by the politicians in the Helsinki City Council! In January 2015 the final decision worth 100 million euros on building the new Helsinki Central Library was made. At the end, 75 votes were given for and only 8 against the construction. During three hours, high quality and detailed speeches on the importance of libraries were given, one after another. How was this possible? Has the fair wind continued? The key was – and is - simply involving the citizens genuinely into the project from the very beginning. Since 2012, there have been numerous large and small efforts to make choices and plans with users-to-be of the library. All in all 2300 Dreams were collected first, and analyzed to be used as one planning material; it is clear that this information has improved the quality of planning. The architectural competition included consultancy of the public on several phases, and all the services have been planned with service design methods. The building got its name Oodi via an open competition, where 2600 entries were received. New forms of participation are to come soon. Up-dated information from the construction site is given continuingly. These activities have resulted booming and concrete public support to the project, well known by the politicians as well. Inside the library it has demanded new thinking and learning new skills. Introducing participatory methods means kind of revolution if it is taken seriously. Telling stories, creating stories with citizens is an essential part of the package. This presentation gives information on and analysis of the process along the years.

FOR IFLA HQ (login required)

Edit item Edit item