No. 36 (May 2020), p. 44-51
Children of Library Land – the Past, Present and Future
of Finnish Library Services for Children and Young People
Finnish library services for children and young adults are an integral part of Finnish society, education and societal life. The
article highlights the historical development and present day of Finnish library system as well as describes the best practices
on the activities libraries provide for young clientele and their caretakers.
After World War II, Finland started a rapid rise towards being a modern nation. Reading as a pastime hobby gained popularity,
there were more education possibilities, the level of education was on the rise and young people spent more years in school
instead of starting to work early. All this had a positive effect on library services. The changes in education and society had their
effect on children’s library services as well, and today children’s and youth libraries are an essential part of Finnish society.
Unlike in many other countries, Finland does not have school libraries in every school. At the moment, there are some excellent
school libraries and dedicated school librarians but majority of schools are served with public libraries. The line between
school library and public library is blurred, as majority of visits may be of pupils but the connection between high quality
education and well-functioning library service has enabled libraries and schools to develop common goals, objectives and
Finland, school libraries, public libraries, library services for children, education
Submitted: 7th October 2019
Correction to the manuscript: 20th January 2020
Accepted for publication: 5th February 2020
Children of Library Land – the Past, Present and Future of Finnish Library Services for Children and Young People
is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.