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Library Terms of Use

Helsinki University Library Terms of Use

Everyone has the right to use the Helsinki University Library.

In addition to visiting the library, the terms of use also apply to the remote use of electronic materials. Along with the terms of use, the use of the library is also defined, among others, by rules set by the library (e.g. for the use of group facilities), the Copyright Act, and the terms of use of licenced electronic materials.

The rights and responsibilities of contract customers are defined in separate agreements.

Customer rights

Library facilities and materials

  • Customers have the right to use the library services and stay in its facilities during the opening hours.
  • The library is a public space so e.g.  photographing is allowed if it does not disturb working and studying at the library.

Library card

  • Anyone who is over the age of 15 and has a valid identification card and a street address in Finland can get a library card. Exceptions to this are students and researchers of the University of Helsinki (including exchange students and visiting researchers) who may get a library card regardless of the conditions mentioned above.
  • According to the Personal Data Act (523/1999), a customer has the right to check the personal information about him/her recorded in the customer register of the library. Customers have the right to ask to see the privacy policy. All the Helka libraries have a common customer register and privacy policy.

Borrowing, requesting, and returning

  • With the library card, you may borrow and renew loans as well as use the material in the library collections according to the loan periods and regulations set for each material type.
  • Customers may also make requests for material in circulation.
  • Customers have the right to return materials from Helsinki University Library to all the library locations.

Online use of the library

  • Customers have the right to use electronic materials in the facilities of the library according to the Acceptable Use Policy and the Information Security Rules of the University of Helsinki.
  • The students and staff of the University of Helsinki, and HUCH staff may use materials acquired by the library, in addition to the library facilities, on computers that are in the network of the mentioned organisations. The remote use of licenced electronic materials is permitted to the students and staff of the university. Walk-in customers do not have permission to remote use.


  • Customers have the right to get information concerning the library's services by contacting the library.
  • Customers have the possibility to give feedback about the library services.

Responsibilities of the customer

Library facilities and materials

  • Customers must behave in a proper manner and not disturb other customers in the library facilities.
  • Customers will follow the terms of use and instructions given by the staff.
  • Customers are responsible for the library material they have borrowed and are required to follow loan periods and other rules and regulations regarding the use of the material.
  • Customers commit to following the Copyright Act (404/1961) when using library materials.
  • Customers must pay the fees defined in the library service price list.
  • Customer must use the library materials and devices in a proper manner.
  • Customers are responsible for damages they cause.
  • Customer are responsible for storing their files themselves.
  • Customers are responsible for their belongings left behind in the library.

Library card

  • The library card is personal.
  • When a customer receives a library card s/he commits to following the rules of the library with his/her signature.
  • In case the library card is lost, it must be immediately reported to the library.
  • To get a library card, a customer must prove his/her identity and give the information requested by the library, including the personal social security number.
  • The customer must inform the library of changes in contact information, name or personal identification number.

Borrowing, requesting, and returning

  • Customers must present their library card when borrowing and requesting material.
  • It is the customers' responsibility to find out the due dates of their loans and the fines for overdue loans from the service price list of the library. 
  • If a customer returns material after its due date the library charges overdue fines according to the service price list.
  • Customers must compensate material that is not returned (for example a lost book) according to the library price list and the value of the material.
  • If a customer has already compensated the unreturned material and then returns it, the library is not obligated to reimburse the compensation to the customer.
  • Not returning material and unpaid fines lead to the customer being blocked from borrowing, and the use of an external collection agency.
  • Unreturned material and unpaid fines may also be collected through legal debt collection.
  • Customers are blocked from borrowing if they have unpaid fees that exceed the blocking limit stated in the service price list
  • The right to borrow is returned once the fines and expenses have been paid.

Electronic use of the library

  • Library customers are required to follow the Acceptable Use Policy and the Information Security Rules of the University of Helsinki.
  • When using materials licenced to the use of the university, a customer commits to following the terms of use of the materials
  • Electronic materials acquired to the use of the university may be used for research, teaching and studying purposes. Exploiting the materials or parts of them commercially is forbidden.
  • It is usually possible to browse the materials, do information retrievals in them, as well as print and save reasonable sections of them. Systematic distribution of the materials, altering them, and accessing them automatically is forbidden.

Rights of the library

  • The library has the right to decide on its opening hours and changes in them.
  • The library has the right to decide on loan periods.
  • The library has the right to collect fees according to its service price list.
  • The library may temporarily block a customer if the customer does not follow the library's rules and guidelines even though the library has given a notice about it.
  • The library has the right to ask customers, who cause disruption to library operations, customers or staff with their behaviour, to leave the library.
  • The library has the right to change the terms of use.
  • The library is not responsible for damages to the customer from functional disruptions of devices or programs in its facilities or from computer viruses.
  • The library is not responsible for violations of the terms of use of electronic materials committed by the user.
  • In serious violations, the university may hand the matter over to be investigated by officials. Claims for damages based on legislation may be directed to the violator.  

Responsibilities of the library

  • The library provides information materials, services, facilities and devices to the use of its customers.
  • In a check-out transaction, the library states the loan period.
  • The library gives information about its services and rules regarding them.
  • The customer register is used to manage loans. The library does not give the information in the customer register to external use with the exception of commissions related to the collection of unreturned loans. The privacy policy is available to be seen in the library. (Personal Data Act 523/1999.) 
  • The library handles customer information and transactions confidentially.
  • The library handles customer feedback and takes it into consideration in developing its operations. 

See also: eRecourses Terms of Use and eBooks Terms of Use