Helsinki University Library celebrates its anniversary during the academic year 2022–2023.

Kaisa House turned 10 years old in the beginning of September and we decided to celebrate the Library’s first decade of operations, now that it is possible after exceptional circumstances brought on by the pandemic. The theme of the anniversary year is With the Power of Knowledge which succinctly evokes the input of the Library in supporting the success of the University and the multifaceted work conducted at the University (studying, research, teaching and leadership and management). The main event of the anniversary year was the anniversary seminar organised in Kaisa House, which mapped out the future success factors for libraries and the steps needed to achieve them.

Thinking ahead is necessary when developing your operations in a changing environment where you only can affect some changes. An engaging and open operating culture, strong collaboration orientation, willingness to learn and boldness to experiment are strong suites with the help of which any organisation can steer its way through changes. All these characteristics describe well the work community at Helsinki University Library, which I had the pleasure of joining in August.

My term as University Librarian started opportunely just a few weeks before the Library’s target negotiations with the University leadership. It was great to start working when due to a well-prepared plan we again managed to secure both financial prerequisites to provide library services and support from the leadership for attaining the goals set for the Library. The Library’s atmosphere of supporting innovation and capacity for development is evidenced by both the plans to further consolidate open access publishing and research data management services and the capability to utilise new technologies and service concepts.  Examples include the Avoimella otteella science podcast, various improvements in our digital services and investment in increasing open science content in online courses provided by the Library.

Customer orientation is a foundational principle in the development of Library services. The material and services provided by the Library are necessary to students, researchers and other Library users alike and it has been a pleasure to see the use of study facilities in the Library also return almost to pre-pandemic level. Facilities are in active use on all campuses which is a testament to the importance of facilities for independent and group work on the campuses. Libraries furthermore are meeting places, where people come to enjoy themselves as well as working.

A great deal of work for the good of customers is performed in ways not directly visible to them. Service provision requires smooth internal processes and management. In 2022 a sustainability and responsibility working group was established at the Library tasked with the promotion of responsibility and sustainable development goals in the Library operations and making visible our work to promote the University’s strategic choice of being a leader in responsibility and sustainability.

The most important resource in developing services and operations are the staff, who through their work input and expertise have made the provision of high-quality and smooth-running services possible for which we continue to receive good feedback from our customers. Consequently, the thanks for the successful year belong to the Library staff in its entirety.