Library card and the right to use the library

You need a Helka card to borrow printed materials from Helsinki University Library. A Helka card can be granted to persons over the age of 15 who present an official ID card and have a valid street address in Finland, with the exception of exchange students and researchers from abroad who can be granted a card regardless of the aforementioned terms.

The card is valid only in Helka libraries which include, in addition to Helsinki University Library, five specialised libraries outside the University.

The library card is personal and as its holder you commit to following the rules of all Helka libraries. Please update your contact details in the Helka database and always keep them up to date. Notify the library immediately if you lose your card. A small fee will be charged for the issuing of a new library card.

If you need assistance with accessing the library services, for example due to a physical disability, you may get your card marked for special services.

You can order a library card in advance by using the online form and once the card is ready, you can pick it up from your chosen Helsinki University Library location. Alternatively, you can visit the library's customer service desk where obtaining a Helka card will only take a few minutes. Please remember to bring an official ID card.

Once you have the library card, you can request books, renew loans, update your customer data in the Helka database and, when necessary, pay overdue fines. In order to use the library's self-service lending machines, you need a PIN code which you will receive when obtaining your library card.

Helka is the joint catalogue and lending system of all Helka libraries, that is, Helsinki University Library and five other libraries (Institute for the Languages of Finland, The Finnish Heritage Agency Library, Finnish Literature Society, Library of the Labour Movement and Baltia-kirjasto).

By obtaining a library card, you commit to following the terms of use for all Helka libraries. Doing so, your customer data will be entered into the Helka customer register. You can view your customer data by logging in to your Helka profile.

As a customer, you are responsible for keeping your user data up to date. You can notify us online of any changes to your contact information using the online form connected to your Helka profile.

The Helka customer register will send you email reminders relating to services. These include overdue notices, notices of reservations ready for collection and reminders of items due for return or renewal.