FAQ: Borrowing, loan periods and renewals

Frequently asked questions about borrowing, loan periods and renewals.
Are all materials avail­able for home loan?

Most materials are available for home loan. Exceptions to this are reference collections, journals and books published before 1900. The rules for circulation vary by library location.

Materials that are not available for loan may be read in the library.

Can I request a book from the Main Library and collect it from a campus library?

Yes, you can. When you request a book in the Helka database, you can choose a campus library as the pickup location for a book in the Main Library’s collections, or vice versa.

However, textbooks must be collected from the library to whose collections they belong.

How long are the loan peri­ods?

Loan periods vary by library and collection. Check the loan period in the Helka database or on the website of the specific campus library. The loan period for textbooks is 14 days. The loan period for short-term loans is two days.

Is the loan period dis­played in Helka?

Yes. The loan period in days can be seen after the name of the Helka library on the Holdings tab in Helka. Note that different volumes of the same book may have several different loan periods within the same Library location depending on what collection they belong to.

When can short-term loans be checked out and when do they have to be re­turned?

Short-term loans can be checked out anytime, and they must be returned on the due date before the library closes. Remember that the library's opening hours may vary, for example, on the eve of public holidays.

How many books can I check out at a time?

There are no limits.

Are loan peri­ods longer dur­ing the summer?

Only libraries that are closed during the summer have longer summer loan periods.

Can I re­new my loans?

Yes, you can, if no reservations have been made for the loans, if your borrowing rights have not been suspended and if the maximum number of renewals for the material has not been reached. You can check the maximum loan period and the last loan date in the information on each loan.

Short-term (two-day) loans of textbooks cannot be renewed.

When the maximum number of renewals has been reached, the material must be returned to the library. You can then borrow it again, unless a request for it has been made.

Can I re­new a loan that is already over­due?

Yes, if the loans are less than 14 days late, and if your borrowing rights have not been suspended for some other reason. However, you will still have to pay the accrued overdue fine. You should pay the overdue fines as soon as possible because if you have over €15 in fines you cannot renew loans.

How many times can I re­new a loan?

From the information of the loan in Helka, you can see the maximum renewal date, ie the day until which the loan can be renewed.

When the maximum renewal date is reached, books must be returned to the library, after which they can be checked out again if there are no reservations.

Short-term loans for textbooks (2-day loan period) cannot be renewed.


Can I re­new a loan be­fore the due date?


Can I re­new loans from other Helka lib­rar­ies at any given library loc­a­tion?

Yes. All loans may also be renewed in your Helka account. Exception: If you have used your Helka card, for example, in the Aalto University Learning Centre, you have to renew loans from there separately.

Why can I not re­new a short-term loan?

A short-term loan is meant to be a rapidly circulating item and, as for textbooks, an 'emergency aid' if all other textbooks are in circulation. That is why one customer may not keep the book without giving others the chance to borrow it, too. In addition, requests are not accepted for short-term loans.

Can I re­new my loans by phone?

Yes. You can find the service numbers on the Customer Service Contact Details page.

Can I re­new my loans on­line?

Yes. Log in to your customer information at Helka helsinki.fi/helka/en either with the University of Helsinki user ID (if you are a member of the University of Helsinki) or by e-mail (other customers). There is a link to Helka on the websites of all Helka libraries. The library does not guarantee that the renewal will always be successful, so act well before the due date to avoid fees.

Can I re­new my loans by email?

At your own risk, you may also ask the library to renew your loans by email. The library aims to process all emails during the next working day. Because of this, please be aware that your loans will not be renewed from the moment you send the message, but only when the library has had time to process your email.

I can see my loans on­line but see no way of re­new­ing them. What is wrong?

Most likely, your borrowing rights have been suspended. This may result from unpaid fines or inadequate customer details. Please contact the library.

My loans have reached their max­imum re­newal date and I can no longer re­new my loans on­line. What should I do?

If you are unable to return the books, call the library and the loans will be renewed one final time. After that they must be returned, but you can borrow them again if there are no reservations.