FAQ: Library card and the right to use the library
Who may use Helsinki University Library? How can I get a library card and what should I do if I lose it?
Who may use Helsinki University Library?

Everyone has the right to use Helsinki University Library.

Persons over the age of 15 who live in Finland and have valid photographic proof of identity (passport, identity card, Finnish driving licence) have the right to borrow material.

Those who have a user ID for the University of Helsinki information systems have the right to use electronic materials remotely.

Who can get a library card? Can I get a library card even though I do not study at the University of Helsinki?

Yes you can.

A card can be granted to persons over the age of 15 who present an official ID and have a valid street address in Finland.

A post-office box, poste restante address or an address abroad are not acceptable addresses.

Exchange students or visiting scholars may get a library card even though they do not meet all of the requirements above.

How do I get a library card?

Helka library card via the Studies Service

Students at the University of Helsinki can acquire a digital Helka library card via the Studies Service. If you acquire a digital Helka card, you do not need a plastic Helka card at all.

  1. Log in to the Studies Service with your Helsinki University username and password. After signing in, you will see the Helka card icon in the upper right corner. With a mobile device, the Helka card can be found in the upper right corner in the hamburger menu.
  2. The service first directs you to activate your customer information in the Helka database. After activation, you can purchase the Helka card at the Studies Service as directed.
  3. Set the PIN code and press save. Your digital Helka card has been created and will be ready to use straight away.

Once you have the library card, you can request books, renew loans and, when necessary, pay overdue fines in the Helka database. 

Do not update your contact information in Helka, as the contact information is automatically updated from the background systems of the University of Helsinki. So, please notify university services (eg Sisu) of any changes in your contact information.

Helka library card from the customer service desk

If you prefer a plastic library card, you can acquire a Helka card from the library's customer service.

  1. Activate your customer information in Helka database by signing in with your Helsinki University user credentials.
  2. After activation, you can pick up your Helka library card from any Helsinki University Library location during customer service hours. Please remember to bring an official ID card.
  3. Set a PIN code in your customer account in the Helka database. The PIN code is needed only when you borrow print material using the library's self-service lending machines.

Once you have the library card, you can request books, renew loans and, when necessary, pay overdue fines in the Helka database. 

Do not update your contact information in Helka, as the contact information is automatically updated from the background systems of the University of Helsinki. So, please notify university services (eg Sisu) of any changes in your contact information.

  1. Activate your customer information in Helka database by signing in with your Helsinki University user credentials.
  2. After activation, you can pick up your Helka library card from any Helsinki University Library location during customer service hours. Please remember to bring an official ID card.
  3. Set a PIN code in your customer account in the Helka database. The PIN code is needed only when you borrow print material using the library's self-service lending machines.

 

Once you have the library card, you can request books and renew loans in the Helka database. 

Do not update your contact information in Helka, as the contact information is automatically updated from the background systems of the University of Helsinki. So, please notify university services of any changes in your contact information.

  1. Acquire a Helka library card with the online form. On the first stage you only need to give your email address. Helka will then send a link to your e-mail, which you can click to fill in the information required for the library card. 
  2. After you get the Welcome email from the Helka database, your Helka card is ready for pick-up. You can pick up your card from any Helsinki University Library location during customer service hours. Please remember to bring an official ID card.
  3. 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.
  4. In order to use the library's self-service lending machines, you need a PIN code which you have to set in your customer account in the Helka database. You need to have a valid e-mail in the system to be able to log in to Helka.
How much does a library card cost?

The first Helka card is free of charge, but for a lost card there is a replacement fee of €5.

Can I use the library card of some other university library, the National Library of Finland or city library?

No.

Only a Helka card can be used in Helsinki University Library.

My Helka card was lost/​stolen. What do I do?

Call the service number of Helsinki University Library 02941 23920 during library customer service hours or send an email to the address library@helsinki.fi, and we will suspend your library card.

You can also report your card as lost in the nearest Helsinki University Library location.

If you later find your card, you must go to the library to show your ID and the library card, and the card will be reactivated.

If you do not find the card, a new one costs €5. If you have reported your card as stolen to the police, you will get a new card free of charge. You must present the police report when you come to collect your new card.

I found my lost Helka card. How do I get it re­act­iv­ated?

Go to the nearest Helka library and present your Helka card and ID at the customer service desk, and we will unblock your card.

Why can’t I log into Helka with my email address?

First check that the email address in your Helka customer information is the correct one.

Make sure you have requested a new login link and are not using an old one. The login link is valid for a limited time only.

The login process works best if

  • You request and open the login link using the same device, for example, your phone or computer (and the same browser application).

  • You open the login link as soon as possible after requesting it.

  • You use the link in the latest message sent by Helka.

The login link may not work if

  • You requested the link from a different email address than the one included in your Helka customer information.

  • You requested the link from a device other than the one you are using to log in.

  • You let too much time pass between requesting and opening the link.

  • You open the link from an older message sent by Helka instead of the latest one.

  • Your device switches wireless networks between the time you request and open the link or your mobile device switches from mobile connection to wireless or vice versa (in which case the device’s IP address changes).

I forgot my PIN code? What should I do?

You can change the PIN code in your customer information in the Helka database. The PIN code must be four digits. You need the PIN code only when you are using the library's self-service lending machines.

Other customers (no university user credentials)

Logging in to Helka customer information requires that you have provided the library with your email address.

How do I no­tify the Library about a change in con­tact infor­mation?

University of Helsinki members’ (students and staff) contact information in the library’s Helka database is automatically updated through the HU background systems (Sisu, SapHR). Please make sure to notify these services of any changes in your contact information.

  • Also, be sure to keep your personal email address up to date on university systems.
  • After graduating from the university or terminating your employment, your personal e-mail address is a login link to the Helka database, and library messages are automatically sent to this e-mail.

As a UH member you only need to visit the library’s customer service desk if

  • your library card needs changing (eg. after a name change) or
  • your customer group changes (eg. special services customer).

If you are not a university member (do not have university user credentials), you can update your contact information in the Helka database.

Your information can also be updated at the library’s customer service desk.

  • You will need to visit the library’s customer service desk for a name change or replacing your library card.
  • In case of a name change, your library card will be replaced without a fee.
How long are cus­tomer de­tails stored in Helka?

The details stored in the Helka customer register include, for example, your contact information, personal identity code and loan information.

This information is stored for three years from the date of the latest transaction if you do not have any outstanding obligations to the library (e.g., loans or fees).

Who can view my customer details?

Employees of the Helka libraries have the right to process customer information when it is necessary in order to provide you with services. Such situations are, for example, loan transactions, rectification of customer details and sending out reminders.