Request material or make a storage retrieval request
You can use the Helka database to make a reservation for any material at the Library. Reservations can be made for material on loan as well as for material available at the Library. Textbooks can only be reserved if all the copies are on loan. You can make reservations free of charge, but a fee will be charged for any uncollected requests.
  1. In the Helka database, search for the material you wish to reserve and log in.
    • University of Helsinki students and staff log in with UH user account.
    • Other customers log in using the email address. Helka will send a login link to the email address in your customer information.
  2. Select a suitable pickup location for collecting the material. The options available for the material in question are displayed in Helka.
    • If all the copies of the work are on loan, you can choose any University Library site as the pickup location.
    • If the book is available on the shelf, you cannot choose the site where the book is available as the pickup location.
      • Special service customers and members of the University of Helsinki staff are an exception in this respect: they can choose as their pickup location the site where the book is available.
  3. You can check your Helka customer information to see when the reserved material is ready for collection.
  4. You will also be notified by email when the material is available. The notification includes a reservation code that you will need when collecting the material. The reservation code does not show up in your customer information in Helka.
  5. Collect the reserved material as self-service from the pickup shelf. You will find the reserved works on the shelf, ordered by their request ID. You can borrow reserved material only with the same card you used for the request.

Textbooks can only be reserved if all the copies are on loan. Reserved textbooks must always be collected from the library site to whose collections they belong.

Members of the University of Helsinki staff can request books (excluding textbooks) and articles in periodicals to be delivered to their desk. To qualify for this service, the user’s customer information in Helka must include a University email address and the user must be indicated as belonging to the University staff.

Reservations are arranged on the pick-up shelf according to the last pick-up date and request ID numbers. You will find this information in the notification that Helka sends by e-mail. The request ID is personal and stays the same in all your reservations.

  1. Open the email notification when you go to the reservation shelf.
  2. Check the last pick-up date from the notification. Pick-up dates are marked on the reservation shelf with green tags.
  3. Go to the last pick-up date mentioned in your email notification and search for your reservation with your personal request ID. Reservations are in alphabetical order according to the first letter of the request ID.
  4. Use the self-service lending machine to check out books before leaving the library.

You can borrow reserved books only with the card used for the reservation.

A fee of €3 will be charged for any uncollected reservations. If you do not need the item you requested, please cancel the reservation in your customer data in Helka.

You can also request material, free of charge, from the Library’s closed stacks (e.g., theses and the student nation collection).

Most of the materials in the closed stacks are available for home loan. Theses, as well as old and rare books and journals, are not available for home loan, but you can read them in the Library.

Make your request for material from the closed stacks in Helka, the same way you would make a regular reservation.

  1. In the Helka database, search for the material you wish to request and log in.
    • University of Helsinki students and staff log in using their University of Helsinki user ID.
    • Other customers log in using their email address; Helka will send a login link to the email address in your customer information.
  2. Select a suitable pickup location for collecting the material. The options available for the material in question are displayed in Helka.
    • If the material in the closed stacks is available for home loan, you can choose any University Library site as the pickup location.
    • However, if the material is not available for home loan (e.g., theses, serial publications and rare books), the pickup location is always the library where the material is housed.

You can check your Helka customer information to see when the requested material is ready for collection. You will also be notified by email when the material is available.

Log in to Helka

By logging in to Helka, you’ll have access to all self-service functions. You can reserve books, renew your loans and, if necessary, pay fees related to your customer information.

  1. Log in by selecting “University of Helsinki login”.
  2. In your customer information you will find your loans, reservations and fees.
  3. On the My Account tab, you can see your contact information and set the PIN you need to borrow books from the self check-out machines.
  4. Do not update your contact information in Helka, as your address and other contact information will be automatically updated in Helka from the background systems of the university. Therefore, if your contact information changes, it is enough to notify the university's systems (eg. Sisu/Sap).

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

  1. Select “Login by Email” to log in.
  2. Helka will send a link to your e-mail, which you can click to log in to Helka. The link is valid for a limited time.
  3. In your customer information you will find your loans, reservations and fees.
  4. On the My Account tab, you can check your contact information and set the PIN you need to borrow books from the self check-out machines. You can update the contact information from the link “Change”.
If you do not provide the library with your email ad­dress
  • You cannot log in to your own customer information in Helka
  • You do not see due dates in your customer information and do not receive due date reminders
  • You cannot renew your loans yourself
  • You cannot make reservations yourself and do not receive notification when the item you have reserved is ready for collection
  • You cannot pay fees online.

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

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.

The Helka customer register will send you only email reminders relating to services.

  • These include overdue notices, notices of reservations ready for collection and reminders of items due for return or renewal.

As a customer, you are responsible for keeping your user data up to date.

  • If you are a student or staff of the University of Helsinki, your address and 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. 
  • Other customers (no university user account) are able to update their customer data in the Helka database.