Library and learning environments

A range of versatile learning facilities that are developed on the basis of research make it easy to concentrate on learning at the Viikki Teacher Training School

The library is a significant element of the school’s learning environment.

Pupils and students can visit the library in groups with their teacher or individually to borrow books. The library collections comprise roughly 25,000 volumes, including literature for primary and lower secondary school pupils as well as general upper secondary school students. New acquisitions are made on a regular basis.

The school’s pupils, students, staff and student teachers have the right to use the books available for loan in the collections as well as the library facilities and equipment. Also available for loan from the library are laptops, of which some are reserved for general upper secondary school students for using the Abitti examination system. General upper secondary school students can also borrow textbooks in certain subjects.

The teacher training schools in Helsinki have a shared database for library materials, which can be browsed using a search function. Remember to check the availability of books specifically at your school (in the search results, click the relevant work and check the availability at the Viikki Teacher Training School of the University of Helsinki).

The library is also a pleasant space where both comprehensive school pupils and general upper secondary school students can spend their breaks and free periods, for example, working independently. The library also has board games, and the librarian occasionally organises board game weeks and other activities during the school year.

During the terms, the library is open on weekdays from 8.00 to 16.00.

The librarian provides assistance in information retrieval, guides in the use of the library and supports teaching in many ways.

The school library houses two remodelled facilities called Sakari and Topelius, named after author Zachris Topelius, one of the school’s founders.

Sakari is a space designed primarily for small-group work, equipped with comfortable sofas, saddle chairs, a dry-erase board and adjustable desks, which is also used for, among other things, independent work and differentiated learning. Also available in Sakari are board games, laptops and magazines.

With its wall-to-wall carpet, sound-absorbing armchairs, small desks, footstools, rocking chairs and seat cushions, Topelius provides a retreat for work that requires a quiet setting and concentration. Topelius has been utilised especially for reading sessions, but the space is also suitable, like Sakari, for rehearsing the Christmas play or working on book trailers.

Thanks to mobile furniture, both facilities can be creatively adapted to lesson-specific needs. The pleasant Sakari and Topelius facilities are also very popular places for general upper secondary school students to spend their free periods and for lower secondary school pupils to take their breaks.


Majakka is a space on the third floor that can be versatilely adapted for many needs, with large south-facing windows, a wall-to-wall carpet and mobile furniture. Shoes are to be left in a shoe rack located outside the facility.

In Majakka, teaching groups can be physically arranged so that everyone’s attention is focused on a whiteboard or screen, or by forming several smaller groups. Thanks to mobile furniture, their arrangement and the focus of attention can be flexibly varied during lessons. Majakka is also often used as a space for quiet and independent work. Majakka is used by both general upper secondary school students during their free periods and the after-school activity group in their games and activities.

Reading diplomas (available in Finnish only)

A reading diploma for primary school grades was developed in 2009, with librarian Niko Määttä and class teachers Taru Piironen, Sirkku Myllyntausta and Ulla Ilomäki-Keisala contributing to the planning from the library group. A pedagogical perspective was applied to choosing the reading diploma books by selecting a diverse range of works from various genres. Each year, a majority of primary school pupils complete either a reading diploma or a reading diploma for advanced readers. The reading diploma scheme has clearly and substantially inspired primary school pupils to increase their reading. The related book lists are periodically updated