A united voice: library associations' challenge for the future in Finland

Pages101-107
Publication Date01 Jan 2006
DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/01435120610647983
AuthorPäivikki Karhula
SubjectLibrary & information science
A united voice: library
associations’ challenge for the
future in Finland
Pa
¨ivikki Karhula
Library of the Finnish Parliament and Finnish Research Libraries Association,
Helsinki, Finland
Abstract
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of library associations in Finland, which
is unique in that there are four library associations within a common infrastructure established by the
National Library.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper looks at all four library associations in Finland.
Findings – The paper finds that the associations have become part of a nationally connected series of
projects and are working to create more commitment from the professionals who either make or break
the associations.
Originality/value – As a model Finland’s library associations have many lessons to offer into the
future.
Keywords Libraries, Information organizations,Finland
Paper type Case study
Introduction
The role of library associations is very important in the present climate. The situation
in Finland is unique in that there are four library associations within a common
infrastructure established by the National Library. As a model it has many lessons to
offer into the future. The associations have become part of nationally connected series
of projects. The associations are working to create more commitment from the
professionals who either make or break the associations.
Library associations seek safety under the umbrella organization
Library associations are also feeling pressure to operate more closely with one another.
A dearth of resources is a continuous topic of discussion within the associations. The
associations finance their operations mainly by membership fees and public funding
received for example from the Ministry of Education and Finland’s Slot Machine
Association. Synergetic benefits could be achieved, for example from combining the
facilities, personnel and operations. Combined resources would give operations new
possibilities for direction.
Enthusiasm for volunteer work, the basis on which associations function, has
gradually been waning. However, the decreased interest, especially on the part of the
younger professionals, is understandable. The demands of the working life have
become more stringent and the spreading culture of lengthy working hours may turn
down the interests to other activities. In order for association activities to be enticing,
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at
www.emeraldinsight.com/0143-5124.htm
A united voice
101
Received 17 July 2005
Accepted 13 November 2005
Library Management
Vol. 27 No. 1/2, 2006
pp. 101-107
qEmerald Group Publishing Limited
0143-5124
DOI 10.1108/01435120610647983

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