Skip to main content

Visiting the library

The National Library of Finland is not just a library, it is also a sight and a cultural destination. Here is some practical information about visiting us.

Index

Arrival at the library

Our library’s collections contain unique and rare materials. For security reasons, we impose limits on the type and amount of items visitors can bring with them into the library.

We politely ask you to leave your outer clothes, umbrellas and bags in the cloakroom on the ground floor, free of charge.  To be allowed in the library, the longest side of a bag must be less than 30 centimetres – it’s easiest to leave all bags at the cloakroom. Laptop cases and carry bags that exceed the maximum must also be left at the cloakroom.

You may take your laptop with you into the library. The library has free Wi-Fi for customers. The reading rooms have wall sockets for charging your device.

Neither drinks nor other snacks are allowed into the library. They must be left at the cloakroom.

You can get a basket from the cloakroom for carrying your belongings to the library. Baskets are also available at information service points, such as Rotunda.

You may not leave your items in the cloakroom overnight. Unemptied storage units will be emptied at the end of the day by our caretakers and the items delivered after a short period to the lost property office.

Disabled access

Unfortunately, the main entrance of our library at Unioninkatu 36 is not suited for wheelchair access or for people with reduced mobility; we kindly ask customers to use the entrance in the inner courtyard at Yliopistokatu 1. The inner courtyard also has disabled parking.

Cloakroom, lifts and toilets for the disabled

From the inner courtyard entrance you will get to the foyer with toilets and storage compartments.

The foyer is connected with Rotunda in the first floor of our main building with a lift. The lift opens directly behind the customer service point in Rotunda. The customer service personnel will provide assistance in the use of materials as well as borrowing and returning materials.

The use of the lift requires that a doorman is present, which means that at the end of the visit you return to the customer service point in Rotunda from which a doorman is summoned to assist in moving back to the exit in Yliopistokatu 1.

Lifts to other floors are located along the sides of Rotunda. There is enough room for a wheelchair on the Rotunda galleries. Unfortunately, galleries surrounding the Cupola Hall as well as South and North Halls are too narrow for wheelchairs.

Main building reading rooms

The main building reading rooms, South and North Hall, are located in the first floor on both sides of the Cupola Hall.  They are accessed from Rotunda through the Cupola Hall.  The reading room have electronic doors that open with a push of a button. Upon request, the doormen will help you with settling by the tables in the reading rooms by, for example, moving the reading room chairs aside.

The reading rooms are quiet spaces. If you need instructions or materials to be read aloud, we kindly ask you to contact the customer service in advance. We reserve the music listening room on the Fabiania side also for this kind of use.

Fabiania customer facilities and reading rooms

Access to the library wing on the Fabianinkatu takes place via the connection tunnel.  Fabiania side houses the Music Library, music listening room, Special Collections Reading Room and the Slavonic Library.

The connecting tunnel starts from the ground floor of the main building where the Café Rotunda is located. There is a lift with disabled access that will take you down to the connection corridor. The doors at the end of the corridor are not automated and have a low threshold. After the doors, there is a lift on the left, which will take you to the floors in the Fabiania wing.

Customer facilities in the Fabiania side are well-suited for moving around with a wheelchair. Disabled toilets are located on 1. floor.

Exhibition facilities

Various cultural events, such as lectures and concerts, are organised in the Cupola Hall located in the first floor of the main building of our library. Disabled access to the Cupola Hall has been organised through Rotunda.

The ground floor of the library main building houses exhibition facilities Gallery and the Agricola room. There is disabled access to the facilities either directly through the foyer of disabled access or after visiting the library by the disabled lift in Rotunda.

As a guest in the library

The library’s reading rooms are intended for silent work. Please set your mobile devices on silent mode. Do please leave the reading room if you must, for example, take a phone call.

There are further limits on what you may bring with you to the Special Collections Reading Room – please read the instructions before your visit.

There are reading spots in the library outside of the reading rooms; please be considerate with your voice elsewhere in the library.

If you need assistance or advice, we are happy to help you at our information service points. See the opening and self-service hours.

Exhibitions and cultural events

You also are welcome, in addition to seeing our collections, to attend the exhibitions and cultural events that are held at our library, free of charge.

You may also reserve a guided tour for your group at the beginning of your visit.

After the tour, or while you work, you can treat yourself to coffee and a pastry at our bottom-floor café, UniCafe Rotunda.

Virtual tour of the library

You can take a tour of the library at https://www.mirador360.fi/kansalliskirjasto360/?lang=en

You can move between different areas in the library and find information on architecture, art and our services.