Using the Library

Opening hours

Our opening hours are visible in the sidebar, and on the front page. We’re open normally from Tuesday to Friday.

The first two hours of each day self-service hours, during which you may borrow and return books using the library’s self-service lending machine, provided you have a Helka library card and the pin code to use it. If you need assistance, you may ring the bell and our staff will be there to help you.

Borrowing, renewals and returns

You need a Helka card to borrow printed materials form the Library of the Labour Movement. The card can be granted to anyone over the age of 15, who has a valid ID card, and a street address in Finland. The card is valid in all the Helka libraries which include the Helsinki University Library and four other special libraries in Helsinki. The owner of the card is responsible for all the titles loaned with it. A missing card must be reported as soon as possible.

To borrow an item you can use the self-service machine located at the end of the circulation desk. To use the machine, you need the library card and a four digit pin-code.

You can renew loans and make reservations online using the Helka database. Once your reservation has arrived, you can find it on our Hold Shelf near the circulation desk.

Not loanable material (e.g. periodicals) can be studied in the library premises.

New periodicals can be found near the entrance, but older volumes are in a closed storage. Ask the librarian at the circulation desk for assistance, and they’ll retrieve the required volumes. You may also make a reservation in Helka in advance, and you will be notified via e-mail once your reservation is ready. The reserved material is held in the Hold Shelf for a fortnight to be used in the library premises only.

If the library is closed, you can return books to the library’s return box right outside the entrance doors.

Interlibrary loans

If you live further away, but are interested in a specific title in our collection, you may ask your local library to make an interlibrary loan request for you. We can also request titles from other libraries for you. There are various fees involved with these services.

  • We only send out interlibrary loans to other libraries, not individuals.

Study areas

We have a reading room located at the back of the library and a number of quiet reading spaces between the shelves.


There are three customer computers at the library. You can use them to check the location of a book, to access the library’s electronic resources, or temporarily also for other purposes. You do not need to book the computers beforehand.

We have free wireless internet access.

You can also print, scan or make photocopies. There is a charge for these services. You can pay with cash or credit card at the circulation desk.


All events held at the library are open to all. We do not have any charge for admission. Events are usually held in the large hall at the back of the library. Our events are mainly in Finnish. The events are often streamed online on YouTube.


The library is located at street level, and is accessible whether you’re in a wheelchair or travelling with a pram. If you need assistance, ring the doorbell or contact us in advance. There is an accessible toilet in the library premises, but library staff will need to open the door.

Well-behaving assistance or other dogs are very welcome at the library!

Safer space

The library adheres to the principle of a safer space, according to which all customers are welcome in the library, regardless of education or social background, political opinions or personal identity. You can use the library facilities without disturbing others, and you can always contact the staff if necessary, for example if you experience harassment. The library’s events are participative in nature, open to the public, where the opportunity for speeches and social participation is offered.


There are six short-term (1 hour) parking spots that are shared with all the other organisations in the building. If you are bringing very large quantities of material, contact us beforehand to arrange access to the courtyard and loading area.


Arrange a library tour beforehand with library director Tuija Siimes (tuija.siimes (at), tel. +358 440 750 429.