Financing of libraries

Tyttö lukee lastenkirjoja

Library services are financed by municipalities and the state together. The state finances library services in the form of central government transfers to local government.

The purpose of the system of central government transfers to local government is to guarantee the availability of public services and to balance out differences between municipalities when it comes to the costs for arranging the services.

The operating costs of libraries have on average constituted less than one per cent of the total expenditure of municipalities.

The Ministry of Education and Culture steers the operations of research libraries and special libraries by conducting performance target negotiations, and the funding to be allocated to them is determined in the Budget.

In addition, the Ministry of Education and Culture grants discretionary government transfers for example to support the production of national online services and other library projects of national significance. This funding has been used, among other things, to establish a set of online library services,, which is open for everyone and functions as a single access point to all library services.

Discretionary government transfers are also used to finance the development of regional library operations and to support the libraries with a national special mission. The Multilingual Library, the Saami Library, the Russian Library, and the Sign Language Library are examples of such libraries.

Contact information

Leena Aaltonen, kulttuuriasiainneuvos 
Ministry of Education and Culture, Kulttuuri- ja taidepolitiikan osasto (KUPO), Taiteen ja kulttuuriperinnön vastuualue (TAKU) 0295330344  

Anne Luoto-Halvari, Senior Officer 
Ministry of Education and Culture, Korkeakoulu- ja tiedepolitiikan sekä lukiokoulutuksen osasto (KTLO), Osaston päällikön esikunta 0295330200