Acts and decrees concerning libraries
The Ministry implements the national library policy by applying different steering measures and by funding public libraries’ development activities. The key steering measures applied by the Ministry are enforcement and development of the Public Libraries Act.
Public Libraries Act entered into force in the beginning of 2017. The objective of the reform of the Public Libraries Act was to improve the operating environment of public libraries and to promote active citizenship, democracy and lifelong learning.
The revised Public Libraries Act takes account of the changes that have occurred in the municipal and regional structures. The number of municipalities has been high in Finland, but many smaller municipalities have merged in recent years. Furthermore, changes in the age structure, internal migration and immigration affect the activities of public libraries. As a consequence of all these changes, libraries are nowadays required to provide activities and services that are more pluralistic and multicultural than before.
The Act lays down provisions on the tasks of municipal public libraries, the national and regional development tasks and the special task, library users’ responsibilities, suspension of borrowing rights and user rights, library user regulations, and qualification requirements for library staff.