Hämeenlinna City Library user regulations

As of 1 September 2020, in effect till further notice

We welcome you as a customer of Hämeenlinna City Library!

You have agreed to follow our user regulations upon visiting the library, receiving your library card, or consenting to act as a guardian or trustee. The local government’s right to draft regulations for library use is based on the Public Libraries Act (1492/2016 § 14): “Local authorities may adopt rules for a public library for the purpose of promoting the internal order, security and attractiveness of the library. Library rules may contain regulations on the use of library premises and property, borrowing and reserving materials, returning loans, and loan periods, as well as suspensions of borrowing rights, suspension of library use and charges.

European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect in 25 May 2018 and applies to processing and handling of personal information. Finland’s national data protection act is still being drafted. GDPR brings certain obligations to registrars and personnel responsible for handling personal information that require user regulations to be updated.

Library usage and library card

Each customer must have a library card. Customer may acquire library card by visiting library’s service desk and have a librarian enter one’s information into the library’s customer register or by filling an application from where the information will be transferred into the register. Library card is the only card accepted when borrowing material from the library.

To receive library card, customer or guardian must present a picture ID along with their social security number and contact information. Customer status is personal. To transact on behalf of another legally competent person aged 15 years or more requires power of attorney.

Social security number is not used for the purposes of identification when borrowing material. Social security number is used to individualize the customer inside the library’s data system, which requires the social security number to be turned over into the customer register, excluding immigrants who do not have a Finnish social security number.

In such case, passport information or information from a reception center’s identification card can be used for the purposes of providing the internal identifier.

Social security number is used only in situations concerning issuance of library cards, suspension of borrowing rights, and debt collection. (Decree of The Finnish Data Protection Board 11.29.1993 56/1993) Social security number may be viewed by all users of library’s register system.

Public library has the right to collect personal information necessary for granting the customer status. This information constitutes the customer register, and the register will only be used for the purpose of monitoring borrowing. The register’s personal information will not be turned over to third parties. The Personal Data File Act grants all customers a right review their personal register file.

By signing the library card or the appropriate form, the customer accepts library customer status and agrees to abide by the user regulations. Persons under the age of 15 require consent from a parent or a legal guardian.

Consent is also required if the user has a trustee or any other statutory representative.
Organizations (school, kindergarten, institution, or other organization) require a written permission from a legally liable contact person (e.g. director of a school or kindergarten).

Library card is personal, and the owner or the guardian/contact person is responsible for the material borrowed with the card. Customers must inform the library about all name and contact information changes and mislaid cards immediately.

The customer is responsible for all the material borrowed with a mislaid card until it is reported to the library as missing.

Customer information that the customer has not utilized in five years and that is not part of unresolved matters (e.g. unpaid fines) will be deleted from the register. Deletions will be made once a year.

Borrowing, reserving, and using material

Library card must always be presented when borrowing material. Without library card, borrowing is only possible by presenting a photo identification at the library’s service desk. Borrowing at self-check units can only be done with a library card.

Material can be reserved by contacting library’s customer service or through the online library. The customer may choose to be notified concerning reserved material waiting for pick up through email, text message, or letter.

Reserving material is free of charge. Reserved material must be collected within 7 days after notice has been sent. Mobile libraries and the home library service may follow their own schedule when setting pick up times.

Material not found in the collections of the Hämeenlinna City Library can be procured from another Finnish or foreign library with an interlibrary loan. Material can also be reserved as a regional loan from any of the Vanamo libraries (Hattula, Hämeenlinna, Janakkala). Transportation fee may be collected from a regional loan. Fees for regional and interlibrary loan services are described in the Fees and fines appendix of the user regulations.

Both physical and electronic material is available for use and borrowing at the library. Library is not responsible for contents of the loaned material, accuracy of its information, or any damage caused to the customer.

The amount of items borrowed by the customer may be limited. Lending periods are 7, 14, or 28 days. Mobile libraries and the home library service may follow their own schedule when setting lending periods.

Only persons whose age complies with the age recommendations on videos and videogames will be allowed to borrow them.

A loan may be renewed eight times if there are no reservations on it. Renewing may have restrictions concerning certain categories of material.

Lending periods, returning and renewing loans

Loans must be returned by the due date, during library opening hours. The customer is responsible for returns and will receive a receipt for them if requested.

Some libraries have book drops for returning material. The customer also bears responsibility for returns into a book drop and these will be checked in the next day the library is open. Book drops may occasionally be closed.

Due dates will be reported in the due date receipt which the customer receives when checking out material. A reminder sent to the customer’s email three days before the due date is available to the customer. Library is not liable for reminders not reaching the customer.

Fee is charged for overdue material, as well as for notifications requesting its return and other possible collection expenses. Failing to return the material and disregard for accumulated penalty fees will result in suspension of the right to borrow library material, and the matter will be assigned to debt collection.

All loans can be renewed at the library’s service desk, by phone, or via the online library. The online service can also be used to make reservations.

If the material is not reserved, loans can be renewed up to eight times.

Spending time at the library and the opening hours

All collections, services, and facilities of the libraries are free for visitors to use, provided they follow the user regulations. The opening hours and mobile libraries schedules are available at the library and on library’s web page.

The library provides a free WLAN network connection for its customers. WLAN connection is not protected, and the customer must personally make sure they are using adequate safeguards.

The library is not responsible for the WLAN usage or any possible damage or problems to the customer caused by using any equipment in the library.

For public safety, the libraries employ camera surveillance. The camera surveillance system constitutes a customer register, the purpose of which is to prevent and help solve criminal activities directed at the customers, library property, or staff; prevent threats and hazards; preserve order and monitor condition of the premises.

The Personal Data File Act grants all customers a right to review the register description.

Computers and editing room

Computers are available for use at the libraries. At the Main Library there is an editing room, where customers can produce and edit digital pruducts.

The library specifies the terms for reservation of computers and rentable spaces. Changing computer settings or installing or removing software is prohibited. Watching or using indecent, violent or illegal content is prohibited.

The library is not responsible for any damage caused by the user’s own actions or malfunctions in the computer or the network connection.

Customers are assumed to know the current legislation regarding e.g. personal data and copyright statutes and penal codes. In the case of a criminal investigation, the authorities are entitled to access the user data.

The customer is responsible for safeguarding the data that is being processed and for saving their documents.

Library staff can restrict the right to use the computers if necessary. The user is liable to compensate for the damages that have occurred during their reservation in the case of intentional damage or mischief being done to devices or software.

Library spaces

The library offers spaces for meetings, exhibitions and events of various sizes. Spaces are open for reservation and can be used for educational, cultural and public events.

The aim is to support local cultural and other activities. As a general rule, no commercial events are held on the library's premises. Primarily the library spaces are used for events produced by the library itself or in collaboration with it.

The library's premises can be reserved online via Varaamo service. Log in with your library card number and four-digit PIN code. The online reservation can be preliminary, in which case it is confirmed with additional information in a separate agreement or payment transaction. 

The facilities, their terms of use and booking calendars can be found at the Varaamo service.

Library’s spaces are mainly free of charge for individuals, non-profit associations, study groups, etc. for organizing public events and meetings. Fees may be charged for the commercial, business and educational use of the premises. All facilities are free of charge for the units of the city of Hämeenlinna.

The library director has the right to provide a space for use free of charge in the case of activities supporting library services that are organized in co-operation with the library.

The spaces may also be provided for use free of charge to youth and children’s groups when supporting hobby activities of such groups. Youths are designated as persons being under 29 years of age. (Youth Act 1285/2016, 3 § and 8 §) Specific user regulations and agreements may also be drafted. 

Fees are described in the Fees and fines appendix of the user regulations.

The reserved space with its equipment is available to the booker during the period specified in the reservation. Any initial preparations and final cleaning must be included in the allotted time. The next booker should be able to start when his or her own booking begins.

The reserved space must be left in the same condition as it was at the beginning of the booking period. A fee corresponding to the costs may be charged for any cleaning or arrangement work that may result from the use of the premises.

The booker is liable if the users of the space cause damage to the property or equipment. All damages must be reported immediately to library staff.

An event held in a reserved space must not interfere with other activities of the library, customers or users, except for events and happenings that are open to everyone and have been separately agreed with the library.

The content and nature of the event held in the library space may not be in conflict with Finnish law or contrary to good manners.

The library has the right to change or cancel the reservation by notifying the person reserving the space in good time.

The library has the right, if necessary and at its discretion, to deny the booker access to the space or to suspend the event held in the space to be reserved, if it becomes apparent that the above rules are being violated or have been violated.

The contact person or group leader who has reserved the space is responsible for maintaining the order. If the library so requires, the person reserving the space is obliged to notify the police of the public event.

Self-service library, online library, electronic material and two-tiered identification

Two-tiered identification – library card number + PIN code – is required when using the self-service library, online library, self-check units, and when borrowing/downloading electronic material. The point is to confirm the user’s identity through two different verification systems and thus prevent unauthorized access to the user account.

Customer may receive the PIN code by presenting a library card and verifying their identity in person at the library or in the online library if an e-mail address or telephone number is stored in the customer data.

Logging on to the online library may be done by using the library card number or through a self-created user account.

The self-service library here designates a library that customer can use independently outside the library's service opening hours. The library staff is not present and the doors are locked.

To use the self-service library, the customer needs a PIN code and a library card. To use Hauho or Nummi libraries during self-service hours, customer needs a library card with a chip, which is used as both a library card and an electronic key card. The library card with a chip may be obtained at the Hauho or Nummi library service desk. 

Children under the age of 15 are required to have a contract signed by a guardian in order to use the self-service library. The contract must be signed on site at the library.

Owner of the self-service library card can bring other family members or children with them inside the library, but everyone must check in and leave at the same time.

The access monitoring system constitutes a customer register, the point of which is to guarantee the customer’s legal and physical protection, help secure library’s property, and prevent and solve crimes.

If necessary, the library has the right to restrict the right to use the self-service library.

General obligations of library customer

Library customer may not disturb other customers or the staff or to endanger library’s security. The customer is obliged to handle library material and property in such a way so as to not damage them. (Public Libraries Act 13 §, Public Order Act 612/2003)

Free usage and fees

Borrowing, reserving, and using Hämeenlinna City Library’s own material is free of charge for the customer, as are information services. The library collects a charge from overdue loans, bills and notifications for overdue loans, regional loans, interlibrary loans, broken cases, and prints among other things. The charges are described in the Fees and fines appendix of the user regulations.

The fine for an overdue loan starts accumulating on the day following the due date. Library sends a first notification to the customer 14 days after the due date. An exception is made for reserved items, for which notifications are sent earlier. Unpaid fees and fines will be assigned to debt collection.

For youth and children’s material, the library charges only notification and collection costs.

Lost or damaged library material must be replaced with equivalent material or the cost of the material must be reimbursed to the library. Lost or damaged DVDs, Blu-rays, and CD-ROMs can only be compensated for by paying the reimbursement fee due to copyright reasons. The fee includes a copyright remuneration. (Public Libraries Act 11 §, Act on the Enforcement of Taxes and Public Payments 706/2007)

Suspension of borrowing privileges

Unpaid fines and fees will accumulate the customer’s debt. Borrowing privileges will automatically be revoked if unpaid debts amount to €20 or more.

Unpaid bills or debts in collection will result in suspension of borrowing privileges. The customer regains borrowing privileges by returning overdue material, reimbursing lost or damaged material, and paying their accumulated fines.

Suspension of library use

Library director or their deputy may decree customer a temporary, library-specific suspension of library use (max. 30 days) if despite warnings the customer repeatedly and significantly disturbs the library’s operation, endangers its security, or damages its property.

Before the suspension is implemented, the customer will have an opportunity to be heard, and customer has the right of appeal regarding the decision in accordance with the Local Government Act.

See also

Fees and fines of Hämeenlinna city library

Varaamo service