This article is from the IFLA Journal (subscription required to read the full text.) The Finnish Library System: Open Collaboration for an Open Society, by Kimmo Tuominen, Jyväskylä University Library and Jarmo Saarti, University of Eastern Finland Library.
Abstract – The article presents a short history of Finnish libraries and librarianship. The written culture in Finland started in the 15th century AD. The Reformation meant the eventual outbreak of the Finnish culture, both from the point of view of the religious and academic cultures. The Academy of Turku was established in 1640. The public library network started to evolve from the 17th century onward. From the beginning of the independence, i.e. 1917, libraries have played an important part in the development of an open and democratic society. At present there are public libraries in all the municipalities as defined by the Public Library Act, in addition to the Finnish higher education and special libraries that constitute a modern library network open to all citizens that utilizes modern library technologies.