The aim of the fee is to get the reserved material more quickly to the customers of the libraries.
The so-called Helmet libraries in the capital region (Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Kauniainen) will start charging a fee for uncollected reservations, starting from June 1, 2021,
The libraries will start charging customers a fee of €1 for reservations that have not been picked up or canceled by the last pick-up date. Reserving materials remain free of charge. The fees for uncollected reservations will be charged from June 1, 2021, forward.
The fee will be €1 per reserved item, such as a book or a record. The fee will not be charged from people under 18 years old, home services customers, flexible customers, or organization customers, such as schools and daycare centers. The fee will also not be charged for reservations for which the pick-up point is a mobile library.
2.8 million reservations
“The purpose of the fee,” according to a statement by the libraries, “is to get the reserved material more quickly to the library’s customers.” “Reservations have become more common in libraries in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. At the same time, it has become more common not to pick up the reservations.”
Every year, 2.8 million reservations are made in Helmet libraries. Of these reservations, 14 percent are never picked up. So every year, 400,000 reservations sit on the shelf in vain waiting for pick-up, while someone else is waiting to get them.
“It is great that people are finding interesting materials and making a lot of reservations on Helmet. I believe that we will all be happy with the reservation queues moving faster, as people remember to pick up or cancel their reservations,” Katri Vänttinen, the director of library services from Helsinki City Library, said in the statement. “I would not like to see these fees filling the library’s coffers since they are caused by people forgetting things.”