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Helmet libraries will start charging a fee for uncollected reservations, starting from 1 June 2021


Helmet libraries will start charging customers a fee of €1 for reservations that have not been picked up or cancelled by the last pick-up date. Reserving materials remains free of charge in Helmet libraries. The fees for uncollected reservations will be charged from 1 June 2021 onwards.

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 organisation customers, such as schools and daycare centres. 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 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 per cent 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 that particular book.

“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,” says Director of Library Services Katri Vänttinen from Helsinki City Library.

“I would not like to see these fees filling the library’s coffers since they are caused by people forgetting thigs.”

Unnecessary strain on the environment

Failure to pick up reservations slows down the circulation of material, prolongs reservation queues and reduces customer satisfaction with the library. Unnecessary transport of books to different parts of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area puts a strain on the environment.

Staff working time is also freed from processing uncollected reservations for other tasks.

Most Finnish municipalities have already introduced a fee for uncollected reservations. The fee has not diminished the popularity of reserving materials in these municipalities.

Reservations can be frozen or cancelled

The fee will not be collected if the customer picks up or cancels their reservation on the last pick-up day, at the latest.

Reservations can be cancelled at any time. You can remove the reservation in the Helmet online service by logging into your profile, on the Taskukirjasto app or a library’s customer service desk.

You can also freeze a queued reservation for the duration of a holiday or other absence. When a reservation is frozen, it will move up in the queue as usual, but it will only be delivered once it is unfrozen. You can freeze and unfreeze your reservations in the Helmet online service. Reservations cannot be frozen via Taskukirjasto.

Photo: City of Helsinki / Maarit Hohteri

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