Tuesday was a drizzly day so Miko and I went to find Helsinki’s main public library. We caught the tram from Kamppi and travelled 20 minutes north to Pasila. The trams are free for us as anyone travelling with a child in a stroller doesn’t need to pay for themselves or the child. This applies on buses, trains and most ferries too.
The library was easy to find and joining was really quick and simple. It was a great feeling as there are still a few steps to go until we can gain most benefits available to residents. Getting our new library cards took only a matter of minutes after we showed our residency permits.
This library was really lovely and full of light. There was a large pond in the middle with study tables set up around it. A woman was absorbed in the task of doing a 5000 piece jigsaw puzzle set up on a large table. I saw her move on after a while and someone else soon took her place.
The woman who set up my library card told me they have books in over 60 languages. It was great to find the English section and a pile of books by one of my favourite authors. I’ve been needing something to read and was really happy to find a local paper written in English too.
There was also a section of books for children written in English – really good books too, each one feeling like a real find. Or maybe it was just that there were only a select few and they all seemed a treat being in our native language! The children’s part of the library was also really nice, with lovely furniture and posters, reading alcoves and play areas.
I saw so many familiar books and titles from home, translated into Finnish. Books about Babar, Richard Scarry books, picture books for young children with exactly the same pictures as our ones at home – even a Little Golden Book about visiting the doctor printed in the 1960’s.
We finished our visit with a trip to the library cafe on the second floor. This is also the floor that holds the magazine collection. There are really lovely areas set out for reading, all with lovely Scandinavian furniture. There are plenty of services at the library we’ll be able to make use of including Finnish language groups, the online film library IndieFlix and even 3D printing! A drizzly day is not looking so grey now.