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11. RERO-Tagung: Donnerstag 23. November 2017, 13.30 Uhr

Universität Freiburg - Aula Magna
Standort Miséricorde
MIS 01 - REZ
Av. de l'Europe 20 - 1700 Freiburg

In einem Kontext grundlegender Veränderungen der Schweizer Bibliotheksverbünde schlagen wir eine Präsentation der Zusammenarbeit zwischen Bibliotheken in Finnland vor, mit einem Umweg durch das innovative Projekt eines Portals finnischer Literatur: Kirjasampo. Nach diesem Vortrag folgt eine Übersicht über den Projektfortschritt der Transformation von RERO in ein Kompetenz- und Servicezentrum für Bibliotheken, das hauptsächlich auf die öffentlichen, Kanton- und Schulbibliotheken der Schweiz ausgerichtet ist.



13.30 Uhr

Begrüssungsrede von Herrn Antoine Grandjean, Präsidenten des Lenkungsausschusses RERO

13.40 Uhr

Linked data, linked libraries: a look into the co-operation of the Finnish libraries and the Kirjasampo data model
von Frau Kaisa Hypén, Service Manager in der Turku City Library, Finnland (auf Englisch) (Abstract) (Präsentation)

15.00 Uhr

Vorstellung des Projekts "RERO 21" eines künftigen Kompetenzzentrums

vom Team der RERO-Zentralstelle (auf Französisch, mit zweisprachigen Folien Französisch/Deutsch) (Präsentation und RERO ILS DEMO)

16.00 Uhr

Fragen und Antworten

16.30 Uhr

Aperitif in der Ehrenhalle


About Kirjasampo... [i] is the most notable forum for showcasing Finnish and Swedish language literature online, with nearly two million annual visits. On the surface, Kirjasampo looks like any other literature website, providing reading recommendations, literature news and book spotlights.

However, under the surface lies a new kind of data model, a database built around it and extensive content descriptions of works of fiction. Together, they allow Kirjasampo to be used for diverse literature and content searches and for providing recommendations that highlight connections between the contents of different books. The aim has been to use the "semantic web" and more recently "linked data" technologies to build a virtual network of literature in which users can navigate from one work to another, find new books to read and discover interesting literary phenomena.

The technologies and tools utilised by Kirjasampo include the RDF (Resource Description Framework) data model and ontologies, an advanced content description systems based on thesauri. For recording data, the project has developed the easy-to-use browser-based annotation tool SAHA [ii], which also enables the recording of context information related to literature and author data. Descriptions are prepared based on a lightweight functional indexing model (FRBR), the main focus of which is on describing the content of literary works.

Kirjasampo was built from 2008-2011 and launched at the Turku Book Fair in October 2011. The keyword in its development has been collaboration. While the primary responsibility for development has rested with Turku City Library, the project has also involved a number of other public libraries, Aalto University's Computing Research Group (SeCo) [iii] and the editorial staff of [iv]. The project has been funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture.

... and Finnish libraries

Inter-library collaboration has also been a key part of the building of the Finnish library network. Finnish public libraries, considered by some to be the best of their kind in the world, are used to developing their systems and services in collaboration, with the aim of making library services as flexible and easy-to-use as possible.

In 2017, Finland implemented the new Public Libraries Act, which further emphasises the importance of inter-library collaboration, partnerships and networked operations. This latest piece of legislation is Finland's fifth Public Libraries Act since the first one was enacted in 1928. Since then, the legislation has been regularly updated in reaction to changes in society, always guiding libraries on how to operate in changing conditions.

Perhaps the best way to describe the collaboration between Finnish public libraries in concrete terms is to describe some of the collaboration structures and networks that Turku City Library participates in and also partly manages. For example, since 2008, Turku has managed the Vaski service system, which includes 18 public libraries in Southwest Finland. These libraries all use a common library management system (Axiell Aurora) and share their collections, rules of use and customers. In addition to this, the libraries also have shared library material supply contracts and a shared e-material collection. Furthermore, the libraries have sought to centralise some of their work processes, such as library material description, to the larger libraries within Vaski. In addition to Vaski, there are a total of 15 such library unions in different parts of Finland.

At the national level, collaboration is conducted particularly with the National Library of Finland. The Vaski libraries' online library uses the National Library's Finna user interface. The Vaski libraries have also joined the shared metadata repository Melinda [v]. Melinda contains the Finnish National bibliography as well as metadata about the materials in university libraries, most joint libraries and polytechnic libraries, some special and public libraries.

Libraries included in Melinda describe their materials in the data repository in compliance with shared description rules and guidelines while simultaneously utilizing authorized metadata and shared tools. The libraries use shared metadata produced in Melinda, for example, in their own databases. When you have a metadata repository like Melinda, it is necessary to ensure, that all librarians, who produce metadata, follow the rules and that the metadata produced could be of uniform quality. That's why there are several working groups which discuss the actual topics of description standards, regulations and recommendations. There are representatives from different library sectors in these working groups, and the National Library is coordinating their work. Turku City Library has representatives in two of these working groups, such as the description standards group and Kumea, a group which guides the co-operation in Melinda. The task of the members of these groups is to express the viewpoints which are important to the library sector she or he is representing and also convey the decisions made in these groups to his or her colleagues.

Besides Melinda, there is another important national service for all library branches, the National Repository Library (NRL) [vi] maintained by the Ministry of Education and Culture. This repository library is a resource shared by all Finnish libraries and its' basic function is to receive, store and offer material for the use for libraries. We send, as do the most libraries in Finland, material removed from our collections to NRL. All libraries can ask material stored in NRL for inter-library loans for free. Because of NRL, the need for extra shelf space in libraries throughout the country is decreased.

It is impossible to imagine Turku City Library operating without these collaboration models and networks. For smaller libraries, their importance is even more pronounced. As part of the Vaski network, many small libraries can provide their customers with services that they could not produce by themselves, a good example being the e-material collection. Similarly, maintaining and developing a dedicated library management system would require an unreasonable amount of resources from a small library.

There is, of course, still room for improvement. For example, public libraries should have a shared e-book collection, and the process for producing metadata needs to be updated and streamlined.

The importance and future tasks of libraries are constant topics of public discussion. The fact is that providing public information services is no longer up to libraries in the same way that it was up until the 1990s, before the expansion of the Internet. Working together makes libraries better equipped to address these current and future changes. In order to ensure equal public library services for citizens, libraries must operate as a network to make sure that even the smallest libraries can keep up with the development of an increasingly digitalising society. Fortunately Finnish libraries have been active in developing new services and operating models, and library services are still very actively used in Finland.

Kaisa Hypén (Ms.)
Service Manager
Turku City Library
+358 44 907 2943


[i] Kirjasampo: "kirja" is the Finnish word for "book", while "sampo" comes from Kalevala, the national epic of Finland, in which the Sampo is an artefact that brings wealth and happiness to its owner. Website:






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