Emeryville, CA—Innovative Interfaces, a leader in Web-based library technology, announced that the Helsinki Metropolitan Libraries, a very large and prestigious public library system, has chosen to install the Millennium library automation system in its consortium of four city libraries and ninety-two branches. This will be Innovative's first installation in Finland.
"We chose Innovative following a competitive bid process. We made very thorough reviews of the functionality of the library systems. We also did thorough technical reviews with the assistance of technical consultants. We are convinced that Millennium offers excellent functionality and provides a promising development route for the future. It is a very user-friendly system with sophisticated searching facilities," said Maija Berndtson, Library Director of Helsinki City Library.
"Because of our high user rates we needed a system that was very robust and stable and yet easy to use. Innovative has a record of proven support for big libraries and complicated consortia like ours," she continued. "We also wanted to find a long-term partner for developing better services for our customers. Innovative has a solid reputation as a library system vendor. The use of standards is a critical feature for us in order to increase self-service in our libraries. Innovative's direction to develop the mobile device access to the system is also an excellent choice for us in Finland. We are confident that Innovative will be able to satisfy the future needs of the Finnish library users."
Located in the metropolitan area of Helsinki, Finland, the four city libraries (Espoo City Library, Helsinki City Library, Kauniainen City Library, and Vantaa City Library) have had a shared library system since the 1970s. The library system, which serves 20 percent of the entire population of Finland, has an annual circulation of 16 million and holds 4 million volumes. The Helsinki Metropolitan Libraries have publications in over 60 languages. Helsinki City Library was the first public library in the world to offer free public Internet access to customers, and received the first Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Access to Learning Award.
Mobile communication is very popular among Finns and, in the near future, the library system would like to offer access to library services via mobile devices. Finns are also avid readers and purported to be the most active library users in the world. While Finland is a relatively small country—roughly five million people—there are over 900 public libraries and 200 bookmobiles.
"Innovative is very pleased to be partnering with such a progressive library system," noted Leslie Straus, Innovative's Vice President of Worldwide Sales. "I am confident that this will be a beneficial relationship for both Innovative and the Helsinki Metropolitan Libraries."