Maija Berndtson, Ex Library Director (Helsinki City Library 1987-2013)
A Future for Libraries? Perhaps, if…
Do libraries have a future? Yes, perhaps if we are progressive enough. Start thinking what the value of the library in the society is and what are the strengths of its activities. Ignore the existing library and recreate everything from scratch. Forget books and think about people.
Libraries have always been a part of my life. I started using them when I was seven and when I was sixteen. I had my first job as summer worker in the same library where I was user. After that, I have mainly worked in libraries in the Helsinki Metropolitan area. The longest period of my working life (over 25 years) I have been library director in Helsinki City Library. The highlight of my career was when Helsinki became the first recipient of Access to Learning Award, ATLA. I retired 1st of February 2013 but I have not been set free from libraries so far.