Director Explains How Kavi’s Library Has Been Closed for Months

Director Explains How Kavi’s Library Has Been Closed for Months

Since last October, Kavi’s library, which belongs to the audiovisual institute, has remained closed. The institute initiated a move to a new location in Sörnäis, Helsinki during that time. The move was to Elanto’s former headquarters.

Although some of Kavi’s operations began in the new premises in early December, the library has stayed closed for several months. The library’s manager, Riitta Vanhatalo, cites multiple reasons for the delay in reopening the library. The move was challenging, even for the moving company, due to the old historic property’s constraints. The building only had a passenger elevator, requiring all materials and equipment to be carried up the stairs.

Additional complications arose at the new premises. Unexpected aspects of the old house’s building technology related to the library space’s room and lighting height and air conditioning constructions were not accurately represented in the drawings. Consequently, more detailed planning of the library had to be done on-site, including the placement of library shelves.

The library’s staff, which includes only a few individuals – a librarian and a library secretary – also contributed to the delay. The librarian changed jobs at the start of the year, requiring a part-time replacement until a new librarian could be hired.

The library’s move and subsequent reorganization largely depended on the library staff’s planning skills and expertise. Kavi’s library is a unique film library and information service open to all. It provides access to the Ritva database of the radio and television archive and films digitized by the domestic film collection. The library also has digital materials from the National Library.

Typically, researchers, journalists, writers, students, and various field experts utilize Kavi. They were informed in the spring, before the summer holidays, that the library would be unavailable for an extended period. Extended loan periods were granted, which are now being further extended.

Although Vanhatalo cannot provide an exact date for the library’s reopening, he hopes it will be as soon as possible this spring. It was anticipated that the library would remain closed for an extended period due to the move. In retrospect, Vanhatalo acknowledges that this could have been communicated better.

The move was necessitated by the lease ending at the previous property on Sörnäinen rantatie. The new library is smaller than the old one, with Kavi’s current facilities being about two-thirds the size of the previous ones. Kavi’s library situation was previously reported on the website.