A collection of nearly 9,000 historical music books is set to be relocated from the Tikkurila library to the storage library in Kuopio, despite the objections of library staff who have cared for the collection. The books, part of the Helmet library system in the Helsinki metropolitan area, will no longer be readily available to patrons, and will only be accessible via long-distance lending, for which a fee is charged. The relocation plan also involves destroying any books that already exist in the Kuopio library to prevent duplication.
The number of books to be discarded is still unknown, according to Aino Ketonen, the materials manager of the Vantaa library. The move is driven by a lack of space and the ongoing acquisition of new books. Both the Tikkurila and Kuopio libraries are undergoing renovations, adding urgency to the relocation. The Vantaa library has offered the old music books to its Helmet partners in Helsinki, Espoo, and Kauniain, but only Helsinki has agreed to acquire a mere 150 volumes.
The library staff working with the music materials have voiced their disapproval of the plan. Special library clerk Tommi Viitamies has criticized Vantaa’s ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ approach and expressed doubts about the purported lack of space, as books only comprise seven percent of the music warehouse’s material. Despite these objections, the management team of the city library in Helsinki approved Vantaa’s plans to transfer the books.
The music warehouse’s collection includes a large number of books from Helsinki, around 2,500 works. Librarian Lassi Kokkonen has explored the possibility of finding a new home for these books in Pasila’s book warehouse. The relocation to Kuopio will make borrowing these books significantly more difficult for regular Helmet users. Despite this, Aino Ketonen believes the demand for the material is “low”, which she sees as another reason for the move.
Aside from books, the music warehouse’s collection also includes thousands of sheet music, CDs, VHS cassettes, DVDs, and Blu-rays, with CDs being the most borrowed item. However, only the books will be moved to Kuopio, which will result in a decentralization of the collection. Tommi Viitamies has voiced his concerns over the fragmentation of the collection, which represents all the physical forms in which music has been stored.