Finland’s first Act on public libraries was enacted in 1928. The Library Act currently effective, the third in order, is from 1998.
The Library Act (904/1998) provides the legislative basis defining the tasks of public municipal
libraries eligible for central government subsidies according to the Financing Law. It is specified
by Decree (406/2013) defining the tasks of the Public Central Library and regional libraries and
its amendment specifies the qualifications of public library personnel.
The Ministry of Education and Culture assists municipalities in the construction and renovation of libraries, as well as in the purchase of mobile libraries. State grants are issued in the Act on the Financing of Education and Culture (1705/2009) and Decree on the Financing of Education and Culture (1766/2009).
The mission and status of the National Library of Finland are regulated by the Universities Act
(558/2009) , by Government Decree (770/2009) as well as by the Act on the deposit and
preservation of national cultural materials (1433/2007).
Library Act (pdf) A new Library Act has been enacted and it entered into force on 1 January 2017. The Act is being translated into English and will be published on this website once the translation is completed.