There will be a service break in Helka library database from July 16 until the beginning of August, 2020.

During the break you can not

  • check-out or reserve print books.
  • access your customer details in Helka.

During the break you can, however,

  • return books to the library. They will be returned in the system only after Helka is once again operational.
  • search and browse all the collections in Helka and access electronic content. Please note that the availability status of print books will not be visible in Helka during the service break.

The due dates in the Helka database have been postponed to August. The due date for all loans is now August 12 2020.

If your loans are already overdue, the due date is not postponed. If there is anything unclear about your loans or due payments, please contact the service address

You can make reservations in Helka up until July 16. During the service break no reservations can be made.

Please note that all the reservations will not automatically be transferred to the renewed system. If you've already received a reservation notification from the library system by the beginning of the service break, your reservation will be moved to the new Helka database. For other reservations, please prepare to place your reservation again in August when Helka is operational once again. 

Your account information (contact details, loans, reservations ready for pick-up and fees) will automatically be transferred to the new Helka database. 

Save your favorites and be prepared to renew your reservation if necessary 

If you have searches or favorite lists stored in the Helka database, you will have time to retrieve and save them until July 16. Your reservations are also valid until July 16, 2020. 
Please note that the reservations you have made will not be transferred to the renewed Helka database unless you have already received an arrival notification for the bookg. Therefore, be prepared to place your reservation again in August, when the renewed Helka is in use. 

Logging in into the new Helka 

Students and staff of the University of Helsinki will log in to the new Helka with their university user accounts. 
Other Helka users log in to the new Helka with their e-mail address. Helka will send a login link to your email.

If you have listed any favourites in Helka, you have until July 16 to save them.

You may save your favourites either with reference management software of your choice or by sending them to yourself via email.

Log into Your Account in Helka > Favourites > Choose your references > Email or Export > Choose the format of your choice. 

The search funcion in Helka will be available during the service break, and you can access all electronic journals and e-books through Helka.

University members may access electronic content purchased by the library often with a direct link (e.g. in Moodle).

Remote access to electronic content will be available during the service break. 

Kaisa House is open Mon-Fri 8-18 on June 1 - August 23. The Campus Libraries in Kumpula, Meilahti and Viikki will remain closed at least until the beginning of August.

Kaisa House has limited services throughout the summer. Printed material cannot be borrowed during Helka's service break. 

Reserved books can be picked up in the self-service pick-up area as usual. Please follow the instructions found at the lobby when picking up reservations.

You can return books to the library during the break. They will be returned in the system only after Helka is once again operational.

Read more about library services on our exceptional situation webpage.

Helka library database will be out of use in July. Therefore Helsinki University Library cannot send out books as interlibrary loans to other libraries in July. Articles can be sent out as usual.

University of Helsinki users can order books from other libraries during the Helka service break, should the corona virus situation permit. Please note that many libraries around the world are closed because of the pandemic. 

The acquisitions (ordering books and other materials and making new items available to the library users) is on break from June 15th until the end of July.

During the break the university members can place orders with the Acquisition Form online in the normal manner. These suggestions, however, can not be prosessed in the library until the break in Helka is over in early August.

The current Helka library database is over 20 years old and technically outdated.

The methods of studying, teaching and research have changed significantly in the past 20 years. The core functions of the library are no longer running the logistics of printed books but in acquiring and opening access to electronic content for the use of the university community. During the digital leap the university requires a state-of-the-art digital library.

The new library platform is designed for the needs of a research-oriented university library. It equips the library with effective tools to acquire and purchase electronic journals and e-books and to provide them for the users.

The library users will get easy-to-use tools to search and manage the literature and sources they need.


Renewing the entire library service platform is a complex procurement and deployment project that Finnish university libraries have been preparing for two years. The service break visible to the library customers will take place in July, which is the quietest month at the library.

Unfortunately the exceptional situation caused by COVID-19 could not be anticipated in the project schedule. The service break in Helka will, however, be as short as possible.

All electronic content purchased by the library will be available for university members during the Helka service break.