Library card and the right to use the library

You need a Helka card to borrow printed materials from Helsinki University Library. A Helka card can be granted to persons over the age of 15 who present an official ID card and have a valid street address in Finland, with the exception of exchange students and researchers from abroad who can be granted a card regardless of the aforementioned terms.

The card is valid only in Helka libraries which include, in addition to Helsinki University Library, five specialised libraries outside the University.

The library card is personal and as its holder you commit to following the rules of all Helka libraries. Notify the library immediately if you lose your card. A small fee will be charged for the issuing of a new library card.

If you need assistance with accessing the library services, for example due to a physical disability, you may get your card marked for special services.

Students of the University of Helsinki

  1. Activate your customer information in Helka database by signing in with your Helsinki University user credentials.
  2. After activation, you can pick up your Helka library card from any Helsinki University Library location during customer service hours. Please remember to bring an official ID card. Note that for the time being, the library card can only be picked up from the Main Library's customer service at Kaisa House.
  3. Set a PIN code in your customer account in the Helka database. The PIN code is needed only when you borrow print material using the library's self-service lending machines.
  4. Once you have the library card, you can request books, renew loans and, when necessary, pay overdue fines in the Helka database.
  5. Do not update your contact information in Helka, as the contact information is automatically updated from the background systems of the University of Helsinki. So, please notify university services (eg Sisu) of any changes in your contact information.
Mobile Library Card
Starting from Autumn 2021, new students at the University of Helsinki can acquire a virtual Helka library card via the Studies Service. The mobile library card will be ready to use straight away. If you acquire a mobile Helka card via the Studies Service, you do not need a plastic Helka card. Note that the service is not yet in use. The mobile library card can be applied for earliest at the end of August 2021. 
 

Staff of the University of Helsinki

  1. Activate your customer information in Helka database by signing in with your Helsinki University user credentials.
  2. After activation, you can pick up your Helka library card from any Helsinki University Library location during customer service hours. Please remember to bring an official ID card. Note that for the time being, the library card can only be picked up from the Main Library's customer service at Kaisa House.
  3. Set a PIN code in your customer account in the Helka database. The PIN code is needed only when you borrow print material using the library's self-service lending machines.
  4. Once you have the library card, you can request books and renew loans in the Helka database.
  5. Do not update your contact information in Helka, as the contact information is automatically updated from the background systems of the University of Helsinki. So, please notify university services of any changes in your contact information.

Other customers (no university user credentials)

  1. Order a Helka library card by using the online form.
  2. The card will be available for pick-up after three working days. You can pick up your card from any Helsinki University Library location during customer service hours. Please remember to bring an official ID card. You can also get a Helka card by visiting the library's customer service desk. Note that for the time being, the library card can only be picked up from the main library's customer service at Kaisa House.
  3. Once you have the library card, you can request books, renew loans, update your customer data in the Helka database and, when necessary, pay overdue fines.
  4. In order to use the library's self-service lending machines, you need a PIN code which you have to set in your customer account in the Helka database. You need to have a valid e-mail in the system to be able to log in to Helka.

By logging in to Helka, you’ll have access to all self-service functions. You can reserve books, renew your loans and, if necessary, pay fees related to your customer information.

University of Helsinki Staff and Students
 

  • Log in by selecting “University of Helsinki login”.
  • In your customer information you will find your loans, reservations and fees.
  • On the My Account tab, you can see your contact information and set the PIN you need to borrow books from the self check-out machines.
  • Do not update your contact information in Helka, as your address and other contact information will be automatically updated in Helka from the background systems of the university. Therefore, if your contact information changes, it is enough to notify the university's systems (eg. Oodi / Sisu).

Other Helka users (with no University of Helsinki user ID)
 

Logging in to Helka requires that you have provided the library with your email address.

  • Select “Login by Email” to log in.
  • Helka will send a link to your e-mail, which you can click to log in to Helka. The link is valid for a limited time.
  • In your customer information you will find your loans, reservations and fees.
  • On the My Account tab, you can check your contact information and set the PIN you need to borrow books from the self check-out machines. You can update the contact information from the link “Change”.

If you do not provide the library with your email address

  • You cannot log in to your own customer information in Helka
  • You do not see due dates in your customer information and do not receive due date reminders
  • You cannot renew your loans yourself
  • You cannot make reservations yourself and do not receive notification when the item you have reserved is ready for collection
  • You cannot pay fees online.

Helka is the joint catalogue and lending system of all Helka libraries, that is, Helsinki University Library and five other libraries (Institute for the Languages of Finland, The Finnish Heritage Agency Library, Finnish Literature Society, Library of the Labour Movement and Baltia-kirjasto).

By obtaining a library card, you commit to following the terms of use for all Helka libraries. Doing so, your customer data will be entered into the Helka customer register. You can view your customer data by logging in to your Helka profile.

As a customer, you are responsible for keeping your user data up to date. You can notify us online of any changes to your contact information using the online form connected to your Helka profile.

The Helka customer register will send you email reminders relating to services. These include overdue notices, notices of reservations ready for collection and reminders of items due for return or renewal.