This year, the award has been awarded to Häme University of Applied Sciences (HAMK). The National Library of Finland praises in particular the work of Sinikka Luokkanen, Head of Library and Information Services, and Minna Kivinen, Information Systems Specialist, which has been truly essential, when 16 scientific and special libraries have adopted and developed the open source Koha library system.
The Koha library system was adopted very quickly. The transition decision was made in early spring 2018, and HAMK was the first pilot library to use it already in October 2018. The fast pace caused a lot of pressure in particular on pilot libraries, such as HAMK, but the competent specialists in the libraries were able to meet the deadlines. "Sinikka Luokkanen and Minna Kivinen in particular have done a great deal of work in getting familiar with Koha, helping others and coordinating the work of specialists between libraries," says Kristiina Hormia-Poutanen, Director of Library Network Services at the National Library of Finland.
The National Library of Finland provides libraries with system administration and development services, and CSC - IT Center for Science Ltd delivers server platforms. Since the adoption of the system, a lot of work has been done on major version updates and developing Koha's features. "The use of open source code offers new opportunities, but at the same time, it requires a new approach and new forms of cooperation. Cooperation between libraries has been close at all levels," says Esa-Pekka Keskitalo, Information System Manager at the National Library of Finland.
"We want to reward HAMK for its selfless and devoted work in adopting open source Koha, promoting cooperation between libraries and supporting colleagues. Other libraries, including the National Library of Finland, have significantly benefited from the hard work done at HAMK,” praises Kristiina Hormia-Poutanen.
With the Customer of the Year award, the National Library of Finland wants to highlight significant work done by customers who use library materials and services. The award can be granted to individuals, research groups or organisations.