Kai Ekholm, The National Librarian of Finland, to retire

Professor Kai Ekholm, The National Librarian of Finland, will retire at the beginning of September 2018. Kai Ekholm has directed the National Library of Finland for the past 17 years. During his term, he has advanced the digitalisation of the National Library’s services, promoted collaboration between Finnish libraries and memory institutions, and furthered the development of the national digital service infrastructure.

Professor Ekholm is an active writer. He has particularly focused on citizens’ rights to the digital cultural heritage as well as issues involving free speech. In 2017 a research group led by Ekholm published an online work entitled Tiellä sananvapauteen, which examines the development of the freedom of expression in Finland after the Second World War. This work received the State Award for Public Information.  In February 2018, Kai Ekholm was granted the Freedom of Expression Award by the Finnish PEN Centre.  

Kai Ekholm has actively contributed to the international library field. From 2009 to 2013, he chaired FAIFE (Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression Advisory Committee) and from 2015 to 2017 CDNL (Conference of Directors of National Libraries).

The recruitment of a new national librarian will be launched in August 2018 with the aim that the appointee will take up the position at the beginning of 2019. Deputy Library Director Liisa Savolainen will serve as the national librarian until the new appointee assumes the position.  

A seminar in honour of Kai Ekholm will be organised on Tuesday, 2 October 2018 from 10.00 to 13.00.