National Library of Finland to join system cooperation between higher education institutions to prepare for implementation of open source library system

Date published
The National Library of Finland's decision is based on a survey of library system solutions, which the Library has conducted in cooperation with other university libraries for several years.

The National Library of Finland has also been coordinating a joint library system procurement project for Finnish university libraries. The project commissioned a market analysis which showed that SaaS systems currently on the market have experienced problems especially with interface functionalities, performance and permanence. This means that it would be impossible to implement current services, for example, in the external customer interface and description environment without lowering the level of service. It is obvious that future service needs demand increasing mutual integrativity and interoperability between services.   

The Finnish university libraries’ joint library system procurement project has extensively studied commercial and open source systems currently on the market.  The market analysis included visits around Europe in libraries using these various systems. These visits enabled a dialogue between library experts.  Commercial systems could not be tested in practice, so the only actual tests were performed with the open source Koha system.

The results of the market analysis show that no single system is suitable for all libraries. Consequently, the national procurement cooperation was dissolved and replaced in January 2018 by two alternative groups that libraries can choose to join:  

1.  A group organising competitive tendering for a common system provided by a SaaS model
2.  A group implementing an open source Koha system

The National Library of Finland will continue to maintain the current Voyager library system serving university libraries in accordance with decisions made by the Linnea2 consortium.

Centralised university library services will continue regardless of the library system situation. The National Library of Finland will maintain and develop Finna, which will provide universities with a centralised article index and linking service (PCI and SFX). The national description environment Melinda and Finto ontology service will also continue to be developed as permanent services.

For further information, please contact

Minna-Liisa Kivinen