Smart and participatory access to cultural and scientific collections – Finna’s new vision published

For the last six years, the national information search service Finna has provided access to cultural and scientific material for everyone. From the beginning of 2021, Finna’s operations will be guided by a new vision that aims to provide participatory and smart access for the entire society. The focus areas of the new vision for our services are: promoting access to information and lifelong learning, providing the best user experience, and increasing cooperation.

“Finna is a unique open service that supports democracy”, say Matti Sarmela, head of development at the Helsinki City Library, and Ismo Malinen, chief intendant and head of unit at the Finnish Heritage Agency. Sarmela and Malinen took part in designing Finna’s new vision together with an extensive stakeholder network and the National Library.

Sarmela and Malinen are excited about many of the new themes.

“For libraries, the vision’s targets for smart search and secure use are very important, as is the seamless access to open and licenced digital content”, says Sarmela, who also acts as the Chair of Finna’s consortium steering group.

The aim is to provide searchers personalised content from the extensive materials and collections of scientific and cultural heritage organisations. Searching for information will become easier, and the services provided via Finna will be seamlessly integrated.

“For museums, the key themes are cooperation and participation”, says Malinen.

The aim is to develop Finna to become a platform where users can participate in the production of information. Cooperation between member organisations will be increased and new opportunities for partnership are sought out nationally and internationally.

Gateway to lifelong learning

Finna provides access to material from over 400 organisations. Our vision is to enable users to find more diverse and extensive sources of information. Finna will particularly be developed as a service for learning. 

“Finna’s interfaces will provide improved tools for using the materials in creating content for teaching and learning. To this end, we will increase our cooperation with teachers and our member organisations. In addition, we aim at improving and extending integration with the learning platforms used at different levels of education”, says Finna’s head of development Erkki Tolonen about Finna’s plans for the future.

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“Finna ensures access to cultural heritage and the accessibility of information, which is very significant for the development of our society”, says Ismo Malinen (left). In the picture, Matti Salmela is in the middle and Erkki Tolonen on the right.

Reaching for the stars through cooperation

Finna was born out of the extensive collaboration of archives, libraries and museums. Tolonen says this is also the key for realising Finna’s vision.

“To me, it seemed that the representatives of our member organisations were very excited about the targets we set for our joint vision. I believe that excitement and cooperation will help us materialise what we envisioned. It is also important that we consider the input we receive from Finna’s end users and the parties that use Finna’s interfaces in this task.”

Read more about Finna’s vision in the Doria publication archive.

About Finna:

  • Opened in late 2014.
  • Developed by the National Library in cooperation with 400 archives, libraries and museums.
  • The national Finna.fi service includes nearly 17 million material sets, of which over 2 million are freely available online.
  • Access to over 80 search services of different archives, libraries and museums available.
  • Open search service: meta data, source code and parts of materials are free to use.
  • Funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture.