Volunteer at Helsinki City Library

Libraries offer many volunteering opportunities – come up with your own idea or get involved in our existing activities! Why not volunteer as a book club instructor, read aloud short stories, lead a game club or organise activities for children and young people or senior citizens. Where possible, we offer support in organising events, instructing groups or hosting other activities.

As a library volunteer, you will sign a volunteering agreement, and the City of Helsinki will insure you during your voluntary work. You can commit to volunteering for as long or short period of time as you wish. In certain tasks, volunteers commit to the activities for one semester at a time.

How to get involved

If you are interested in volunteering, please get in touch with our contact persons for voluntary work or your local library.

Contact persons

Southern Helsinki: Jätkäsaari, Lauttasaari, Pikku-Huopalahti, Rikhardinkatu, Töölö and Suomenlinna libraries

Leeni van Tulder leeni.vantulder@hel.fi
Vappu Nurmi (Reading Ambassadors) vappu.nurmi@hel.fi

Eastern Helsinki: Herttoniemi, Itäkeskus, Kontula, Laajasalo, Myllypuro, Roihuvuori, Sakarinmäki and Vuosaari libraries

Romana Mázerová romana.mazerova@hel.fi

Central Helsinki: Arabianranta, Kallio, Käpylä, Maunula, Oulunkylä, Paloheinä and Vallila libraries

Eeva Karhunen eeva.karhunen@hel.fi
Johanna Laaksonen johanna.laaksonen@hel.fi

Western Helsinki: Etelä-Haaga, Kannelmäki, Malminkartano, Munkkiniemi, Pasila, Pitäjänmäki and Pohjois-Haaga libraries

Sari Langdon sari.langdon@hel.fi

Northern Helsinki: Jakomäki, Malmi, Puistola, Pukinmäki, Suutarila, Tapanila, Tapulikaupunki and Viikki libraries

Tuula Rönkä tuula.ronka@hel.fi
Iiro Laukola iiro.laukola@hel.fi

Helsinki Central Library Oodi

Leena Eskelinen leena.eskelinen@hel.fi

Volunteer work at Helsinki City Library

Book club instructor

Our book clubs get together once a month to read books and discuss literature. Our staff will familiarise you with the task and can also help you get started on leading the club.

Book club volunteers are expected to have an interest in literature, but no other experience is required.

After-school activity instructor for children and young people

Library grandmas and grandpas and other after-school activity instructors play games, read aloud stories, draw pictures and just spend time with children after school. As a library grandma or grandpa, you can take part in activities that you enjoy. The volunteers spend approximately 2–2.5 hours at the library on an agreed day every week.

Finnish language café instructor

At Finnish language cafés, you can help immigrants learn Finnish or act as the café instructor. You are required to have a good command of the Finnish language, good communication skills and patience to listen and understand various levels of spoken Finnish. Library staff are sometimes also involved as language café instructors. All volunteers are trained for the task.

The purpose of the activities is to strengthen the participants’ Finnish language skills, provide them with information about the Finnish society, help them integrate into our society and give them the opportunity to meet new people.

Language cafés are usually held once a week, some less often.

Reading ambassador

Do you enjoy reading? Would you like to pass on the joy of reading to others? Why not join our reading ambassador activities! As a reading ambassador, you will support reading as a hobby by reading aloud to senior citizens or others who need help with reading. The reading usually takes place at service homes.

Helsinki libraries will support you in your role as a reading ambassador. The libraries organise get-togethers for reading ambassadors where they give tips on books that are suitable for reading aloud, share the joy of reading, and discuss questions and experiences related to reading.

Keep an eye on our event calendar on the Helmet.fi website to see when the reading ambassadors will next meet. For further information, please email lukulahettilas@hel.fi or contact your local library staff.

You can also act as a reader in various library events, such as Novellikoukku (Hooked on short stories).

Other activities

Libraries offer many volunteering opportunities – come up with your own idea or get involved in our existing activities! Where possible, we offer support in organising events, instructing groups or hosting other activities.

Photo: City of Helsinki / Jonna Pennanen