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Turku takes pride for being the cradle of civilisation in Finland, and the city is the 2011 Cultural Capital of Europe.
In Finland every municipality must offer their citizens free of charge library services. This tradition of providing and valuing cultural and educational services is thought to have contributed to the rise of the country from an underdeveloped agricultural country to a leading innovative country which took place since the late 19th century.
Turku has one of the most modern libraries in Finland, called Kaupunginkirjasto in Finnish. A big department of internet access PC serves customers. A WiFi connection is available for visitors in the more traditional magazine-newspaper reading area.
And yes, you can borrow traditional books, too. This is surprisingly self service, both for borrowing book as well as returning them.
The Library itself consists of the old and new part. The old part dates back to 1903 and represents Dutch late renaissance. The new part from 2007 is a modern building by architect Asmo Jaaksi. The buildings create an interesting architechtural milieu. A nice café is available.
The best of all, it is good to see so many citizens using the facilities; students studying, pensioners reading newspapers, children and youth using services tailored for them.
See the activities at Turku City Library