Public Library

Kuhmo public library
“Suomessa kunnan perustehtävänä on yleisen kirjaston toiminnan järjestäminen ja kirjaston toimintaa ohjaa kirjastolaki.
Yleisen kirjaston tehtävänä on tarjota mm. pääsy aineistoihin, tietoon ja kulttuurisisältöihin, ylläpitää monipuolista ja uudistuvaa kokoelmaa, edistää lukemista, tarjota tietopalvelua ja tiloja oppimiseen ja kansalaistoimintaan.”  – tähän käännös

The functional idea of the Kuhmo Town Library is to offer materials (some 95 000 books, newspapers, periodicals, electronic books, CDs, DVDs, sheet music…) for Kuhmo’s inhabitants to loan and also to meet their informational needs. People can check on the net which items can be lent at the Kuhmo Library ( and place hold requests. The use of library and loaning are free of charge.
The library has a newspaper reading room, children’s and teen section, adult section, music section and  local history collection. Computer terminals and free Internet access and color printing are available for patrons. There is also a wireless network.
Library services are brought to the people living in sparsely inhabited areas by a travelling library which drives around the wide region of Kuhmo. The travelling library also serves as a school library for the schools located in the distant and sparsely populated villages.

The building

The planning of the library building in Kuhmo is based on the scheme “Atalante“, the open architectural contest winner of 1984. Atalante was the name of a riverboat that came along the river to the town in a poetic film by Jean Vigo; the film was called Atalante, too. The building was completed in the autumn 1987. The library was taken into use on 19 Dec 1988.
In Kuhmo, the library rose on the riverbank of Pajakkakoski rapids, bringing worldwide science and arts with it. This idea has been an inspiration for more dynamic and sculptural architecture and symbolic themes. In form, there is aspiration for comprehensive abstract expression that continues the modern tradition of architecture, but on the other hand it also contains touching variety, locality, surprising elements and subtleness. The aspiration for the total effect in form led to the fact that almost all the lamps and furniture were designed in the architecture office.