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The library expense is connected with the GDP

The investment in the public libraries was 310 million € in the year 2011, and 147 million € in the libraries of the higher education (110,3 million in the university libraries, 29,2 million in the libraries of the universities of applied sciences and 11,7 million in joint-libraries of higher education) (fig. 1). The target population of the public libraries is the inhabitants of the municipalities and that of the scientific libraries are the personnel and the students. Thus, the expenses per target population are notably smaller than in the scientific libraries (fig. 2). There has been growing trend in library expenses. The growth has been following the growth of GDP so the libraries have received their share of the growth of economy. During the recession in 2008-2009, the library expenses did not follow the decrease of the GDP (fig. 3).

Figure 1. The total expences of libraries. Source: FPLS and RLSD.

Figure 2. The total expences of the libraries / target population or inhabitant. Source: FPLS and RLSD.

Figure 3. The development of the total costs / target population in libraries compared with the gross domestic product (GDP) / inhabitant. The GDP and the total costs of the libraries are closely connected. Source: FPLSRLSD and Statistic Finland.

Library staff

Library staff has been slowly decreasing in 2002-2011. In 2011, there were total of 6384 FTE of library staff in Finnish libraries, of that 4700 FTE in public libraries, 1100 FTE in university libraries, 390 FTE in the libraries of the universities of applied sciences and 130 in the joint- libraries and libraries of higher education (fig 4).

Figure 4. The development of the library staff in 2002-2011. Source: FPLS and RLSD.

Library collections

In public libraries, the expenditure of library materials has been increasing slowly (fig. 5). This is due rising costs of materials. In the libraries of the institutions of the higher education, there has been a big change. The share of electronic materials has rapidly increased and in scientific universities it has already surpassed physical material (fig. 6-7). In public libraries, the share of electronic materials is still very small.


Figure 5. Expenidture on library materials has been increasing in Finnish public libraries.

Figure 6. Cost of printed materials is decreasing and price of e-material is rising.

Figure 7. Material costs in universites of applied sciences has not change as radicaly as in university

Figure 8. Development of Library Material Costs in the Finnish Joint-libraries of Higher Education (x 1000 €)


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