LSJ Editors' Blog: Internet lending in Finland

10 May 2006

Internet lending in Finland

From The Scotsman, a story about a Finnish public library that loans its patrons broadband internet. In cooperation with the local phone company, the City of Lahti's 7 public libraries now have 100 cable modems that patrons can use to connect to the Web for free via their cable TV connection.

Anni Saari, a librarian there, kindly emailed me a more detailed explanation. It seems the local phone company, Päijät-Hämeen Puhelin, is celebrating its 100 year anniversary and it approached the library with the idea of offering free internet through the public library. That's worth repeating--the phone company came up with the idea to loan internet through the public library! And the library is not charged a single Euro for being able to provide the free service.

The loan period is 28 days, unrenewable. The phone company provides the tech support to patrons. An online form is filled out at the library and sent to the phone company, which can then activate the modem for the length of the loan, and then deactive it when the modem becomes overdue.

And, Anni tells me, the article contains one error--there are at least two other libraries in Finland that now loan modems: Helsinki City Library, and Raisio Library.

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