From The Guardian:
Today, [Nasima] Razmyar is deputy mayor of Helsinki, and ready to champion the institution that has given her so much – starting with the construction of Oodi, the city’s new central library, due to open in December. She is not alone in her passion for libraries. “Finland is a country of readers,” declared the country’s UK ambassador Päivi Luostarinen recently, and it’s hard to argue with her. In 2016 the UN named Finland the world’s most literate nation, and Finns are among the world’s most enthusiastic users of public libraries – the country’s 5.5m million people borrow close to 68m books a year.
Libraries are seen as the visible face of the Finnish belief in education, equality and good citizenship. “There’s strong belief in education for all,” says Hanna Harris, director of Archinfo Finland and Mind-building’s commissioner. “There is an appreciation of active citizenship – the idea that it is something that everyone is entitled to. Libraries embody that strongly,” she adds.
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