History of the library

1878 From the minutes of the Municipal Assembly of 20.10.1878: books are lent from the Lending Library for an annual fee of 25 pence. Johan Petter Ulkuniemi, a merchant, was elected librarian.

1927 The library was open on Tuesdays from 19-20 and the librarian was Maija Kalliosalmi.

1929 The council rented the library premises upstairs in the Municipal Building. At the same time, the library board was instructed to organise library activities in different parts of the municipality.

1938 District libraries were established in Luusua, Tapionniemi and Isokylä.

1951 Kemijärvi now had a central library and eight district libraries: Halosenranta, Isokylä, Juujärvi, Luusua, Oinas, Räisälä, Tapionniemi and Vuostimo.

1956 In addition to the previous ones, more district libraries had now been established: Joutsijärvi, Kostamo, Tohmo and Tonkopuro.

1957 The parish of Kemijärvi was formed into the Kemijärvi township and Kemijärvi rural municipality. The Kauppala received the books of the main library and the books of the branch libraries (= district libraries) remained with the rural municipality. The Halosenranta and Tohmo branch libraries belonged to the area of the trading district. The Isokylä library became the main library of the rural municipality.

1962 Municipality received a new spacious and bright main library in the new civic school in Isokylä.

1964 In addition to the main library on Kuumaniemenkatu, Kauppala had a branch library at Tohmo school. The main library in Kauppala was managed by Kerttu Kontiokoski.

1972 Kauppala received its first full-time librarian, Kirsti Liukku.

1974 A library car was purchased. At the same time, four branch libraries were closed and another four were converted into lending stations.

1983 An inpatient library was established at the Health Centre and Regional Hospital to serve patients and staff.

1987 A new main library is completed at the Cultural Centre. At the same time, the library was the first library in Lapland to introduce a computerised circulation control system. The system was Nixdorf’s KITT library system.

1989 The library car was renewed. The new car was called the Tramp.

1997 The library’s computer system was changed. Kemijärvi Library joined the Aurora group of libraries in Lapland (now the Lapland Library Group).

2000-2002 Time of the Kulkuri project. The library van Kulkuri was transformed into a multi-service vehicle. Library driver Lauri Mukkala retired in 2001.

In 2001 , the hospital library was closed.

In 2003 , the libraries of Luusua, Isokylä and Tohmo were closed.

In 2008 , the Kemijärvi Library Department included the main library and the multi-service vehicle Kulkuri. The Vocational College has a library serving students and teachers of vocational education and upper secondary school.

2009 Kirsti Juntura, the long-standing Library Director, retired. She was replaced by Inkeri Kulpakko.

2013 The library of the Vocational College was closed down.

2014 The new online library was launched on 7 February 2014.

In February 2015 , a new library van was put into service. It was named the Village Broom.

In November 2015 , the library service desk was replaced and its location changed.

In April 2017 , the library system Koha was introduced and extended to all public libraries in Lapland.

On 5 December 2017, the library celebrated the Independence Day Snack and the 30th anniversary of the Cultural Centre. Almost 400 people from Kemijärvi were present. Kemijärvi Cultural Centre 30 years (clippings folder compiled by M.Alaluusua)

On 18 June 2018 , the loan and return machine purchased from P.V.Supa was put into operation. The following day, the new online library Finna was launched at lapinkirjasto.finna.fi

On 11 November 2018 , the library celebrated its 140th anniversary with musical performances and a coffee bar.

In December 2018 , Marja-Leena Vaarala was appointed Head Librarian.

On 18 March 2020 , the library was closed due to a corona epidemic. The doors reopened on 1 June 2020.

On April 7, 2020 , the Welfare Board approved the sale of the library van. The library van service in Kemijärvi (1974-2020) was discontinued.

In June-December 2020 , the library’s premises and shelves were renovated. Information and fiction books changed places, the newsroom was completely renovated and children’s picture books received new shelves.

In May 2021 , a self-help library was launched. The library is accessible outside office hours, including weekends. Throughout the year, Kemijärvi 150 was celebrated, and the library hosted a monthly changing exhibition about Kemijärvi.

At the beginning of 2022 , the libraries of Lapland, North Ostrobothnia and Kainuu signed an agreement on a joint e-library. As a new service, the Northern eLibrary will offer customers in Lapland e.g. films in electronic format for home loan. The City of Kemijärvi turned 50 and was celebrated throughout the year, especially during Kemijärvi Week in early July.

In 2024 , the children’s and young people’s section of the library got a great story wall.