In Porvoo, two university of applied sciences units are operating under the same roof: HAAGA-HELIA and Laurea. Together they form the Porvoo Campus, a centre for multiculturalism, learning and business. The campus is an important meeting place in Porvoo, promoting new ways of thinking, networking and successful business through its operations in the city. The universities of applied sciences moved into the shared facilities at the end of 2010 when the new building was completed. The campus houses nursing, tourism and business degree programmes, and has approximately 1,300 students and around 100 members of staff.

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People entering the Porvoo Campus are greeted by artist Paula Salmela’s Together, a work made of steel and turquoise mirror glass installed on the large lobby’s back wall. The work depicts the campus’s mission statement of openness, interaction and working together. The mirror catches everyone walking in the lobby, reflecting the surrounding activity, movement and light. It is natural to create, use and share information with the aim of achieving the best result in the common, open facilities. The library, too, plays its own crucial role in this process.

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The Porvoo Campus library is home to the departmental libraries of two different universities of applied sciences. Customer service is designed so that the library’s premises, services and collections appear as those of a single library operating under one set of principles. This is supported by consistent user rules. Customers do not need to be aware that they are receiving the services of two libraries in the same library space. One information specialist and two IT assistants from HAAGA-HELIA and one information specialist from Laurea work there. In their work, the staff implement the pedagogy of their own organisations: HAAGA-HELIA’s learning with working life and Laurea’s Learning by Developing (LbD). The most demanding guidance and information retrieval tasks from each organisation are carried out by their own information specialist. The two libraries have their own funding and procurements and cataloguing are carried out separately.

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The Porvoo Campus library’s slogan, Together More, is an apt description of the added value the joint library offers to its users. The facilities, services and collections are available for everybody to use, with the exception of licensed material. The library’s opening hours have also been extended. The expertise of several professionals is available for all services and the development of the library. The combination of three small libraries’ collections put almost 30,000 printed monographs in the same space, making them easily available. To complement their earlier collection, nursing students now have access to business literature that excellently supports nursing entrepreneurship studies. Tourism students, on the other hand, can utilise nursing material for health tourism, for example. In addition to the printed collection, customers have access to an extensive collection of electronic magazines and books. The e-material can also be utilised from one’s home computer.

Together More also says something about the library’s user-oriented way of working. The Porvoo Campus library is being developed jointly with students, lecturers and other library users. When the library was being designed, existing and future library customers were asked for their input and thoughts on the library. The customers were asked to describe the library of their dreams. Some qualities associated with a dream library have, in fact, been incorporated in the Campus library: spaciousness, comfort, a pleasant atmosphere and a quiet space that motivates into studying. The library also found a good location when it was placed in a visible area next to the Campus’s entrance. The library’s wall facing the street is completely made up of large windows, which demonstrates the Campus’s principle of openness and transparency in a concrete way.
The library invites all those interested to come in and utilise its services.

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In order to gain users’ opinions and development ideas in a new way, library customers were given two disposable cameras and asked to give feedback through photos. They were told that the photos would serve as an aid in improving the library space and services. The users were asked to use one camera to capture their favourite spot, object or service at the library, and to use the second camera to photograph a location or service that needed improvement. Participants were given seven weeks to use the cameras, during which time they took 44 photos. The 17 participants took 27 photos of the professional staff, the library space and the students’ workstations, all of which were considered positives. Areas that needed improvement included a better printer, better arrangement of hanging wires and a basket for collecting books, of which there were 17 photos combined. The library reacted to some of the negative feedback immediately, while the rest of the feedback was included as development ideas for the planning of new library services. The photos were also compiled into an exhibition at the library. Giving feedback in the form of a photo will continue to be possible in the future. At the very least, the first time of using this method brought in much more feedback than the traditional feedback form.

User-orientation will remain at the heart of the Porvoo Campus library’s development work. New practices and functions will be sought to make the library more user friendly. Efforts will be made to involve users more than before, not just as evaluators of services, but as developers of and participants in operations, too. The first step was taken when the new campus and its library were being designed. Now it is time to take the next step and turn sights towards the campus’s student associations.

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