Travel: ALA trip to Finland

6/3/15 –  Join ALA President Courtney L. Young in the upcoming delegation to Finland!

Sarah P’s comments:  This seems to be the era of librarian travel…a really great development I think.  The only issue is affording both the fees and the time off.  Therefore, I hope we see a corresponding rise in grants offered for librarians of all nationalities to attend these trips.  For those seeking affordable exchange opportunities check out LIBEX.


As the leader of this delegation, president Young invites you to join her and other ALA members to participate in this important international exchange in Helsinki, Finland in October 11-16, 2015.

Finland is noted for having some of the most innovative library communities in the world. It will be a great to learn and share experiences with our Finnish colleagues. You would contribute valued expertise to the team while gaining both personally and professionally from the experience. In addition to visiting cutting edge libraries, you will have the opportunity to meet with leadership of the Finnish Library Association to discuss issues such as:

-Sources of funding and government commitment to library development
-The role of libraries as an educational resource
-Use of technology at all levels
-Education and training for librarians

Travel arrangements will be arranged through Professionals Abroad, a division of Academic Travel Abroad.  The 60-year-old organization handles the logistical arrangements for prestigious organizations, such as National Geographic, The Smithsonian, The New York Times – Times Journeys and many top professional associations and universities

The estimated cost per delegation member is $4,150 ( includes: group ground transportation within Finland, meetings, accommodations in double-occupancy rooms, entry fees for cultural visits, the service of a national guide, and most meals).  A $500 deposit is required to reserve your place on the team.  In the event that you are unable to accept this invitation, an alternate delegate candidate will be invited. You may also recommend a colleague as your alternate for the program. I look forward to hearing from you regarding your participation.

For total cost, requirements and up to date information, please visit the Professionals Abroad site or contact a Program Representative at Professionals Abroad, at .


ITINERARY (Please note that the itinerary below is not an exact representation of the final program)

Saturday, October 10
Depart the US on individual flights to Helsinki, Finland.
Sunday, October 11
Arrive in Helsinki and transfer to the hotel. After checking in and some time to freshen up, take a city tour of Helsinki. As both the capital and largest city in Finland, Helsinki is the country’s hub of commerce, politics, culture, and education. In 2012, the Economist ranked Helsinki as one of the top ten most livable cities in the world. This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner of traditional Finnish cuisine at Restaurant Savotta. (Dinner)
Monday, October 12
Attend a briefing this morning with the directors of the Helsinki Finnish Library for an overview of public library policy in Finland. In the afternoon, meet with members of the Finnish Library Association. Established in 1910, the FLA has about 2,000 members. (Breakfast)
Tuesday, October 13
Begin the day with a visit to the University of Helsinki Library. In the afternoon, meet with representatives of Finland’s Swedish Library Association, which aims at supporting the Finland-Swedish identity and culture in libraries. (Breakfast)
Wednesday, October 14
Take an excursion to the village of Sipoo, a small town to the northeast of Helsinki, and visit the town library. Visit Sipoo Old Church, a famous local structure built in the 15th century, anad enjoy a home-cooked meal at a local farm. Continue on to the village of Porvoo, an important trading center from the middle ages and an inspiration to poets and artists for centuries. Tour the old town, including a visit to its famous cathedral, dating from 1418 AD. Return to the city in the evening. (Breakfast and Lunch)
Thursday, October 15
Today is reserved for visiting several libraries in and around Helsinki. We will visit school libraries, public libraries and specialty libraries.
Gather this evening for a farewell dinner at a restaurant downtown. (Breakfast and Dinner)
Friday, October 16
Check out of the hotel this morning to depart for the airport and you individual flights back to the U.S. (Breakfast)

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