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Turku City Library

Library books to go where they are needed: Weasel Software is responsible for the planning and implementation of Turku City Library's "floating collection" project!

The right books in the right library so that the borrower gets the reading material they desire – Turku City Library aims to address this need with the assistance of Weasel Software. The library staff also want more time to focus on customer service: they want an intelligent system that manages the placement of books in different libraries.

Library users borrow books from one library and return them to another. Particularly popular return locations are those local libraries located near traffic junctions with user-friendly parking areas.

This causes an imbalance in the collection between different libraries and also puts a strain on library staff: in some libraries, there are too many books in relation to borrowing numbers, while in others, there is a shortage. Currently, library staff reports both deficiencies and excess supply to other area libraries through Teams chat.

Books are also frequently transported from one place to another: in Turku area, between 7,000 and 15,000 volumes are transported monthly by van from one library to another, both for delivering reservations to borrowers and for balancing collections. Currently, balancing is largely done based on “gut feeling.”

The system recommends a new home library for the book

Weasel Software aims to build an intelligent system that assists librarians: it tells which returned books to send forward and also provides a recommendation if a book needs to be sent from a too full library to another branch. The system could also record “requests for help” from libraries where the collection has become too thin.

Weasel Software won the competition for the design and implementation of the system and started the project together with Turku City Library at the turn of 2023–2024. The solution will be implemented as a customized Saas service on Amazon Web Services cloud to ensure availability, flexibility, and security.

“The library is eagerly awaiting the completion of the tool, known as Kellutin. It is hoped that it will, in part, solve the challenges related to balancing the floating collection. It’s great that Weasel Software has taken on the development work,” says Kaisa Hypén, the service manager at Turku City Library.