1860 City Library was founded by the initiative of Helsingfors Fruntimmersföreningen (Helsinki Society for Married Women). In the beginning it was called Helsinki People’s Library (Helsingin kansankirjasto). The first library was situated where Porthania is now. The activities were funded by fund-raising.
1871 The citybegan supporting library activities.
1876 The city took control over the library.
1882 Rikhardinkatu Library opened. The property was donated to the city by Helsingin Anniskeluyhtiö (present Alko). The building was the first public building in Scandinavia specifically designed as a library. It served as the main library until 1986.
Turn of 19th and 20th centuries The firstbranch libraries (Töölö, Kallio, Vallila) were established.
1910The library’s name was changed to City Library.
1945 Institutional library services started in the city hospitals.
1946 A big incorporation. Suburban areas were annexed to Helsinki. The amount of libraries grew from 6 to 18.
1960 City Library turned 100 years on October 7th.
1966 Mobile library services began.
1981 Helsinki City Library became the Central Library of Finnish public libraries.
1986 The new main library was opened in Itä-Pasila.
1994 The first library with Internet connection was the Cablebook Library in the former Nokia Cable Factory. The same year connections were provided at the Pasila and Töölö Libraries.
1995 Helsinki City Library became the National Foreign Library (present Multilingual Library).
2000 Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation granted City Library their first ever Access to Learning Award and one million dollars.
2004 The loan record of all time, 10.2 million loans.
2004 The mayor’s Quality Award for bureaus and institutions.
2008 Finnish Quality Award in the category for the public sector and non-profit communities.