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Home Student pages Services for Students Library and Information Services Library services and support for information seeking

Library services and support for information seeking

The library provides access to information regardless of time and place.


HAMK library is open for all, and our printed collections are for the use of all clients. Our online library HAMK Finna offers an easy access to all material in library collections. The use of e-collections requires a HAMK user credentials. Visitors may access e-collections inside the library, with a few exceptions.

If the needed material is not already in HAMK library collections, it can be purchased or borrowed from elsewhere. For students and staff with print disabilities, we offer access to Celia services. You can find more information about HAMK library collections and Celia services below.

The library collections represent HAMK study fields. The physical collections are located in the Hämeenlinna University Centre Library and six campus libraries. You can freely order books between campuses. For more information on library lending practices can be found on the “Guidelines for using the library” page.


The majority of our printed books are in the lending collection, with a loan period of 28 days. Printed books used as module literature and supplementary materials for teaching are also placed in the lending collection. We also provide access to several e-book collections. You can find information about our collections on HAMK Finna.

Journals and magazines

The journal collection focuses on professional and scientific information, and consists of both printed and e-journals. Printed journals are located on campus, where they can be used inside the library. Access to all e-journals is on HAMK Finna.

Printed magazines at the campus libraries (HAMK Finna)

E-magazines in the library (Browzine)


HAMK theses can be found in Theseus or HAMK electronic archive. HAMK library does not have printed copies of theses. Information about the theses stored in the electronic archive can be found on HAMK Finna. External customers can access HAMK electronic archive within the library premises.

Instructions for using HAMK electronic thesis archive (HAMK Finna)

E-resources and instructions

Always use the links in HAMK Finna to access HAMK e-resources. The use of e-collections requires HAKA login with HAMK credentials. Open access resources available on HAMK Finna can be accessed without logging in.

You can find HAMK library e-resources, their terms of use, as well as user guides and instructions on HAMK Finna.

Museum collections

The museum collections of Evo, Lepaa, and Mustiala are partially cataloged, and their metadata is accessible on HAMK Finna. HAMK museum collections are closed for public, and not available for interlibrary lending. The use of museum collections for research or study purposes can be granted upon consideration.

The library selects materials for each campus collection according to common acquisition principles. You can submit a proposal to the library for the acquisition of specific material.

The proposed title is typically acquired if it supports learning at HAMK and is no older than a few years. Older titles or those outside our study fields can be ordered as an interlibrary loan from elsewhere.

If reading printed text is difficult for you due to a disability, illness, or a similar reason, you can join Celia’s audiobook service. Please contact the library customer service to learn more.

Registering as a Celia customer

HAMK library staff can help you to become a Celia customer. During a brief interview, we will create Celianet credentials for you, as well as guide you on the use of their services. We recommend you reserve at least half an hour for the customer interview. Please leave a contact request to the library customer service email:

Ordering textbooks

If the textbook you need or the book required for your thesis is not available on Celianet, please contact the library. If the book is not available in an accessible format, the library will send a production request to Celia for the textbook or thesis material. The production process takes approximately three months.

Additional information: Celia textbooks for schoolchildren and students

Support and assistance for information seeking

Explore the information search guide and participate in training sessions.

You can get personal assistance for information retrieval issues through individual and small-group guidance sessions held in the Teams online environment by appointment.

Please let us know if there are several of you attending the same online guidance session. If you would rather solve your information retrieval challenges by visiting the library, please contact us.

Search Guide

Good source

In a thesis or other scholarly text, various sources can be used, including books, scientific articles, newspaper articles, blog posts. The reliability of a source can be assessed in various ways, such as based on the publication channel; a scientific journal is a more reliable source than a newspaper. It is also good to check whether there are commercial, political, or other connections behind the publication that may affect the reliability of the source. One way to assess reliability is to examine whose voice and whose perspectives are presented in the source.

The evaluation of an expert source

From a scientific expert, you can obtain background information that places phenomena in a broader context and can be referred to as prevailing truth.

Complementary information for research can be obtained from a professional expert who can provide applied and experiential knowledge that a researcher may not have.

The story of an experiential expert can be used in a scholarly text as an example and a catalyst for “discussion,” but it represents only one person’s experience and cannot be generalized as a broader truth.

Source retrieval

Research information retrieval differs from everyday information gathering, and there are multiple pathways leading to research information. Check out the blog post: “What is research and how is it read?” (in Finnish) as well as the “What is an article?” (in Finnish) video.

Usage of sources

In the theoretical part of the thesis, the sources should consist of researched information. If such information is not available, understanding the topic should be demonstrated through other sources. Scientific sources are assumed in the thesis: they are referenced according to HAMK’s citation practices, for example.

As many as 80 percent of the players in Finnish hockey league have reported suffering from back pain (Kiekkonen 2016, 36).

When using other sources, it is advisable to specify the type of source to avoid accidentally claiming, for example, ice hockey player Teemu Mailanen’s blog post as a scientific source. Do you notice the difference between the following examples?

According to Mailanen (2016) back pain is common among ice hockey players.

Ice-hockey player Teemu Mailanen tells in his blog posting that back pain is common among hockey players (2016).

In the upper example, there is a misleading reference to Mailanen’s blog post, as if it were research data. In the lower example, it is openly stated that it is a blog.

If you use images in your report, also include source information for them and ensure that you have the right to use the image, see Aalto University’s ImagOA guide.

Information seeking process

  • Keywords in order
    • Focus on concepts: what words best describe your topic?
    • Find synonyms: consider how the same thing can be described in different ways
    • Use dictionaries, tables of contents, and terminology databases, such as Finto, a Finnish vocabulary and ontology service.
  • Search technique
    • All database searches operate according to the same basic principles. However, always familiarize yourself with the search instructions and filtering options of each database.
  • Don’t give up. Information retrieval is a process, and the topic and keywords become clearer as the process progresses.

HAMK Finna

HAMK Finna is our online library where you can find books, journals, and specialized information sources to support HAMK learning and research. For example, resources like SFS Online, Ebook Central and O’Reilly for Higher Education can be accessed through HAMK Finna.

All online resources are available 24/7 with HAMK user credentials. An exception is the Epress newspaper service with access restricted to HAMK campuses and the Eduroam network. Customers without HAMK user credentials can use most of our electronic resources locally in HAMK library.

Other sources:, the national Finna, is a collaborative interface used by multiple cultural organizations in Finland. It provides access to information sources such as theses, domestic journal articles, and open learning materials.

Google Scholar is a search service provided by Google for researching scholarly articles.

Subject specific information sources in HAMK Finna

Individual and small group guidance in information seeking

If independent information search does not yield the desired results, you can schedule an information retrieval guidance session (max. 60 min.) for yourself or your team from the calendar.

In the guidance session with HAMK information specialist, you will receive tips on finding and using information sources. You will also be able to address any other questions you may have relating to information retrieval. Welcome!