Between 2008 and 2011, the Finnish Cultural Foundation provided some €3.5 million for public libraries across Finland to buy books, on condition that the local authorities themselves also increased their library budgets. The Society of Swedish Literature in Finland took a 5.5 per cent share in funding the project.

The majority of the Finnish local authorities joined in the initiative, called Kirjatalkoot (National Book Drive). During the campaign, the municipal funds used to purchase books rose by almost 10 per cent nationwide, not counting the additional 5 per cent provided by the Foundation. In all, about a million extra books were acquired by libraries.

Before the National Book Drive, the Foundation had not supported the public sector on such a large scale. The Drive was an experiment to see how an independent foundation could shape cultural policy while avoiding just plugging gaps in the public budget. The results were encouraging.

Further information:
National Book Drive (pdf)
(Annual report 2007)