Timo Keränen

Information services secretary

Timo Keränen is an information services secretary at the National Archives of Finland in Oulu. He has a business degree. Keränen’s range of work tasks is broad, and the work is independent and multi-faceted.

In addition to preserving documents, another important task of the National Archives of Finland is to facilitate the use of the data and information contained in the Archives, and to make and keep it accessible to everyone. Keränen helps customers in finding the information they’re looking for, by handling their transcript orders – that is, their information requests.

“Transcript orders can be just about anything. For example, private persons or colleges may ask for old school certificates, and law firms may need to find sales records or a legal confirmation of possession of real estate,” Keränen explains. “For example, photographs and maps are widely requested for use in various publications. In processing each transcript order I produce copies of the documents for sending to the customers, in electronic or printed form, for example.”

In addition to handling transcript orders, Keränen’s tasks assignments include retrieving searched-for documents and bringing them to the reading room, returning such documents to their proper place in the archives, handling inter-library loans, and providing advice and assistance to the patrons of the research rooms. Keränen is also a member of the consultative council of the National Archives of Finland, and a deputy employee’s representative at the Archives.

He is a long-serving employee of the National Archives. “I originally found by way to what was then the provincial archives in Oulu in 1984, and I gained a permanent position in 1989,” says Keränen. “Apparently people think I can be trusted, since I’ve now been doing this work for 33 years,” he jokes.

Keränen says the best part of his job as information services manager is the appreciation and positive feedback of patrons, customers, colleagues and the immediate supervisors. “The National Archives of Finland have been serving public authorities and members of the public for 200 years now, and it’s a real pleasure to continue to be part of that.”