Who is Petri Liukkonen?
You may not have realized that the website you visit frequently for concise biographical information on world authors is coming from an obscure Finnish library near the Russian border! Meet Petri Liukkonen, Director of The Kuusankoski Library, Finland.
April 29, 2008 — When doing research for an article on a particular author I discovered a website that you all probably know about and refer to frequently—books and writers at www.kirjasto.sci.fi/
The troubling thing that day was the piece on the author I was researching had several typos and I wanted to notify the webmaster to notify the editor of the site.
To my surprise a lovely, apologetic e-mail came back from Mr. Liukkonen thanking me for the corrections and describing—actually showing me—the Eastern Bloc-styled library where he has spent the past seven years working on an alphabetical calendar of author biographies, as he says, "to escape the boring duties and responsibilities." But anyone can see this is a labor of love.
The site gets 69.44 million hits per year and 9.74 million unique visitors per year. Authors Calendar was awarded the Finnish Writers Association Prize in April on "Book and Rose Day."
Since English is not Petri's native tongue he has managed to get some texts corrected by a native speaker who looks at the spelling and grammar. When I communicated with him today he said he was in the office on his day off, writing about the Korean poet Ko Un [you heard it here first]. Stay tuned for my barrage of questions on this life work of Petri's.
It is amusing to go through the list of letters received by the site.
Here is the webcam of the lending department. They even give the coordinates 60° 54' 23.33" N 26° 37' 38.98"E which you can then plug into Google Earth, a 3D interface to the planet.